Montreal, Sept 3, 1999
Heisenberg was certain about some things, ... like what was wrong with rational inquiry.
He said that we needed to include the inquiry tool (observer) in the inquiry (observed), otherwise, the 'story' we took away would be seriously incomplete.
Now this statement sounds simple, and a number of other people have made the same assertion, ... like Henri Laborit, Johannes Kepler and Heraclitus. Meanwhile, none succeeded in making a dent in the popular culture with this one, ... particularly not with the mainstream science community. They were frustrated by their inability to share, ... I know how they felt and so do many others who re-till that same old ground with the same non-results. That's ok, too, ... that's life, ... but I'd nevertheless like to find a way to pass on the understanding that comes from it to younger folk who have a huge need for it, as the damage from ignoring it continues to mount ... since they won't find it in any of their neighbourhood dispensers of advice on "how the world works".
Let's have a go here at describing what's going on;
When we look at an issue, we see it as if it's 'out there' and we are not included in it. This is how classical physics works, and its a kind of 'voyeur' view of the world.
Ok, let's take a couple of examples, and see what we miss when we don't include the inquiry tool in the inquiry;
Let's consider science as the inquiry tool and science wants to understand our reality in more detail, .... so it studies the nature of things all the way down to atoms. When it studies atoms, science finds out that you can split them and fuse them, and that this is very powerful stuff. In fact, people start using this knowledge and making bombs and reactors. These emergent developments sprouting up around the inquiry are sometimes referred to as the observer effect. I call it the 'container- content- coevolution' effect, ... only because it describes the geometry of what's going on a little better, to me. The observer is like a billiard ball in that when he moves, ... he changes the whole containing configuration with respect to the forward opportunities of the constituents.
Do you see what the problem is here? Science wanted to understand how our container 'worked', but as soon as it inquired into it, the container started working differently, ... like as soon as it found out about atoms, ... people started making bombs and reactors and debating new issues etc.
So how do we ever get to fully understand the reality in which we are immersed constituents and participants, when things start changing as soon as we learn something, ... when the container coevolves with its contents as they 'move'?
Well the answer is that we don't, ... and this is simply stating the obvious, that we are living in a world that is evolving unpredictably and as it changes we change and as we change it changes and so on.
Nevertheless, science continues to try to find out, in ever finer detail, how 'things' work. This is what you call a 'rational' process. What's wrong with this picture?
Well, it seems to suggest that our knowledge of 'what's out there' doesn't include what's going on in the experiential space-time we're immersed in. That is, ... our discovery of nuclear fission and fusion didn't tell us anything about how our society was going to pick up on that and how the bomb and reactor making developments would unfold. And no matter how much more detailed our knowledge becomes, of the behavior of atoms and energy, ... we are not going to explain the strange goings on in the container we're immersed in.
Well its because 'rational inquiry' (traditional science) is all about 'what is', the question of 'being', and it doesn't deal with questions of 'becoming' except in the very trivial sense of 'cause and effect'. I say trivial, because what's missed out is a big deal, ... and it is the 'should be', ... in evolution, there's a lot of 'should be', ... like someone says, ... 'there should be a bomb' or a bird says, ... 'there should be some shellfish on my diet' etc. etc. Rational inquiry doesn't have the horsepower to take you into issues of 'should be', ... it has enough trouble dealing with the 'what is'.
So when you get into the social sciences, (non-sciences in the view of physicists etc.), you get these nasty 'should be' parameters called 'ethics' and 'morals' thrown into the pot.
Where do ethics and morals come from? .... well, they come from stories, ... from religious stories and the like. Hoooiee, ... this is not sounding very rational any more, ... we're saying that informational exchanges are responsible for a lot of the tangible behaviors were seeing, and these induced behaviors depend upon the observer's outlook, ... his 'should be' orientation based on his own and others' stories.
Apparently so. There is this whole 'other' domain, besides tangible cause,... of informational exchanges which induces tangible behaviors and which we cannot get to with 'rational' inquiry. If we want to understand Mona Lisa's smile in the rational terms of her biochemistry, ... we certainly can, ... but we can't deal with informational changes coming from the outside, ... perhaps purely symbolically, ... like when two different people see a 'ban the bomb' symbol tatooed on another's arm, ... it will induce something in the observer, but what? It might induce feelings and responses out of a sense of brotherhood and activism in one observer, and another observer could be totally indifferent. So there is a whole lot of physical phenomena we can't get at with rational inquiry based on the properties and behaviors of 'things' in their own right, ... phenomena which depend upon the history of coevolutional experience between 'things' and their containing environment.
