The Relativity of Community - Constituent Behaviors

Victoria, April 10, 2002


Today, more than ever before, we are getting that feeling that our fortunes are ‘adrift’ that John Lennon spoke about, where “Life is something that happens while you’re busy making other plans”.  That is, there is a gnawing question in the back of our minds as to ‘what is happening to us’ as a global community as we are all busy making plans as to how we are going to correct the behaviors of ‘those nasty others out there’.


But the purificationist language of activism is starting to sound hollow and repetitive, as if it is all part of a game that is somehow innately unable to ‘converge’ on the common goal of ‘community harmony’.   What does the Zen parable say? …”There is no path to community harmony, harmony is the path.”


Maybe we are deceiving ourselves by playing a ‘language game’ as Ludwig Wittgenstein and others have suggested.   Nowhere does this look more likely than in the field of judging human behaviors  where we continue to speak of the rising incidence of abnormal constituent behaviors without seriously, at the same time, questioning the ‘normalcy’ of the containing community that seems to be inducing such behaviors.   Is it true, as E. Fuller Torrey says in his recent book ‘The Invisible Plague’ that the accelerating rise in schizophrenia and affective disorders from 1:1000 to 5:1000 currently is due solely to the ‘internal condition’ of those who fall victim to these disorders and is not a function of the transforming environmental dynamics?   After failing to find sufficient ‘causal’ substantiation for this rise in terms of ‘genetic cause’ and ‘biochemical system malfunctioning’, … Torrey, instead of ‘letting go’ of the ‘causal’ model and exploring an ‘environmentally induced’ source is now proposing a ‘viral’ cause.


While the notion of a yet-to-be found ‘viral cause’ for the escalating incidence of ‘abnormally behaving constituents’ in our ‘normal’ community preserves the ‘causal’ theory of psychopathology for the moment and continues to let the issue of ‘how normal is the normalcy of our community?’ off the hook, … maybe this is just serving to distract us from what we don’t want to know about ourselves, … about the drift of our community normalcy as we focus on eliminating those rising hordes of ‘abnormally behaving ones’ out there that are terrorizing us, …. or is it ‘that we are terrorized by’?


Where do we go to evaluate the possibility of such ‘drift’ in community normalcy?


Perhaps we can go to several places at the same time and bring them into connection in our minds to ‘see what they have to say to us’.   How about looking at (1.) Perceived problems in the classification of ‘abnormality’, (2.) Issues of relativity between community and constituent behaviors, (3.) The role of language games.   In this manner, we may be able to see how trends amongst the constituents relate to the transformation of the enveloping constituency (i.e. John Lennon’s ‘drift’ issue) and how our language may be contributing to the invisibility of what is going on.


1. Perceived problems in the classification of abnormality


Current world events indicate a rise in fundamentalist judgment as to what constitutes ‘correct behavior’ on the part of others; i.e. other individuals, other groups, and other nations.   This ‘judgmental trend’ is being accompanied by the formation of powerful alliances that enfranchise themselves to control others with so-called ‘rogue’ or ‘deviant thoughts and beliefs’.   There is a problem here in that community behaviors are not the ‘causal result’ of the behaviors of the constituents but, instead, emerge from the relative interactions amongst the behaviors of the constituents.   The flock of geese ‘co-produce’ a community dynamic that is more efficient and delivers more migratory range and agility than could ever be achieved by an ‘individual perfectionist’ team of the most able solo constituents and the geese achieve their synergistic community dynamic not by perfecting the abilities of the individuals but by perfecting the manner in which their dynamics ‘interact’ resonantly with one another.


There would thus appear to be a fallacy in community regulation approaches that focus on constituent behaviors, both with respect to weeding out the ‘abnormal’ or ‘bad’ behaviors and perfecting the ‘normal’ behaviors; i.e. what such perfectionist tactics ultimately lead to is a team of ‘divas’ where each excels in-their-own-right but that says nothing about their ability to co-create a synergistic and resonant community dynamic as Nature manifestly does.   That is, … there is no exclusion and perfection based path to community harmony, … harmony is the path.


The general western cultural underpinnings of ‘imposing the politically correct behaviors of the more powerful (e.g. a ‘majority’ but not necessarily so) on the less powerful (e.g. a ‘minority’ but not necessarily so as the less powerful often consist of fragmented ‘minorities’ that may constitute a numerical majority) show up very clearly in the case of ‘involuntary psychiatric treatment’ where the behavior of the individual ‘in-his-own-right’ is the target of the ‘regulation’ and where single individuals are empowered to judge the normalcy or non-normalcy of behavior and to incarcerate those they feel are ‘abnormal’.


As Richard Gosden says in ‘Shrinking the Freedom of Thought’;


“By enfranchising the medical profession to control people with deviant thoughts and beliefs, modern democratic States avoid being directly implicated in violations of human rights protected under Article 18 [1]. This situation has allowed democratic States to gain a loudly-proclaimed moral ascendancy over non-democratic States that take a less sophisticated approach to deviant thinkers and believers by incarcerating citizens for supposed political crimes and making them 'prisoners of conscience'.


But this moral ascendancy is clearly undeserved. States that are parties to the international human rights covenants, apart from agreeing not to violate the rights themselves, also agree to ensure that all their citizens will be free to exercise those rights. This means that the issue does not simply rest on whether particular governments can be directly linked to human rights violations. Ultimately, what is more important is whether the human rights of individuals are violated and, if they are, whether the State, within whose borders the violations occur, takes the necessary steps to ensure that the violations cease.” ... Journal of Human Rights and Technology, Vol.1, February, 1997)


At the very bottom of Gosden’s complaint is the basic issue of whether the aberrance of the constituent originates ‘inside the constituent’ or whether it is ‘induced by the enveloping environmental dynamic’ or some combination thereof.  For example, can we still hold a person to be ‘fully responsible’ for his individual behavior if he breaks the social norms by becoming violent after his wife and children are abused by those in power; i.e. by ‘we’, those ‘stewards’ of the social norms he has been speaking out against?.   And if ‘we’ do hold him to be fully responsible, … what has become of the ‘we’ who are doing so?


The problems in classification of what is ‘normal behavior’ and what ‘abnormal behavior’ do not stop with involuntary incarcerations.  In a recent book entitled ‘Crazy for You: The Making of Women's Madness', Jill Astbury comments on the 1993 World Health Organization study that shows that women have twice the incidence of ‘affective disorders’ (depression, bipolar disorder etc.) as men, statistics that do not mention the frequent pushiness and abusive use of power by males in a community where ‘normalcy’ is a normalcy wherein male control hierarchies dominate, …but instead imply the ‘inferiority’ or ‘defectiveness’ of women;


 * * *

"For very many years, there was thought to be nothing at all odd about the almost universal situation of male researchers investigating female research subjects and proposing more or less complicated solutions to what the researchers themselves had constructed as the problem of female difference.  Once this difference was embedded in the research [as the normative database], it became an easy matter to prove that it existed and that women departed in a pathological way from the ideal of a male norm:  in other words, women were deviant by definition.  The research stemming from this viewpoint had a systemic blindness.  It could literally not see what it was doing as the normative quality of its own presuppositions had made them invisible."

 * * *


Astbury cites Amy Tan (‘The Joy Luck Club’) in this regard "no matter how much she changed her life, she could not change the world that surrounded her.'   And since the administrators of the assessment of who is normal and who is not are not about to question the ground of normalcy that they are sitting on, … the answer is, to change the ‘abnormal one’ so that she does not disturb the smoothly running normalcy.  By this tactic, the abusive male partner is given a clean bill of psychological health while the abused female partner is not only labeled as a defect, but must take tranquillizers or neuroleptic mood stabilizers so as not to disturb ‘us normal ones’.