Do you think that this more challenging understanding of "how the world works", augmented to include information-induced behaviors, ... an understanding easily available to our sense and reason, is going to stop us from using rational inquiry on all of our complex social problems, here in 1999?
No way Jose. .... who's reading Heisenberg or Heraclitus these days, anyhow?
Well, if we do read them, ... we find that they are saying something very simple but very important; .... namely that the 'things' out there are not detached and independent like we say they are, ... like euclidian space, which can only hold 'things' and 'void', tells us they must be. They are saying, instead, that each 'thing' has a relationship with all other 'things' and that if you move one thing, ... something has changed for every other thing, ... let's call it forward 'outlook' or 'opportunity', since that's kind of what it smells like, ... something that either will help or hinder each thing from moving towards where it wants to be, ... as determined by attraction, repulsion etc. It's the same kind of geometrical-informational effect as in billiards, ... change one ball, change the opportunities for each and every ball. Heraclitus called it a 'simultaneous unity and plurality' and Einstein called it 'curved space-time' and explained that 'what was changed' in the overall container when one constituent moved was 'reciprocal disposition', ... the geometry of finite curved space-time.
Rational inquiry is not strong enough to deal with this situation. Why? because rational inquiry is about the 'what is' of things and their properties and behaviors, and that's not enough in this scenario, ... in this scenario things interfere with their own container , ... the container being the full ensemble of things. This is curved space-time country where each movement of each part effects the forward outlook or 'opportunity' of all other parts, and if the parts cannot be separated from the whole, ... how can I ever, starting from the base notion of independent 'parts', refine my understanding of the properties and behaviors of the parts to the point I can explain the workings of this system? There's no way. It would be like trying to describe the dynamical behavior of a spider web in terms of the properties and behaviors of each of the strand segments.
Each time one part is moved, the 'reciprocal disposition' or 'space-time order' in the system changes for each and every other part, as in billiards. Mona Lisa smiled and it changed the whole world, right? Not by much, in most cases, ... but it changed everything because nature is a connected unity. If something is a connected unity, then a 'part' IS the whole, simply a particular presentation of it, like a little face drawn on someone's flexing belly which captures our attention out of the context of the whole. So when we say 'a part changes', ... we can equally say 'the whole thing changes'. Or we can say that Mona Lisa 'IS' the world, and also that we who observe her 'ARE' the world as well. This an inclusionary, spider-web or space-time-continuum view of reality not allowed by rational inquiry with its 'law of non-contradiction' (mutual exclusion).
When the nuclear scientists discovered fission and fusion, ... simultaneously with their discovery, ... the whole ball game changed because the 'order' in the system changed. In other words, the container (represented by all the parts in the system) CO-EVOLVED with its contents (represented by the parts that 'moved', which discovered fission and fusion). There doesn't have to be a 'causal trail', ... the informational configuration can induce tangible changes in system behavior. Man hears about this, thinks a bit, ... then shoots himself. That's not rational you say, ... and you're absolutely right. The world is not rational, so understanding how the world works will never by achieved by rational inquiry, even though our culture keeps it in the primacy over relational inquiry.
Now, clearly, there are questions about how the information on 'changes in order' propagate and all that, ... but this is not the key point. The key point is that rational inquiry (logical-causal inquiry) cannot deal with non-rational, non-causal information-induced behaviors. It cannot deal with the fact that the vibration of one strand in the web disturbs the whole web, ... that the movement of one part simultaneously changes the outlook for each and every other part in the whole 'container', the whole ensemble of parts.
Heisenberg's point was, then, ... and he was absolutely certain of this, ... that if you were one strand in the web trying to figure out how the web worked, ... you couldn't exclude yourself from your inquiry, .... the observer cannot be excluded from his own analysis. He must stand on top of his own shoulders and look at the problem as if he himself were in it.
Now that piece of self-referential geometry is precisely what Goedel's theorem proves that finite systems of mathematics cannot handle, ... which simply reconfirms that rational inquiry cannot get to the bottom of 'the way the world works' when the 'world' comes in the form of a curved space-time reality.
Ok, you win some and you lose some. While we can't use rational inquiry in this situation, ... the general case of 'reality', ... Heisenberg is telling us that including the tool of inquiry in the inquiry is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for understanding what's going on. .... this is getting to sound a bit complicated, right?
To ease this apparent complicatedness, ... which is really just unfamiliarity when you get right down to it, ... we can review some actual examples which illustrate what goes wrong when we try to use rational inquiry for situations where container- content- coevolution effects are strong.
The example of psychiatry is a good one because it is a classic example of applying rational principles in a non-rational domain. The setup is that the psychiatrist, Mr Normality, representing the containing community, ... looks 'out there' for anomalous (non-normal) behaviors which 'depart' from the statistically established 'norms'. While in our quantum view of things, he is a strand in the overall web, ... he does not include himself (as the tool of inquiry) in his inquiry, ... that is, ... he does not include the notion of 'normality' in his inquiry. It is his measuring stick but he only needs it to get the measurements to work on. The observer, Mr. Normal, is thus invisible within the inquiry itself as it is conducted, ... this is a fundamental characteristic of rational inquiry. If we put the observer into the inquiry the system stops looking like machinery and starts exhibiting this 'nasty' self-referentiality which is unfortunately (from the point of view of the closedness, neatness and tidiness of rational inquiry) characteristic of living systems.
So Mr. Normality proceeds to identify those whose behaviors significantly depart from the norm, categorizes and labels them (diagnoses them), and proceeds to 'cure' them with drugs.
Here we have the same options as with Mona Lisa's smile, ... we can regard the 'emergent behavior' as emanating from within Mona, ... causally, ... from her biochemistry and genetics, ... or we can regard it as coming non-causally, ... from an exchange of information with her container. If we follow the 'rational inquiry' route and investigate Mona more closely, we find this to be very rewarding as we discover, statistically, that her biochemistry is indeed tuned to making smiles, and that she also (statistically) has a genetic predisposition as her mother and grandmother also smiled alot. When we look at the genetic structure itself and statistically categorize genetic structures, we find a genetic structural correlation common to smilers and as we continue to 'tune' this rational inquiry, we can pick up on a unique genetic structural aspect which we then call 'the smiling gene'. Rational inquiry now says that it has discovered 'the smiling gene' which is the 'cause' of Mona's smile (just as scientists claim they are close to discovering the 'violence gene' which 'causes' violence in people, ... which of course enables us to 'purify' our society by aborting those fetuses with the 'violence gene' and/or carefully scrutinizing and drugging those fetuses which are not aborted.).
The problem here is that rational inquiry can only look at tangible cause, and it cannot deal with intangible information exchanges which induce tangible behaviors, and since our culture deifies rational intelligence and rational inquiry (i.e. puts it in the primacy over relational intelligence and relational inquiry), ... we end up explaining container-content-coevolutionary issues in a one-sided way, ... by diagnosing problems in the content. The inductive role of the container, if it is considered at all, is an ad hoc consideration, ... because the observer who is looking down and in on the issue is, in effect, the 'container viewpoint', ... our psychiatrist, 'Mr. Normality' comes to the inquiry with the viewpoint of the containing community in which the 'mentally ill' person is a constituent. The eyes of rationality, then, are the eyes of the container, and they cannot see themselves in their own inquiry, nor can they deal with behavioral induction by informational exchanges. When they see Mona smile, they don't realize that she is smiling at them, ... or rather, it is them who are smiling. Such self-referentiality which spirals backwards and forwards over history is confusing to the rational mind, however, a neat and tidy mind which would prefer to 'get to the bottom of it' and 'establish cause'.
So, you say, ... 'Mr. Normality nevertheless isolated, diagnosed and 'cured' the aberrant behaviors which were causing problems in our society, so what's wrong with that?'
Well, what's wrong with it is that it ignores its own impact on the container, ... its 'observer effect', .... in other words, we said we 'cured' the patient but that was only half of the problem because the patients behavior was clearly induced by informational exchanges with his container, and we didn't 'touch' the container side of things. So how did we, in fact, achieve the so-called 'cure'?