Meanwhile, some researchers say that the massive rise in the prescription of tranquillizers and neuroleptic medication is simply ‘turning off’ nature’s alarm systems that are responding to an environmental dynamic that has ‘gone off its rocker’, … tightening up and globalizing male control hierarchies that are putting profits before people in a mad purificationist/perfectionist approach that selects the ‘more performant’ and excludes the ‘less performant’ in terms of one’s ability to contribute to profit-making.  Those suffering from ‘affective disorders’ are typically the most sensitive to this aberrant turn that society seems to be taking and because of their distaste for ‘controlling others’ tend to be ‘bottom feeders’ in the community organizational schemata.


Researchers like Peter Breggin ( )  suggest that neuroleptic drugs, rather than ‘curing anything’ (and certainly they encourage the continuance of environmental dysfunction) simply shut down our natural biochemical alarm systems;


"The neuroleptic drugs have gradually become promoted as agents with a specific "antipsychotic" effect on schizophrenic symptoms. Meanwhile, psychosocial approaches have fallen into disrepute among many psychiatrists. Patients have been instructed to remain on neuroleptics for a lifetime and told that it was safe to do so. " ... "The overall impact is a chemical lobotomy so, since frontal lobe function is suppressed (Breggin, 1983, 1991). The patient becomes de-energized or de-enervated. Will or volition is crushed, and passivity and docility are induced. The patient complains less and becomes more manageable. Despite the claims made for symptom cure, multiple clinical studies document a non-specific emotional flattening or blunting effect (reviewed in Breggin 1983, 1991).


Could the western first world alliance that is policing ‘politically correct behaviors’ on the part of the nation-members of the global community of nations be likened to an enfranchisement of the medical profession as described by Gosden? …”…  to control people with deviant thoughts and beliefs”?  And should the disproportionate drugging of females under the gun of tightening male hierarchical controls be viewed as something akin to putting a copper penny in the fuse box  to contend with an increasing incidence of fuses blowing in response to an intensifying load rather than examining the ‘load’ on the system?  


(2.) Issues of relativity between community and constituent behaviors


The community dynamic of the geese (e.g. flying in ‘V’ formation) yields a 20 percent or more energy savings over the best that can be achieved by flying solo. More than this, the migration range is greatly amplified (allowing the goose/geese more scope in their search for nourishment) as is their agility to move quickly and avoid dangers.   This dynamical coordination thus gives them a ‘survival/evolutionary advantage’ that transcends the capacities of their internal physical systems (explicit genetics and biochemical functioning).   All this comes about because of a ‘complex systems’ feature of nature referred to as ‘resonance’.   That is, dynamical systems are sensitive to the relationship between the speed of assertive penetration of constituents relative to the capacity of the constituency to open up for such assertions.  When these inner-outer dynamics are ‘phase coupled’ a resonant condition is achieved wherein there is energy savings for everyone; i.e. more and faster flow-through for less expenditure of energy.   For example, the bulbous bow on a ship is designed so as to achieve a ‘resonance’ between the bow and stern waves the ship makes in asserting into the enveloping hydrodynamic system and the natural compliance to penetration of the hydrodynamical system.  The result is greater speed for less energy expenditure on the part of the ship and less energy dissipation in turbulence-generated heat in the hydrodynamical container.


This win/win situation has some characteristics that run counter to our culture-conditioned intuition, … characteristics that relate to the principle of relativity [2] and which are not typically accounted for in psychiatry and statistical diagnosis.  That is, the definitions of the nonlinear dynamics that occur in the community-constituent-codynamical relationship are typically in terms of ‘time’ (how the system behaves as a function of time), however, the imposing of the split-apart reference frame of Euclidian space and absolute time is an over-simplification that will not allow one to address the viewpoint of Jill Astbury, mentioned above.   The following example illustrates the problem;


A man and a woman sitting back-to-back on the floor rise to the standing position by leaning against each other's backs.  There is a simultaneous interdependence here between the dynamic of the individual and the 'community dynamic'. 


If the system 'over-balances' and the couple fail to make it to standing position, we cannot say 'who is to blame'  (i.e. we cannot say whose behavior was 'normal' and whose was 'abnormal') and collect statistics for normalcy based on individual behavior, since the ‘behavior’ we are looking at is a ‘balancing behavior’ and to try to capture an individual’s prowess at balancing would be akin to trying to record the sound of one hand clapping. 


In a multi-constituent community in nature, nonlinear dynamics with simultaneous interdependency is the general case and this is easily visualizable in the formation flying of geese.  That is, the geese push off each other (their community dynamic is their reference frame) through the co-conditioned intermediation of the enveloping environmental (airflow) dynamic they are co-creatively shaping.  This 'community dynamic' is all about 'simultaneous interdependent dynamical balance' (resonance) and cannot be broken apart and understood in terms of the individual constituent dynamics.


As Russell Ackoff, recognized as one of the most perceptive systems thinkers of our times says; "A mess (problematique), like any system, has properties that none of its parts have.  These properties are lost when the system is taken apart.  In addition, each part of a system has properties that are lost when it is considered separately.  The solution to a mess depends on how the solutions to the parts interact."


In particular, and as has been pointed out in the nonlinear dynamics research of Gerhard Groessing (Austrian Institute for Nonlinear Studies), Henri Poincaré and others, ... systems like that of the geese, that depend upon simultaneous dynamical balance amongst multiple constituents cannot be modeled by time-based descriptions of the dynamics of the constituents.   That is, in the nonlinear dynamics of the geese, one cannot separate space and time since the situation is 'relative'; i.e. the dynamic of the individual goose is relative to (and in interdependent dynamical balance with) the enveloping community dynamic, ... and we have to model the situation instead, in terms of space-time phase relationships (wave mechanics).


Jill Astbury's point comes in here.   What Jill said in 'Crazy for You: The Making of Women's Madness', to reiterate again for convenience, was;


 * * *

"For very many years, there was thought to be nothing at all odd about the almost universal situation of male researchers investigating female research subjects and proposing more or less complicated solutions to what the researchers themselves had constructed as the problem of female difference.  Once this difference was embedded in the research [as the normative database], it became an easy matter to prove that it existed and that women departed in a pathological way from the ideal of a male norm:  in other words, women were deviant by definition.  The research stemming from this viewpoint had a systemic blindness.  It could literally not see what it was doing as the normative quality of its own presuppositions had made them invisible."

 * * *


In the example of the nonlinear community dynamics of the geese, that depend upon multi-constituent balancing or 'harmony' (the same situation as prevails on the freeway when friendly drivers simultaneously 'balance out' their opportunity-to-move space requirements by the way they move 'relative' to one another), we cannot logically say that the individual 'breaks down' without saying that 'the system breaks down' since the nonlinear dynamic is simultaneously interdependent with the dynamics of its constituents.  In other words, we cannot logically say that an individual behavior is 'abnormal' while we continue to describe the system behavior (i.e. the behavior of the majority) as 'normal' since by saying so, we have contradicted ourselves by taking the dynamics of the system apart and are now implying that it is possible to describe the system behavior in terms of the (time-based) 'causal’ behaviors of its constituents, ... something that we know that we cannot do in this type of nonlinear dynamical system, ... a dynamical system that represents the general case in nature as given by the principle of 'relativity'.


The practical implications are clear in the case that Jill writes about where men are pushy or abusive and create dynamical imbalance wherein the women break or capitulate and take tranquilizers.   As far as the community dynamic goes, ... there are two simultaneous aspects to this dynamical imbalance and it is not logical to attribute the 'problem' to an individual's behavior (or to the behavior of any subgroup) while continuing to refer to the reciprocal behavior of the majority as 'normal' just because some of those participating in the unbalancing do not come in for treatment.    For example, would we say, in the case of the two people rising up back-to-back, where the dynamic failed as the woman was over-balanced by the man, ... that the 'woman was at fault' and that the man's behavior was 'normal' when what was being sought was 'interdependent balance'?   In nonlinear dynamical systems in nature there are simultaneous interdependencies and thus expressing the behaviors of the constituents as a function of time (i.e. in 'sequentially adaptive' or ‘causal’ terms) is an inadequate framing of the phenomenon.