According to Noyes and Kolb ('Modern Clinical Psychiatry'), "If the patient responds well to the drug, he develops an attitude of indifference both to his surroundings and to his symptoms." ... "...antipsychotic drugs have been termed 'neuroleptics,' in that these drugs' actions imitate a neurological disease." (American Psychiatric Press). ... "the patients under treatment display a lack of spontaneous interest in the environment." (Lehman, 'Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry').
To summarize the point, made by many such researchers into neurology and psychiatry; Peter Breggin says; "While the neuroleptics are toxic to most brain functions, disrupting nearly all of them, they have an especially well-documented impact on the dopomine neurotransmitter system. As any psychiatric textbook will confirm, dopamine neurotransmitters provide the major neural pathways from the deeper brain to the frontal lobes and limbic system --- the very same areas struck by surgical lobotomy. Most psychosurgery cuts the nerve connections 'to and from' the frontal lobes and limbic system; chemical lobotomy largely interdicts the nerve connections to the same regions. Either way, coming or going, its a lobotomy effect. Thus the mechanism of action of the neuroleptics is no mystery: 'clinically' the drugs produce a lobotomy and 'neurologically' the drugs produce a lobotomy." (Peter Breggin, 'Toxic Psychiatry').
Ok, you're probably asking yourself, .. 'why is he going off on this tangent when he was in the middle of describing the observer side of observer-observed-coevolution (container-content-coevolution).?
Well the answer is, ... that there is a general principle here, in that the so-called cure, oriented one-sidedly to the 'observed', is one which does absolutely nothing, diddly squat, about the inductive force coming from the container, ... but which simply makes the susceptible constituents INDIFFERENT to the inductive force, ... by chemical, surgical, psychological, ...or by whatever means.
Now this INDIFFERENCE on the part of the constituent must also have a coevolutionary impact on the container or 'observer', and what does 'indifference' breed? , .... more indifference. We could say that 'lobotomization of the constituents induces lobotomization of the container', ... or, 'suppressing communications between thinking and acting centers at the level of the individual succeeds in doing the same thing at the level of community.'
So if we had included the container (observer or rational inquirer) in the inquiry, we could have monitored its (his) behavioral evolution story over time. Here's a few 'episodes' from the evolving story;
1940's: Oh my god!, ... we've discovered something in these atoms which could change the course of world history, ... we must write a letter to the president.
1960's: 'You mean that you've not only become indifferent to the nuclear issue, but you've come to love the bomb?', ... why Dr. Strangelove, ... how terrifyingly bizarre!'
1999: 'Any of the worlds 433 nuclear reactors, ... if without electricity for cooling pumps for more than 12 hours due to Y2K or other disruptions to power supply (or generator fuel distributions), ... will meltdown with massive consequences to human life and the environment.' 'Johnny, did you hear that?' 'Mom, ... those Y2K guys are not cool, ... 'they' are the problem according to most people because the information they are spreading around is tending to make people very concerned.', ... what's for breakfast? ...any more high school massacres in the news?'
'I guess you're right, Johnny, I shouldn't let these kooks disturb me. It was just that I saw a bunch of scientists on TV, who had studied the Y2K problem in great depth, and they all said that what might happen was too complex to be predicted, and now it seems that it is everyone's duty, ... even if one doesn't know beans about it, ... to tell everyone else that we should be indifferent to these warnings. I was thinking of your grandfather and his stories of how they took canaries down into the mine, and when the canaries started to get excited, it was a sign that something was not right in the environment.'
'Mom, ... there's always been freaky stuff goin on out there and there's always gonna be freaky stuff going on. It's got nothing to do with us, so forget about it, ... it's not cool to be concerned. Being cool is to forget your concerns, ... like, .. getting right up there on the prow of life, spreading your arms out like wings, ... like Leonardo did, ... and saying, ... I'm the fucking king of the world!'. That's what you need to do, ... there's nothing to worry about, man.'
There is clearly a story of evolving indifference here. Rational inquiry, then, makes the 'story' of the observer, and how he is co-evolving with his subjects of inquiry, invisible. It does this by excluding the observer from his inquiry, and having the observer focus only on 'issues' out of the context of his evolving 'story', ... out of the context of his own evolution.