For example, if a group of people collaborate to disopportunize selected others (discrimination), after a time, those discriminated against may assert themselves against this discrimination.   But while assertive behavior is visualized as a function of time, … the non-assertive, inductive disopportunizing behavior cannot be characterized  as a function of time, only as a function of space-time phase coupling, as when doors keep slamming in your face while the cronies of the gatekeepers have no trouble passing through.  Thus, while the assertive reaction to this discrimination is fully visible, … the inductive phase-coupled closing down of opportunity is invisible because it is purely ‘relative’ and therefore impossible to fully regulate with a justice system based on the ‘correct and incorrect behavior of the individual’.


These issues of ‘relativity’ between community and constituent behaviors thread their way deep into the space-time fabric of science and society, and it may be useful to give an indication of how deep, to shed some historical light on why we are still not using the principle of relativity in modern system inquiry within psychiatry and management.


Nearly four hundred years ago, Johannes Kepler in his 1619 master work ‘Harmonies of the World’ pointed out that the dynamics of the community of sun and planets ‘included’ the dynamics of the Earth and therefore included the Earth based observer, establishing the principle that the ‘objective world dynamic’ that the included observer looked out at, was innately ‘incomplete’, distorted by the fact that he was not accounting for his own dynamical interdependence with what he was looking out at.  The orbit of Mars, as seen from the Earth was thus ‘pretzel shaped’ as this sketch of Mars orbit plotted by Kepler for the years 1580-1597 and published in his 1609 work ‘Astronomia Nova’ shows;


The pretzel-shaped ‘warping’ of what the Earth-observer (geo-centric observer) sees as the orbit of Mars [the Earth is the small circle in the middle] points to the basic 'framing problem' emerging from the relativity between the Earth’s dynamic and the enveloping ‘planetary community dynamic’.   That is, the planets do not actually follow the descriptive ‘time-based’ orbits laid out in Euclidian space --- these described orbits are simply the device of astronomers and physicists who want to portray the world in purely ‘objective’ terms (i.e. as if the observer were uninvolved in the dynamics ‘going on out there’, a viewpoint innately non-realizable by the included ‘human’ that has come to be referred to as ‘the divine viewpoint’.).


In Kepler’s words [3] it made sense that ‘light’ should provide the information necessary for conveying the constituent-observer’s holographic inclusion in the enveloping community dynamic.


Therefore there will be [light-based] sense-perception in the total world, namely in order that the movements of all the planets may be presented to sense-perceptions at the same time.  For that former route --- from observations through the longest detours of geometry and arithmetic, through the ratios of spheres and the other things which must be learned first, down to the journeys which have been exhibited --- is too long for any natural instinct, for the sake of moving which it seems reasonable that the harmonies have been introduced.


Newton, of course, discarded the ‘harmony’ or community-constituent-codynamical resonance aspects (relativistic aspects) of the solar system dynamic in his ‘cannibalization’ or ‘objective reduction’ of Kepler’s work.  That is, Kepler had pointed out a fundamental flaw in our self-centered subjectivity; i.e. that one had to let go of  one’s ‘ego-centric’ view (i.e. geo-centric view in the case where the earth observer is observing the enveloping community-of-sun-and-planets dynamic) in order to get to the informationally ‘deeper’ view that includes the relativistic relationship between the dynamical behavior of the constituent relative to the enveloping community dynamic.  That is, the planet-constituents in the community-of-sun-and-planets didn’t really ‘navigate’ amongst themselves according the Euclidian space and absolute time-framed depictions of the astronomers since, as Kepler said; “for that is something for ratiocination and astronomy, not for instinct” but were instead naturally equipped to respond relative to the enveloping dynamic they were themselves co-producing.


As the goose knows and as the skilled pool player and friendly freeway driver know, …in order to cultivate and sustain harmonious flow, … the constituent must continually reference to the enveloping community dynamic he is helping to co-produce rather than to any artificially-imposed rigid space and time framing.


That this point on the limits of observer-centered (rigid-frame referenced) subjectivity, that was missed by Newton, was recognized by Henri Poincaré and incorporated in his 1890’s rendering of ‘relativity’, however as has recently been pointed out by Enrico Giannetto [2], Einstein subsequently ‘objectified’ relativity in such a way as to remove the key implication that the human observer (as contrasted with the ‘divine observer’) must ‘let go’ of his self-centric viewpoint in order to visualize the community-constituent codynamic in a manner where he himself is included in it.


Because of this ‘objectification’ that formulates relativity in terms of the ‘divine view’, we have continued to avoid acknowledging the simultaneous interdependency of community-constituent codynamics embodied in the principle of ‘relativity’ that was at the bottom of the ‘shock’ to the anthropocentric ego provoked by the arrival of the Copernican ‘heliocentric’ model.  That is, at the bottom of it, the ‘shock’ applies to the personal ego of all human observers because it says that our subjectivity (our self-centric viewpoint), rather than delivering ‘the truth’, is ‘warped’ by our interdependent inclusion within the enveloping community dynamic.   This further informs us why we cannot justify distinguishing between the ‘abnormal’ and ‘normal’ behaviors of the constituents of a community.   Our continuing ‘denial’ that we, as individuals or as business organizations or as nations, are included in a dynamic that is bigger than, and enveloping and including us is getting us into deeper and hotter water.  For example, to put women on tranquilizers so that they won’t become hysterical or ‘break down’ from the oppressive treatment of abusive partners represents a contra-natural disabling of a natural regulating (dynamical balancing) influence and gives the unbalanced abusive behaviors carte blanche for further destabilization of the community dynamic.


(3.) The role of language games.  


Psychiatry is a particularly rich domain for gathering insights on ‘language games’, one version of which seems to ‘cover-up’ community-constituent codynamical interdependencies.  For example, we are able to reflect on fifty years of argument as to the labeling of people on the basis of 'diagnostic statistics' as found in the 'Diagnostic Statistics Manual' (DSM) that lists over 400 'abnormal behaviors'.   Here, our language game is implicitly 'detaching' constituent behaviors from the enveloping and including 'community behavior' that emerges interdependently rather than ‘dependently’ or ‘causally’ from the behaviors of the constituents.  That is, the inductive influence of the geometry of possibility that the community is opening up for the constituent, expressible in terms of space-time phase relationships is an informationally deeper way of perceiving the community-constituent-codynamic that the time-based ‘language game’ covers up.


So how can we fail to talk about what is going on with the 'normality' of a community wherein the incidence of 'abnormal behavior' has risen from 1:1000 to a current incidence of 5:1000?  Are we not being 'tricked' by some ‘language game’ since few would argue against the notion that the behavior of a human community emerges from the interactions of the behaviors of its constituents and thus is inherently more complex than can be described in the sole terms of the behaviors of its constituents as if occurring in empty Euclidian space, … and hence, …. that it makes no sense to speak of 'rising incidence of abnormal behaviors within the community'?   It appears as if one would have to speak instead, in terms of the 'rising behavioral abnormality of the community', ... and, of course, that wouldn't work either because in order to say that the community behavior is abnormal, we would have to look at the behaviors of many communities that would also have interdependencies and that would lead us to speak of 'the rising incidence of abnormal behaviors within the community-of-communities' which suffers from the same problem and so on and so forth, to the conclusion that the notion of 'behavioral abnormality' of a constituent within a dynamically interdependent ensemble intrinsically makes no sense.


In the end, the behavior of the community is 'just what it is' and different constituent behaviors co-contributing to the ensemble behavior just 'look and feel different' because of the way they are being 'whipped about' by the enveloping ensemble dynamic they are included in, ... in the manner that one bubble within a vibrating froth might vibrate differently due to small differences in its interior makeup.  We can attach whatever bizarre labels we want to the different looking behaviors of the constituents of community but what we are looking at when we look at a ‘constituent behavior’ in our interdependent community-constituent systems includes the superimposed ‘reflections’ of the enveloping community dynamic, including our own dynamic.   This ‘projective identification’ has been recognized in the psychology rich folktales of oppressed peoples, as in the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tarbaby [4].  It has also been recognized in the information theory of Dennis Gabor (Nobel Prize for holography) and is the underpinning of holography.   The ‘tarbaby’ story relates what happens when we take our self-centric subjective viewpoint  to be ‘the truth’ at the aware level, as if we were a divinely detached viewer, while at the subaware level, our neural responses are naturally trained to recognize the subject-object dynamical interdependency, … this ‘splitting’ giving rise to internal psychological conflict as to who is doing what to whom.  


The basic problem here is that the ‘time-based’ view; i.e. the ‘rational’ view of the divinely-detached observer, is incapable of the ‘inclusionary’ (included in the enveloping dynamic) view.   If we observe the constituent-community interdependency of a complex system over a long period of time, we start to get a feel for the ‘bigger picture’ we have been missing.  This is generally how the novice pool player progresses to a skilled pool player; i.e. he begins by thinking solely in terms of time-based transaction, as if the evolution of the play were being solely determined by the actions and transactions of the balls seen as ‘independent’ material causal agents.   But he soon begins to realize that while the pool-table-side ‘language game’ conversation is all about ‘time-based transactions’, … something else is going on, … something bigger and over-riding, … and then he sees that the continuing transformation of the geometry of the configuration is what is pre-determining the ‘possibilities’ for transactions; i.e. the opportunity-to-move, and that the actual assertive movement of the balls is just a ‘smaller way’ (informationally) of looking at the development of the play.


But there really are no ‘words’ to describe the simultaneous harmony or dissonance that characterizes the constituents assertively inter-penetrating their own co-produced dynamical geometry of opportunity in the continuing community-constituent-codynamic, but how this is managed is clearly the over-riding determinant of the game.  As on a crowded freeway, there is a relationship between the manner that the constituent asserts and the manner the constituency opens up to the assertions and when this is nicely phase-coupled the ‘traffic-flow’ becomes resonant and smooth-flowing.   Thus the skilled pool player learns to put his information-reduced ‘transactional viewpoint’ in the service of his full-information ‘possibility-transformation viewpoint’.  This can be likened to having his community of balls work together to open up opportunity space for the assertive actions of its constituents.


So how do we speak of what we have no words for?   Are we left in the position indicated by Wittgenstein in the last two proposition in his ‘Tractatus-Logico-Philosophicus’, i.e;


"My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them --- as steps -- to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.) He must transcend these propositions and then he will see the world aright. ... What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence."


Or, how do we go about developing one of these ‘Wittgenstein ladders’ that lets us look at the ‘timeless’ (space-time phase relationship) view of things and not be constrained by the time-based word constructs?


There are clues in Wittgenstein’s later comments on his own attempts at developing ‘ladders’, i.e.; “"my writing is like poor musical composition".


As Michael Nedo says in ‘Wittgenstein, Wiener Ausgabe’ (a publication produced by Nedo in response to Wittgenstein’s wish that his unpublished works might be released, after his death, with accompanying discussion of ‘where he was going with it’), Wittgenstein tried to give his written philosophical work a 'visuelle gestalt' (visual, outer-inner dynamical form) but realized "the unresolvable conflict between the organic form of his philosophical writing, with its numerous connections within texts, and the rigidity of the book form.".


Just as the subjectivity implications of the principle of relativity keeps getting stomped on by mainstream science, many intellectuals reviewing the relativistic ideas of Wittgenstein, because they ‘don’t get it’, end up by criticizing it as  Michael Nedo explains by juxtaposing a few contrasting critiques of Wittgenstein's 'Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics' (post-humously published in 1956);


e.g. by Virginia Klenk;


"But perhaps the most serious problem is the lack of structure, and the failure to work out in detail what looks like a very promising approach to a coherent, comprehensive account of mathematics.  There are valuable insights into the nature of mathematics, but little attempt to cash in on them, and the result is what sometimes appears to be a rather inchoate mass of disconnected commentary."


and, by Frank Ramsey, 'a mathematician of comprehensive learning who has had a lasting influence on modern mathematics.';


"From his work more than that of any other man I hope for a solution of the difficulties that perplex me both in philosophy generally and in the foundation of Mathematics in particular."


What Wittgenstein was trying to do was to present a ‘synoptic’ view of the relativity of content and context in language dependent philosophy; i.e. he claimed that his philosophical works were "struggles against the limits of language" (Ankaempfen gegen die Grenzen der Sprache') and he spoke to the problem of capturing the synoptic view of the relativistic relationship as follows;


"There is a truth in Schopenhauer's view that philosophy is an organism, and that a book on philosophy, with a beginning and an end, is a sort of contradiction [Elsewhere Wittgenstein quotes Heraclitus "everything is in flux" on this same problem of being forced to capture a complex continuing dynamic by 'parts'].  One difficulty with philosophy is that we lack a synoptic view.  We encounter the kind of difficulty we should have with the geography of a country for which we had no map, or else a map of isolated bits.  The country we are talking about is language, and the geography its grammar.  We can walk about the country quite well, but when forced to make a map, we go wrong.  A map will show different roads through the same country, any one of which we can take, though not two, just as in philosophy we must take up problems one by one though in fact each problem leads to a multitude of others.  We must wait until we come round to the starting point before we can proceed to another section, that is, before we can either treat of the problem we first attacked or proceed to another.  In philosophy matters are not simple enough for us to say 'Let's get a rough idea', for we do not know the country except by knowing the connections between the roads [interdependencies between the assertions].  So I suggest repetition as a means of surveying the connections."


By ‘repetition’, Wittgenstein was not intending simple repetition but repetition in the manner of a leitmotif in a Beethoven symphony; i.e. bringing back many views that were dependent on time-based representations into connection in the mind.


Wittgenstein’s preferred philosopher was Heraclitus and the problem that plagued Wittgenstein, of capturing the synoptic view from the vantage point of being ‘included’ in an enveloping ‘flow’ had also had to be confronted by Heraclitus.


Charles Kahn, in 'The Art and Thought of Heraclitus', describes how Heraclitus builds a networked 'whole-and-part' unity (dynamical gestalt or volumetric flow-form) through the use of intentional ambiguity, or 'multivocity'.  Kahn’s comments further indicate the elusiveness of the community-constituent-codynamical interdependency viewpoint and discusses how one must use simultaneous relativity between content and context in order to ‘image’ it, … a subtle undertaking that gives insight as to why ‘relativity’ has resisted assimilation by the mainstream for so long;


"The other principle, of linguistic density within a given text, is essentially the phenomenon of meaningful ambiguity: the use of lexical and syntactic indeterminacy as a device for saying several things at once.  It will often be convenient to speak of *deliberate* or *intentional* ambiguity. ... these expressions simply reflect the fact that we can construe an ambiguity in the text as meaningful only if *we* perceive it as sign of the author's intention to communicate to us some complex thought. . . . This principle [deliberate ambiguity], which has been taken for granted in literary criticism for some time, has unfortunately been neglected in the more austere proceedings of classical scholarship.  As a result, a good deal or scholarly effort has been devoted to eliminating multiplicity of meaning and thus impoverishing the semantic content of the text, by defending a single construal to the exclusion of others.  In the case of Heraclitus as in that of Aeschylus, the interpreter's task is to preserve the original richness of significance by admitting a plurality of alternative senses --- some obvious, others recondite, some superficial, others profound.  Such discourse presupposes an art of reading which classical scholars seem to have lost, thought they are beginning to rediscover it in recent studies of Aeschylus."