Thus a random glance in yesterday's Montreal Gazette turns up such items as a review on current research into war which suggests that 'there is a rosy future for war, ...largely as something taking place within weaker states, rather than between powerful ones.' 'More horrifying still has been the discovery that the most appalling crimes of Nazism and Stalinist communism --- genocide, mass murder and astonishing cruelty --- do not require the size and resources of a major power, but may as readily take place in the smallest countries.' War and atrocities are something we now let pass if they don't disrupt the global economy too much, and perturb our standard of living.
In a separate article, one reads of how the NATO managed free state of Kosovo is managing, ... speaking to the killings, beating to death, and withholding of food from Kosovar Serbs, ..'Many of Kosovo's remaining Serbs have locked themselves in their homes, terrified by an atmosphere in which every sound seems threatening and every traffic stop might lead to a violent confrontation.'
What do we make of this continuing story of 'hardening' or rising indifference, ... this cold rationalism wherein we detach from what is going on in our society?
As rational inquirers, we can look 'out there' and say that 'there are many issues', ... that wars, killing, starvation (which doesn't seriously impact the global economy) seem to be on the rise, ... that schizophrenia, depression and other such aberrant behaviors are on the rise, ... that our dependencies on the failsafeness of technologies seems to be becoming increasingly critical, ... that the social pressures on people to conform to and support increasingly pathological work environments are intensifying, ... and etc.
But that's all voyeur perception, ... about 'what's out there', as rational inquiry is wont to be, ... but what about 'us', ... we 'voyeurs' who exclude ourselves from our inquiry? What's happening to 'us', ... what are we 'becoming', ... what is our continuing 'story'?
Well, sticking with the rational paradigm, we can start off with the notion that the nasties that are happening are 'caused' by things and people and that those those 'things' and 'people are certainly not 'us'. From this rational detachment point of view, what Barbara Marx-Hubbard says, a popular futurist as well as a 'Bilderberger' and member of Gorbachev's group of rationalist elite who are trying to help 'get the world under control', 'seems' to make sense.
In her book, "The Book of Co-Creation," she writes "out of the full spectrum of human personality, one- fourth is elected to transcend. ... One -fourth is destructive (and) they are destructive seeds. In the past they were permitted to die a 'natural death.' ... Now, as we approach the quantum shift from the creature-human to the co-creative human -- the human who is an inheritor of God-like powers -- the destructive one-fourth must be eliminated from the social body. ... Fortunately, you are not responsible for this act. We are. We are in charge of God's selection process for Planet Earth. He selects, we destroy. We are riders of the pale horse, Death." (Revelation 6:8)
Rational inquiry cannot deal with the notion of co-evolutionary induction of behaviors because rational inquiry is based on explicit 'cause', ... cause which emanates from the properties and behaviors of 'things in their own right' (not co-evolving strands in a web of life which demands 'relational' inquiry, the domain of 'implicit' understanding). Therefore, in rational inquiry one inevitably assumes that 'things' are at the bottom of all 'dissonance' and the solution is to 'purify' the contents of the container, ... if one is 'merciful'?, ... one can do this by 'lobotomization', otherwise, its 'elimination' or exorcism or something fairly painful.
Well, the missionaries had good intentions when they sought to purify the aboriginals of their primitive beliefs, ... primitive beliefs which put story and tradition, the domain of the relational, in a natural primacy over the rational, ... but even as the missionaries themselves said, ... 'the path to hell is paved with good intentions'.
The question which begs to ask itself is, ... what is the story on the observer who is managing all this purification? What is he like, .... what does he become through all his purifying activities?
But rational inquiry resists this backward look a the observer and insists; ... 'we must not be distracted from our inquiry', ....'we must focus tenaciously on the issues and resolve them, one by one'.... 'we know what is a problem and what is not, ... we therefore know what is 'good' and what is 'bad', ... we have a universal knowledge of 'good' and 'evil' which provides us with a reference base from which to do our problem resolving, ... our purification of our container, which for some strange reason seems to be turning up more and more content defects all the time.'
In other words, rational inquiry judges itself, the observer, to be innately 'good' or whatever else it likes, by never allowing such questions to be asked. It seems that we run up against the Goedel's Theorem limitation of rational inquiry again, ... as expressed in Russell's paradox; "the judge who judges all those and only those who do not judge themselves, ...can neither judge himself nor avoid doing so."