Kahn's explanation of Heraclitus manner of achieving the ‘synoptic view’ or content-context relativity is given as follows;


"The intimate connection between the linguistic form and the intellectual content of his discourse will be the primary object of my commentary.   In order to elucidate this relationship between literary structure and philosophic thought I make us of three assumptions, two of which are fundamental for my interpretation, while the third is perhaps only a device of expository convenience.  The fundamental principles are what I call the *linguistic density* of the individual fragments and the *resonance* between them.  . . . By *linguistic density* I mean the phenomenon by which a multiplicity of ideas are expressed in a single word or phrase.  By *resonance* I mean a relationship between fragments by which a single verbal theme or image is echoed from one text to another in such a way that the meaning of each is enriched when they are understood together.   These two principles are formally complementary: resonance is one factor making for the density of any particular text; and conversely, it is because of the density of the text that resonance is possible and meaningful.  This complementarity can be more precisely expressed in terms of a 'sign' and 'signified', if by *sign* we mean the individual occurrence of a word or phrase in a particular text, and by *signified* we mean an idea, image, or verbal theme that may appear in different texts.  Then density is a one-many relation between sign and signified; while resonance is a many-one relation between different texts and a single image or theme."


So, ‘language games’ come in at least two forms, … a simplified form as in the use of the terms ‘abnormal’ and ‘normal’ that hide the underlying complexity in the relativistic relationship between the community dynamic and the constituent dynamics, … and in the above-described approaches of Wittgenstein and Heraclitus that seek to go beyond the limits of time-based language to get at the ‘timeless’ synoptic view of resonantly interdependent community-constituent codynamics.   That is, the ‘inclusional’ view ‘from the inside’ of how the geometry of possibility is continuously transforming as the relative motion of the constituents, … a continuously unfolding (opening-up) geometry of possibility that inductively shapes the patterns of assertive actions of the constituents as they continuously penetrate into it.


In the power hierarchies of reductionist scientific disciplines, there is not much patience with those would employ ‘intentional ambiguity’ as a means of communicating scientific concepts; i.e. one can multiply by several times, Kahn’s statement as it applies in the domain of mainstream science; .  “As a result, a good deal or scholarly effort has been devoted to eliminating multiplicity of meaning and thus impoverishing the semantic content of the text, by defending a single construal to the exclusion of others.”


Thus, we continue to use the most concise time-based language (i.e. the divinely detached viewpoint) for scientific issues that, in order to be fully comprehended, are demanding the ‘timeless’ view (space-time phase relationship or wave-mechanical view).   Our failure to ‘let go’ of the primacy of time-based views (the mainstay of phonetics-based, as contrasted with ideographic signing languages) recalls Wittgenstein’s comment “Die Philosophie ist ein Kampf gegen die Verhexung unsres Verstandnes durch die Mittel unserer Sprache" (“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our minds by the medium of language").


Social Implications of the Relativity of Community-Constituent Behaviors:


As described above, there is a relativity in community-constituent dynamical relations that is invisible to the time-based (transactional) descriptions afforded by the direct use of language.   As a result, we become mesmerized with our own ‘language games’ that whitewash over the deeper complexities of community-constituent codynamical relationships, as when we speak of ‘abnormal’ and ‘normal’ constituent behaviors as if the constituent behaviors were ‘in-their-own-right’ rather than possessing innate community-constituent dynamical interdependencies.


In closing this essay with a sketch of social implications of relativity, I would like to return to some of the personal explorations on ‘social equilibrium’ which have motivated them, and in particular, to the emigration of my grandfather, Matteo Fiorito, from a small town in the south of Italy to Canada in 1890. The impression that I gathered through the ‘old-timers’ is that he left to escape the suffocation of social control hierarchies (as my father later did when he left London at age 18 to come to Canada).  Those who left Italy in the late nineteenth century Italian diaspora were filled with the egalitarian ideas of Garibaldi (who had freed Italians from the controls of absentee landlords but not from the residue of established local social hierarchies) and were seeking a new type of community-constituent relationship, more in the geometry of the geese.  Because of their closeness to the land (nature) and their distaste for social hierarchy and the neo-Darwinian ‘perfectionism’ and ‘purificationism’ through subservient competition associated with it, they were often labeled ‘anarchists’, an ‘abnormal behavior’ descriptor that soon became ‘tainted’ and lost any resemblance to the resonant systems of egalitarian community-constituent management as embodied in the example of the geese and also in the native traditions of governance in America, in Celtic myth and elsewhere.


Meanwhile, the same ‘split’ in viewing the family history emerged within the family; i.e. the ‘split’ that has been implicitly discussed in this essay of, on the one hand, embracing the ‘inclusional’ view that sees the inductive-assertive resonances, … and on the other hand, embracing the ‘divinely detached’ view that sees things solely in terms of the assertive behaviors of the individuals.   That is, one of the ‘younger generation’ in the family (who was born after Matteo and his wife Angela had both died) authored a book that included a historical portrait of the family starting from Matteo’s emigration from Italy, and while the book drew compliments on the literary art front, … it painted a ‘glass-half-empty’ portrait of a running away from Italy, … rather than a ‘glass-half-full’ portrait of the inductive pull of dreams of a better form of social self-management.   Encouraged by the outrage from the three still living offspring of Matteo and Angela (including my mother, born Carmel Fiorito), then in their early nineties, late eighties, I wrote a review of the book that tried to bring out the ‘invisible resonance’ aspects of the historical family experience, … how such resonances were realized in the newly populated (with a rich ethnic diversity) rural and sub-urban areas (as where Matteo settled after a brief stay in Montréal) but which were viciously resisted in many urban areas where the ethic of hierarchal control was already entrenched and staunchly defended.   The excerpt that follows is from a published commentary that speaks to how the portrait of the Fiorito family in ‘The Closer We Are to Dying’ radically ‘missed the mark’.  The book was written by my cousin Joe Fiorito during his vigil as his father ‘Dusty’ (Lawrence Fiorito) was dying of cancer.  To me, this ‘difference in viewpoint’ touches upon most of the issues discussed above;


* * *

The enjoyable and often inspiring collection of mini-stories in 'The Closer We Are to Dying', ... the legacy of Dusty, the Fiorito family and Joe Fiorito, ...  so well preserved and presented in this book, are indeed infused with the essence of the 'Fiorito clan', ... a committment to tolerance, justice and man's understanding of man, ... as characterized many Italians in the late nineteenth century Italian diaspora.  Some, like Sacco and Vanzetti, died for their egalitarian committment and others, like Giovannitti who came from the same small town in Molise as Matteo Fiorito, ... Ripabottoni, ... narrowly escaped being put to death for their views.   After suppressing any statement for seventy years, ... at last, since 1997, Boston now displays a 7-foot bas-relief sculpture showing Sacco and Vanzetti facing a tilted scales of justice, and quoting from Vanzetti's final statement prior to his execution;


"If it had not been for this thing I might have lived out my life among scorning men. I might have died unmarked, unknown, a failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life could we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man's understanding of man, as now we do by accident. Our words  -  our lives  -  our pains  -  nothing ! The taking of our lives  -  the lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish peddler  -  all !"


The spirit of tolerance, justice and understanding, which was and is so strongly infused in the Fioritos, ... while implicit in many of the 'mini-stories' and in Dusty's unfailing support for the underdog, seems noticeably absent from the overall family storyline in this book.  The literary device of a murder-driven 'flight from Italy' may serve to prop open the doors of the reader's credibility and provide the 'glue' for aggregating this collection of well told family stories into a seemingly coherent whole, ... but it is no more than a literary device.


The six Fiorito boys, and their seven sisters (who get scarce mention in the book), ... were neighbours to Scottish, English, Irish, Polish, Greek and Chinese immigrants in their Francis Street home in Fort William, as well as to the much respected Chief Penassie of the Ojibway, a few hundred yards away across the Kaministiquia river, ... and while there was much curiousity and some suspicion with respect to each others beliefs and customs in this era, when knowledge of other ethnic groups came primarily from direct human contact rather than the media, ... inter-ethnic relations not only went well but served to evolve and cultivate a clear appreciation of diversity, ... an appreciation which was shared by my father who left London at 18, like the Fioritos, in pursuit of opportunity which was not constrained by one's 'class' and education.

 * * *


What could be ‘closer to the bone’ to induce insights on ‘relativity’ than ‘community-constituent-codynamics’ at the level of family?   The promise of the resonance of the geese was surely there in the immigrant community dynamic that Matteo helped to co-produce, … given not by anyone in particular but by the good will of the diverse community of incoming immigrants who were rejoicing in their liberation from the suffocating yoke of social control hierarchies.   They were ‘anarchists’ all in the simple and natural sense of the word, … the Irish, the Polish, the Scots, English, Italian, French and Chinese immigrants, … and most ‘anarchist’ of all, the Ojibway across the Kaministiquia river on the Chippewa reserve.


But they and we were, and continue to be, ‘verhext’ by the language game, and the notions of perfection and purification by competition still permeate our worlds.  Competition has remained the ethic in the educational system and in the corporate and formal governance structures, … a perfectionist and purificationist ethic that believes in the amplification of  ‘the more performant’ and the exclusion of ‘the less performant’ as the pathway to flying farther and faster.   But every businessman knows that systems based on the perfection of individual constituent behaviours cannot do ‘farther, faster, cheaper’ all at the same time, as the geese do it.  So here we are in the advanced stages of developing super-flocks that can go farther and faster at the terrible price of ‘exclusion’ and a hierarchical spreading apart in our communities.  No matter that the middle classes are disappearing, … the linear extremities of the control hierarchy that Matteo’s dreams led him away from are alive and well, … and the scale of the separation has expanded from ‘local’ and ‘national’ to ‘global’ (Could this have anything to do with rise in the rate of psychopathology from 1:1000 to 5:1000 or should we buy into E. Torrey Fuller’s hypothesis that it has nothing to do with the environment but is emanating from a yet-to-be-found ‘viral cause’?)


Within Matteo’s family, we are split, … some see things in the sole stark terms of assertive behaviours, … a causal progression leading on to the carefully controlled purification of what we’ve got, … and others see things as Matteo did, … in terms of the great anarchic sky-winch of the possible, … we as a collective inductively pulling ourselves forward into sustained co-creative renaissance.


It is not for any one of us or for any group of us to assertively determine ‘what happens’.  As relativity suggests, what ‘we’ as a community ‘open up for’ is the determinant of what kind of evolutionary future ‘comes in’.  But of course, this is all part of a ‘forked tongue’ language game, as the Native American has complained, and we had better start ‘speaking from the heart’ rather than ‘from the head’ if we really want resonance and community-constituent harmony to be ‘our path’.


ted m (matteo) lumley


 * * *


[Acknowledgement:  Much of the content of this essay has accrued by bringing into connection, through continuing ‘sharing circle dialogue’, the collective experience and insights of a transdisciplinary team of associates, rallying around the philosophy of ‘inclusionality’ (relativity).  My sharing circle associates include Alan Rayner (Univ. of Bath, U.K.), Lere Shakunle (Matran School of Transfigural Mathematics, Berlin), Doug Caldwell (University of Saskatchewan), the late Martine Dodds-Taljaard (Stellenbosch University SA), Dirk, Sid, Maryse, Jacques, Rod, Ketaki, Seb, Jan, Paul, Mike and many others.]


[1]  Summary of Article 18 from Richard Gosden’s ‘Shrinking the Freedom of Thought’


 Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) reads,


1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.


2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.


3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. [34]


The Article 18 rights most relevant to involuntary mental patients alleged to have schizophrenia are the freedoms of thought, conscience and belief; the freedom to manifest belief; and the protection against coercion which would impair freedom of belief. The only limitations allowed to be placed on these rights are in respect to the manifestation of beliefs. Thoughts and beliefs are particularly relevant to the mental disease of schizophrenia because it is pathological varieties of these mental forms that are the main symptoms.


Article 2 of the ICCPR specifies that the Covenant protects the rights of all individuals "without distinction of any kind."[35] This means there is no scope for making exceptions for mentally ill people. This point is further confirmed in the Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for the Improvement of Mental Health Care: "Every person with a mental illness shall have the right to exercise all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in other relevant instruments.


[2] from Enrico Giannetto's  'The Rise of Relativity';


Giannetto cites from the work of Henri Poincaré on relativity that preceded the work on relativity by Einstein.  While Einstein reduced the principle of relativity to the purely ‘objective’ aspects, … the original principle as formulated by Poincaré contained important ideas on the ‘subjective’ aspects of observer vantage point that are important to our view of community and constituent dynamical relationships;


LE PRINCIPE DU MOUVEMENT RELATIF. - ...Le mouvement d'un système quelconque doit obéir aux mêmes lois, qu'on le rapporte à des axes fixes, ou à des axes mobiles entraînés dans un mouvement rectlingne et uniforme...les accélérations des différent corps qui font partie d'un systeme isolé ne dépendent que de leurs vitesses et de leurs positions relatives, et non de leurs vitesses et de leurs positions absolues, pourvu que les axes mobiles auxquels le mouvement relatif est rapporté soient entraînés dans un mouvement rectiligne et uniforme. Ou, si l'on aime mieux, leurs accélérations ne dépendent que des différences de leurs vitesses et des différences de leurs coordonnées, et non des valeurs absolues de ces vitesses et de ces coordonnées.


Si ce principle est vrai pour les accélérations relatives, ou mieux pour les différences d'accélération, en le combinant avec la loi de la réaction, on en déduira qu'il est vrai encore pour les accélérations absolues...pou parler le langage mathématique, que ces différences de coordonnées satisfont à des équations différentielles du second ordre...Ainsi énoncé, en effet, le principe du mouvement relatif ressemble singulièrement à ce que j'appelais plus haut le principe de l'inertie généralisé; ce n'est pas tout à fait la même chose, puisqu'il s'agit des différences de coordonnées et non des coordonnées elles-mêmes.20


This is the first time that relativity of motion assumed the status of a principle for inertial reference frames, situated at the foundation level of classical mechanics and related to the actual relativity of space and time. Poincaré showed the fundamental link between the inertia principle and the relativity principle, considering them as derived from experience and generalized in a way which is never completely verified and which implies an element of 'linguistic' convention. Notwithstanding the accepted conventionality of language, Poincaré, as I shall show in the following, reintroduced a Leibnizian point of view on motion: motion is considered to be 'real', not reducible to space and time relations, but also completely relative. Indeed, after the formulation of the principle of relativity for inertial reference frames, Poincaré considered the argument of Newton about the absoluteness of rotation and, against Newton, concluded for the relative nature of all motions, including rotations and accelerated ones:


[3] From Kepler’s 1619 ‘Harmonies of the World’;