Because rational inquirer cannot judge himself but cannot avoid doing so, ... he falls back on the statistical mean judgement of the container, as our psychiatrist, Mr. Normal did. But Giordano Bruno had a good counter-point, it seemed, just before he was burned at the stake in the Campo dei Fiori in the Vatican, ..."It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people" At that point they put a hood over the unlobotomizable Bruno, re-commenced with procedure number two, and led him off into the 'field of flowers'.
Summary of 'Heisenberg's Certainty'
1. The general case in quantum nature is that container and contents are a simultaneous unity and plurality, ... each part relating to every other in the whole in the manner of a spider web. Therefore, to understand the behavior of the container (web), which features container-content-coevolution, one must include the inquiry tool (webstrand which is doing the inquiry) in the inquiry.
2. While the notion of independent 'things in their own right', ... a euclidian space and linear time assumption which underpins rational inquiry (logical-causal inquiry) is a very useful tool, ... it cannot deal with informationally induced behaviors, as characterize a simultaneous unity and plurality and the container-content-coevolution which it inevitably undergoes.
3. The rational inquiry method, by acting as the 'eyes of the container' and looking down and in, ... as a voyeur', ... to inquire into issues of 'content', ... renders itself invisible and indemnified against inquiry. However, the 'eyes of the container' (the observer) cannot 'itself' escape 'coevolution' with the object of its own inquiry (the observed). Where rational inquiry diagnoses and eliminates (or neutralizes) problems within the container, ... since the contents ARE the container in a simultaneous unity and plurality, or, 'web-of-life' system, the container is changed at the same time (Mr. Normality was himself defined by statistical treatment of the plurality, ... thus, the moment he changes the behavioral distribution of the plurality, he changes his own normality.).
4. Since content behaviors which are informationally induced from and by the container in which the contents are immersed are non-causal, ... rational inquiry cannot truly 'eliminate them' but can only seek to make the contents impervious to (indifferent to) the information inducing field. The container of society relative to its constituent individuals is geometrically congruent with the neurology of the individual, thus the same principles as in lobotomy also 'work' on the level of society, ... i.e. the elimination of 'traction' between change-inducing introspective processes in the container and content-behaviors within the container, ... is replicatable geometrically on the level of both individual and society. This 'rational solution' geometry which 'solves the problem' out of the context of the container-content-coevolution which is taking place is discussed by Peter Breggin;
"The thought processes that get labeled schizophrenic require higher mental function and therefore a relatively intact brain. No matter how bizarre the ideas may seem, they necessitate symbolic and often abstract thinking. That's why lobotomy 'works': the damage to the higher mental centers smashes the capacity to express existential pain and anguish*. [*What the investigator misses the most in the more highly intelligent individuals is the ability to introspect, to speculate, to philosophize, especially in regard to the self, . . . Creativeness seems to be the highest form of human endeavor. It requires imagination, concentration, visualization, self-criticism, and persistence in the face of frustration, as well as trained, manual dexterity, . . . On the whole, psychosurgery reduces creativity, sometimes to the vanishing point. (lobotomist Walter Freeman in 'American Handbook of Psychiatry')]"
5. Yes Virginia, ... the rational inquiry based drive for politically correct behavior does indeed constitute social lobotomization and the suspension of cultural evolution. Since the observer and the observed are the same system, .... the rationally inquiring observer's view of problems, as being detached and 'out there', ... and his elimination and/or neutralization of problems seen as existing 'in their own right', ... instead of seeing them in terms of 'the canary in the mine', .. as an evolutionary inductive force, ... equates to his perpetrating of 'auto-psychosurgery' on himself, .. his own community.
The observer, when he now sees a 'ban the bomb' (nuclear disarmament) symbol and the inductive force of this information exchange has him thinking in terms of that 'kook' out there, rather than the madness of nuclear arms, ... has become, in that moment, indifferent to the state of his own container, ... and has gone into the logical limiting state associated with rationality where the connective relationship between observer and observed dims to the vanishing point, ... dissolving all notion of shared container and coevolutionary relationship in his voyeur perspective.
As Breggin noted in his student days at Harvard, once the observer diagnoses the observed person as 'crazy' or 'irrational', relative to his own statistical base of rational 'normality', our solid ground of self-righteousness, ... the observed is no longer 'human'.