“ For if the ratios of the journeys are harmonic, all the other effects which the planets have will be necessitated and bound up with the journeys, so that there is no room elsewhere for establishing harmonies.  But whose good will it be to have harmonies between the journeys, or who will perceive the harmonies?  For there are two things which disclose to us harmonies in natural things: either light or sound: light apprehended through the eyes or hidden senses proportioned to the eyes, and sound through the ears.  The mind seizes upon these forms and, whether by instinct (on which Book IV speaks profusely) or by astronomical or harmonic ratiocination, discerns the concordant from the discordant.  Now there are no sounds in the heavens, nor is the movement so turbulent that any noise is made by the rubbing against the ether.  Light remains.  If light has to teach these things about the planetary journeys, it will teach either the eyes or a sensorium analogous to the eyes and situated in definite place; and it seems that sense-perception must be present there in order that light of itself may immediately teach.  Therefore there will be sense-perception in the total world, namely in order that the movements of all the planets may be presented to sense-perceptions at the same time.  For that former route --- from observations through the longest detours of geometry and arithmetic, through the ratios of spheres and the other things which must be learned first, down to the journeys which have been exhibited --- is too long for any natural instinct, for the sake of moving which it seems reasonable that the harmonies have been introduced


Therefore with everything reduced to one view, I concluded rightly [287] that the true journeys of the planets through the ether should be dismissed, and that we should turn our eyes to the apparent diurnal arcs, according as they are all apparent, from one definite and marked place in the world --- namely, from the solar body itself, the source of movement of all the planets: and we must see, not how far away from the sun any one of the planets is, nor how much space it traverses in one day (for that is something for ratiocination and astronomy, not for instinct), but how great an angle the diurnal movement of each planet subtends in the solar body, or how great an arc it seems to traverse in one common circle described around the sun, such as the ecliptic, in order that these appearances, which were conveyed to the solar body by virtue of light, may be able to flow, together with the light, in a straight line into creatures, which are partakers of this instinct, as in Book IV we said the figure of the heavens flowed into the foetus by virtue of the rays.”



[4] Tar-Baby Story, source of story and appended notes by R. M. Young


"DIDN'T the fox never catch the rabbit, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy the next evening.

"He come mighty nigh it, honey, sho's you born— Brer Fox did. One day atter Brer Rabbit fool 'im wid dat calamus root, Brer Fox went ter wuk en got 'im some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun wat he call a Tar-Baby, en he tuck dish yer Tar-Baby en he sot 'er in de big road, en den he lay off in de bushes fer to see what de news wuz gwineter be. En he didn't hatter wait long, nudder, kaze bimeby here come Brer Rabbit pacin' down de road—lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity— dez ez sassy ez a jay-bird. Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit come prancin’ ’long twel he spy de Tar-Baby, en den he fotch up on his behime legs like he wus 'stonished. De Tar-Baby, she sot dar, she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"’Mawnin'!' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee—'nice wedder dis mawnin',' sezee. "

Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nothin', en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"'How duz yo' sym'tums seem ter segashuate?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. "

Brer Fox, he wink his eye slow, en lay low, en de Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nothin'.

"‘How you come on, den? Is you deaf? sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. ‘Kaze if you is, I kin holler louder,’ sezee.

"Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"’Youer stuck up, dat's w'at you is, Says Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en I'm gwineter kyore you, dat's what I’m a gwinter do,’ sezee

"Brer Fox, he sorter chuckle in his stummick. he did, but Tar-Baby ain't sayin nothin’.

I’m gwinter larn you how to talk ter ‘spectubblke fokes ef hit’s de las’ ack’, sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. ‘Ef you don’t take off dat hat en tell me howdy. I’m gwinter bus’ you wide open,’ sezee.

"Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"Brer Rabbit keep on axin’ ‘im, en de Tar-Baby, she keep on sayin’ nothin’, twel present’y Brer Rabbit draw back wid his fis’, he did, en blip he tuck’er side er de head. Right dar’s whar he broks his merlasses jug. His fis’ stuck, en he can’t pull loose. De Tar-Baby hilt ‘im. But Tar-Baby, she stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"'Ef you don't lemme loose, Ill knock you agin, sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, en wid dat he fotch 'er a wipe wid de udder han', en dat stuck. Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nothin', en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"‘Tu'n me loose, fo' I kick de natal stuffin' outen you,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, but de Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nothin'. She des hilt on, en den Brer Rab bit lose de use er his feet in de same way. Brer Fox, he lay low. Den Brer Rabbit squall out dat ef de Tar-Baby don't tu'n 'im loose he butt 'er cranksided. En den he butted, en his head got stuck. Den Brer Fox, he sa'ntered fort', lookin' des ez innercent ez one er yo' mammy's mockin'-birds.

"'Howdy, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 'You look sorter stuck up dis mawnin',' sezee, en den he rolled on de groun', en laughed en laughed twel he couldn't laugh no mo'. 'I speck you’ll take dinner wid me dis time, Brer Rabbit. I done laid in some calamus root, en I ain't gwineter take no skuse,' sez Brer Fox, sezee."

Here Uncle Remus paused, and drew a two-pound yam out of the ashes.

"Did the fox eat the rabbit?" asked the little boy to whom the story had been told.

"Dat's all de fur de tale goes," replied the old man. 'He mout, en den again he moutent. Some say Jedge B’ar come long en loosed 'im— some say he didn't. I hear Miss Sally callin'. You better run 'long."


[The following Notes are by Robert Maxwell Young, Professor of Psychotherapy & Psychoanalytic Studies, Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies, University of Sheffield]

My question is whether or not a projective identification was in place between Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby, and my answer is yes. We can see it in two contexts. Brer Rabbit greets the Tar-Baby in a friendly manner. There is no response. He increasingly finds the Tar-Baby insufferably rude and finally loses the use of each of his limbs one by one and his head, as well. This occurs as a result of his growing indignation and his determination to teach his insolent and silent interlocutor a lesson. The Tar-Baby has only not replied and then becomes adhesive as a result of the intrinsic qualities of his somatic features, modified by Brer Fox’s turpentine.

I have no difficulty at all in noting that the Tar-Baby did not have to be changed in her internal world or to do anything in order for the interaction to build up to violence. She omitted to greet a passing fellow creature and, in particular, would not tip her hat. Rude and insolent. Insulting. Outrageous.

So, the Object does not have to be affected and there does not have to be any behaviour elicited for there to be a projective identification in place.

The broader context, of course, is the position of the creature feeling potentially snubbed and insisting on civility. Moreover, Brer Fox has placed the Tar-Baby there just so it would wind up Brer Rabbit - so that he would take umbrage and be captured by the consequences of his own easily affronted sense of dignity. These aspects of the broader context are supremely relevant to many situations where there is a rapid build-up to a virulent projective identification. My Pakistani dentist told me such story this very morning. His wife‘s handbag brushed against a black man as they passed by one another on the pavement, and the man immediately berated her and then her husband for jostling him, being disrespectful, and I don’t know what all.

Looking further, the relationship can be with an inanimate object which in no way resembles a person. My car sometimes offends me in this way. At the moment the automatic lighter on the cooker is doing so every time I try to light the gas ring. This is one reason that Harold Searles wrote his magnificent but under-appreciated The Nonhuman Environment in Normal Development and In Schizophrenia (Madison, Conn.: IUP, 1960).


Epilogue to... 'The Relativity of Community - Constituent Behaviors'

Jill Astbury's questioning of gender bias in the defining of psychological normalcy, in ‘Crazy for You: The Making of Women's Madness', is a questioning that reaches down into the deepest and darkest underpinnings of western culture and philosophy.  If one takes the time and makes the effort to go down into the subtle philosophical issues and reviews them openly and honestly, ... the reviewer will not only come back affirming Jill's charges of gender bias in the defining of psychological normalcy, ... but will be convinced that 'everything is relative' and that there are no 'absolutes' in this world apart from the absolute non-existence of absolutes; i.e. as Heraclitus put it, 'everything is in flux'..  How we delude ourselves into believing in the 'absolute' existence of 'normal' and 'abnormal' or 'right' and 'wrong' beyond our own subjective definitions is recounted by Henri Poincaré in his works on relativity and the associated scientific 'language games' involved in the formulation and validation of scientific theory and hypothesis.  In a comment on space and time that establishes the generality of the 'language game' effect in scientific theorizing, Poincaré says;


"Finally, our Euclidian geometry itself is no more than a kind of language convention; we could render mechanical (dynamical) facts by relating them to a non-Euclidian space which would be a less convenient approach, but fully as legitimate as our ordinary space; the rendering would thus become much more complicated; but it would nevertheless be possible. Thus absolute space, absolute time, and geometry itself are not conditions that impose themselves upon mechanics; none of these things are pre-requisites for mechanics anymore than the French language is a logical prerequisite for the truths that one expresses in French."


The implications of Poincaré's remark are general.  If we say that certain behaviors are 'unnatural' then it appears as if they cannot, at the same time, be 'natural', ... yet all behaviors are included within nature so that even 'unnatural behaviors' are 'natural' in Nature's definitions.  Thus, we can impose whatever subjective definitions we want on our language but we cannot impose them on the underlying phenomenal experience that we are trying to express by means of language.   In other words, we cannot turn things upside down and assume that our experience can now be fully defined by the clever language games we develop; i.e. if I am part of a local majority in control of the money and food supply and 'do nothing' to make food available to local others who have no means of access of their own to the needed supplies, a young woman may eventually come to me offering sexual favors in exchange for a chocolate bar.  According to the way the language game definitions are set up, ...she may be prosecuted by her illegal activity of selling sex because she 'is doing something wrong' ... but since the western causal 'language game' model is based on 'doing' (i.e. it is based on the actions and transactions of 'independent' material-causal agents), 'doing nothing' is not a crime because the language game accounting ties 'incorrect behavior' to 'what is done' (assertive, kinetic behavior).  Meanwhile, natural behaviors are most influenced by 'what is not done' and the inductive influence that is set up by 'opportunity' that is withheld from 'need'.  The attractive woman can (and generally does whether she wants to or not) induce all kinds of assertive behaviors from this power in the gap between opportunity and need, ... meanwhile, we have only equipped our western science 'language game' to account for 'what happens' (assertive behaviors) and it is thus, by its own definitions, 'blind' to such things as coordinated non-action that sets up inductive influence gradients between opportunity and need; i.e. nature's most fundamental equation has been left out of the 'language game' of western mainstream science.


 So particular groups that can together gain control over basic resources needed by others (e.g. land, shelter, food) can use the inductive influence of the opportunity-need gap to manipulate the assertive behaviors of others; i.e. particular groups such as males can use their greater assertive powers to inductively manipulate the assertive behaviors of females (and refer to this as 'the natural way things work', to be sure).  It is interesting that the western scientific 'language game' continues to confine itself solely to 'assertive behaviors' and ignore the 'inductive influence' aspect of nature, since this 'sets things up' for centrally managed control hierarchies that are predominantly populated by males.  In non-anthropic natural systems and in many indigenous systems, there is no such precluding of the inductive and 'community management' is by inductive means; i.e. the inductive influence of 'elders', ... the inductive influence set up by 'sharing circles' where everyone gets a chance to 'speak from the heart' without debating 'who speaks most truthfully' (as if there were absolute truth), enabling all members to let their assertive actions relative to others, coming from their individual purpose, by inductively 'shaped' by the needs of the community, rather than acting in their own independent right, as if they were enveloped by empty Euclidian space rather than by phase relationships with enveloping others.  Meanwhile the hierarchical control model, that follows from the western scientific 'language game' of accounting only for 'assertive behaviors' and ignoring the inductive influences immanent in nature, is deeply entrenched in the western culture.  As Elizabeth Keller says in 'Reflections on Gender and Science' (1985, Yale University Press);


"To the extent that such models [models that posit central governing elements] also lend themselves more readily to the kinds of mathematics that have been developed, we need further to ask, What accounts for the kinds of mathematics that have been developed?  Mathematical tractability is a crucial issue, and it is well known that, in all mathematical sciences, models that are tractable tend to prevail.  But might it not be that prior commitments (ideological, if you will) influence not only the models that are felt to be satisfying but also the very analytical tools that are developed?"


So, a philosophical exploration into the underpinnings of psychological definitions of 'normal' and 'abnormal' takes us all the way back to the subjective selection of mathematical models for space, time and motion.   If we were to go with the relativity of Poincaré, we would be including an accounting for the 'inductive influences' since we would be characterizing space in terms of continuing space-time phase relationships wherein the sense of situational inclusion of the individual constituent is of basic importance; for example, individual geese collaboratively co-create their own favorable energy-flow community dynamics, ... there is no way to achieve this result via top-down control hierarchy.  The control hierarchy won't suffice because the information that is required is the sense of inclusional interdependence within the enveloping community dynamic felt by the included constituent and how the community dynamic responds simultaneously with the movement of the constituent relative to the movements of enveloping others. 


Where is this discussion going?  Well, the Euclidian geometry we are imposing on our perceptions only allows us to account for 'assertive behaviours' and not for the self-referentiality associated with relativity, and if we our scientific language game can only explain things in terms of 'assertive behaviors' then our language becomes 'blind' to co-created inductive influences and thus we cannot use 'induction' as a community management device, as is done in the Native American tradition of community management. But the 'inductive' method of community management is manifest in nature and is, in fact, the method of choice of certain segments of the population, however, it does not even exist in the 'language game' of mainstream science, since mainstream science models the world dynamic solely in terms of the time-based actions and transactions of 'independent' causal agents, ... thus the western cultural tradition of community management by control hierarchy is established as the 'normal' mode of management by virtue of the choice of the mathematical model for space and time.  The corollary is that those who press down on others beneath them in the control hierarchy are 'doing what is normal', while those that resist this unnatural domination are labeled as 'neurotic' and 'defective'.


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Thus, had a group of female researchers developed the mathematical models for space and time and the definitions for psychological normalcy, they might well have subjectively homed in on the 'dominatory disorder' wherein the individual has an affective need to compete, defeat and exert control over others, ... rather than to inductively manage community harmony through collaborative and cooperative phase-coupled behaviors.  Had the 'affective disorders' been defined using this 'language game',  ... the incidence of 'affective disorders', instead of being twice as great for women and making the female gender look like 'defects', ... would have been at least twice as great for men, making the male gender, instead, appear 'defective' (pending readjustment)..


These observations on 'gender bias' in the 'language games' of science are generalizable to 'subjective bias' in the 'language games' of science since these games can be tilted in many different directions, depending on the bias of the 'developer' of the 'theory'.


Our experience is sufficient to validate the fallacies in the 'language games' in science that give us the false impression of absolute legitimacy of scientific language that is not absolutely correct at all, but is a legitimacy that is 'relative' to hidden assumptions on the nature of space, time and motion built into the word definitions.  As Jill Astbury puts it in the case of the definitions of psychological 'normality' and 'abnormality';


 "... in other words, women were deviant by definition.  The research stemming from this [masculine] viewpoint had a systemic blindness.  It could literally not see what it was doing as the normative quality of its own presuppositions had made them invisible."  


While our experience is sufficient to confirm that the scientific theory and language is 'subjectivity-laden', it is also possible to look back into the historical development of scientific conceptualizing of space, time and motion to see how 'inductive influence' (the feminine principle) was kept out of the scientific language game, ... the roots of which can be traced back to the issue of 'relativity' and the different views of Poincaré and Einstein on relativity (see Appendix to the Epilogue to ... 'The Relativity of Community - Constituent Behaviors' )


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