"As I became a leader in the volunteer program and gained better access to the hospital and the staff, I began to ask questions. How could the staff ignore the fact that the patients suffered nearly freezing conditions in the winter and sweltering temperatures in the summer? A staff psychiatrist told me, "Schizophrenics aren't bothered by extremes of heat and cold the way normal people are." Even then, as an eighteen year old, this did not make sense to me. As I got to know the patients, they seemed at least as sensitive as ordinary human beings. Sometimes they seemed to be much more sensitive. Exquisite sensitivity, in fact, seemed a part of their problem. I wondered what went on in the minds of the doctors, nurses, and aides that enabled them to ignore the patients anguish and even to compound it with the treatments."
In conclusion, ... Heisenberg, and Heraclitus, Kepler, the aboriginals and others, have been certain that the uncertainty in being able to distinguish between the observer and observed, demands that the observer be included in his own inquiry. From relativity, one can see this in the terms that because everything is relative and there is no absolute reference base on which the observer can stand and see the world the way it 'really is'. This is because the world is a continuing dynamic of whole-and-part
When we employ rationality, ... the logical causal approach to explaining 'what is' in terms of 'things out there', .. we make ourselves invisible and beyond question, ...and so we do not see how we are co-evolving with the objects of our inquiry. We do not see our own container-based coevolutionary 'story' as we rationally focus on the issues 'out there', imagining them to be fully detached from us, as our Euclidian detachment of space and time tends to encourage in us.
Yesterday, we turned our rational glance to the atom and what we saw in a flash of insight became our lives. This is not rational, logical or causal, but it is reality. Yesterday, at Hiroshima, we turned our rational glance to the incineration of thousands of innocent and unsuspecting men women and children, ... today that seems like faded images from a science fiction film. We are different now, ... changed by our own rational thoughts and inquiry which we directed, voyeur-like, towards a seemingly detached 'out there'.
But Heisenberg believed as William James, that "thought is itself the thinker",  ... that 'the experience is the observer', and it is from experience that we come to understand reality. Rationality is a small part of our experience. We can't explain experience in terms of 'rationality', because rationality, in the classical sense of logical-causal inquiry, "... pertains exclusively to, and encompasses solely, things expressible in terms of certain objective concepts, the classical notions of particles and fields. These are concepts that correspond to idealized versions of what can be "seen" by an observer that is far away from and detached from, what is being observed, whereas experiences *are* the observer: the thought is the thinker."
So how pervasive is our abuse of rationality?, ... our use of the mistaken assumption that our rational understanding of the 'world out there' is the way to go to 'solve' today's complex issues?
Just turn on the TV or look at the newspapers. Rational presentations of 'issues out there', ... the field of view of 'container eyes', ... 'eyes' whose presence doesn't show and whose views we might easily accept as being our own, in the absence of any visible representation from 'container eyes' as 'it' gives us viewfield into the issues 'out there'. Can you see the how this works? ... as soon as you are standing on the vantage point and looking at issues 'out there', you can non longer see the vantage point, ... you cannot see the observer in the observed field.
Rational presentations put us in 'problem-solving' mode, ... at this point we have left behind in the dust any notion, that we, the eyes of our container, might have imposed an inductive force on these issues 'out there', that sucked them up and into emergent existence like the wind sucks water up into waves. Problem-solving mode is where we dissolve the inductive linkages between container and content. The young assassin in the high school, as presented to us in news clips, becomes a problem in his own right, and once we have diagnosed a problem, we start looking for 'cause' and 'solutions', ... we start looking for 'the violence gene' and drugs to chemically lobotomize those individuals with 'defective' genetic structure. Just as we, in the case of very active children, think in 'problem' terms and start looking for 'the attention deficit' biochemistry and drugs to chemically lobotomize those children with 'defective' biochemistry.
... "What, ....we, as the 'eyes of the container', having something to do with these 'problems'? ... not on your life, .... what's this 'inductive force' bullshit anyways." "The rise in the number of defective people, genetically and biochemically, means that we can no longer be as tolerant as we used to be, ... there will have to be triage and imposed drug programs. What's that you say about 'canaries', 'exquisite anguish' and sensitivity?.... This world is not a place for the softhearted, ... this is why we're in the mess we're in. It is unfortunately time to ride the pale horse of death, for the good of us all. Those who we excise should realize that it is for the good of the gene pool"
Rational views, which put 'thing-behavior' in the primacy over relational induction, such as represented in the paragraph immediately above, are an increasingly popular response to the collapse of the western 'rational-over-relational' inverted paradigm, ... and it should be no surprise to see the 'dominator society' trying to ride out its own self-engendered death-spiral on 'the pale horse of death'.
The alternative, of course, is as Heisenberg, Heraclitus, Kepler, and the aboriginals suggested, ... to bring 'story' back into inquiry, ... put the observer back into his inquiry.
How is this done?
In an aboriginal council meeting, it might be done with the following geometry. What is key here is not the particular words and cultural overtones, ... what is key is geometry, and cultural preferences as to terminology and style cab naturally be employed as the group deems appropriate;
* * *
Letting the 'containing story' guide viewing and inquiry into its own contents.
... As we start our inquiry, let us make a circle of hands, symbolic of our container of nature, ... of the evolutionary force, of the creator, ... and reflect on the many gifts of this divine container, this containing web of life in which we are but strands along with our brothers, the birds and the animals, .. the plants and the rocks, the water, .. the sun and the air.
When we inquire into our world and into our lives, we must visualize ourselves within our container making this inquiry, as if in a mirror, and we must see how the web moves all of us as we move, and how the movements of our ancestors continue to move us, ... their movements mingling with ours and forming new patterns which will move our grandchildren. And we must remember wolf and bear and all the animals and how their movements move us and ours them, ... nor can we forget the movements of rock and earth, flowers and trees. We must observe ourselves within this web even as we seek to understand how our world works, to inquire into dissonance and to seek to cultivate healthiness in this web of life for our grandchildren and for all of the living strands of nature.
Only when we visualize ourselves in the process of our interactions with our brothers and our environment can we know the justness and harmony of our movements. We are the web and the web is us, ... we are our consciousness, ... our shared experience, our shared dreams and reflections, ....we are our 'story', ... the story of our ancestors and their world and of our descendants and their world. The implicit consciousness of our story will be woven into our comments and actions in this council meeting and in our sharing, and we must get in touch with it and sustain it so that it guides our words and actions coming out of this meeting.
And we must resist getting stuck in the cold, crow's eye view of rationality, ... the view which freezes and fixes things even as it detaches us from what we are looking at, ... we must use our rationality as a supportive gift and tool, ... as an arrow which brings down game for food.
As we close our meeting, let's make the circle of hands once again to remind us of our containment, and the containment of this council meeting, within the living web of nature, ... and of the need to keep our story always in the eye of our inquiry.
* * *
 H.P. Stapp, 'Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics'
Montreal, September 5, 1999
The essay 'Slipping Up on the Slopes of Curved Space: Heisenberg's Certainty' centers around the need the include the tool of inquiry in the inquiry, to make the inquiry effective in revealing to us 'the way the world works'.
Johannes Kepler dwelled on the same geometrical need, in the context of understanding the system of sun and planets, noting that one needed to include the view from the sun (center) into any other views of the planets.
What's the point?
The point is that when you are looking at things in 'voyeur' mode, at stuff 'out there', you cannot determine the 'shape' of the evolutionary space-time flow which both you, the observer, and the things you are observing are immersed within.
As the good pool player knows, ... 'shape is everything', ... which is true in both a figurative and literal sense, since 'shape' is the reciprocal disposition of the ensemble of things ('everything').
If we look at the classical science based understanding of evolution, ... we can see that the theories are 'rational' or 'logical-causal', .. based on the properties and behaviors of 'things' which have been statistically generalized and reformulated in laws etc.
What's missing when we build all our theory up from 'things' and their properties and behaviors?
'Shape' is what's missing, ... the shape of the containing space-time relative to the 'thing' content.
Now if you're a pool player, you must always consider 'shape' and how your 'play' is 'co-evolving' with shape; i.e. what you do depends upon shape and shape depends upon what you do.
Now our 'materialist' fixation on 'things' out of the context of the shape of the space-time containing environment they are in, was burned into our western brains way, way back. We seemed to have 'dropped' shape from our inquiry about the time of Heraclitus and Parmenides, ... around 500 B.C., as we were shifting our base for understanding from stories of the Gods to the workings of nature. At that time, the 'shape' of space-time and containment was still an important consideration.
For example, Anaximander (611 - 546 B.C.) says; "Living creatures arose from the moist element as it was evaporated by the sun. Man was like another animal, namely, a fish in the beginning." As Frankfort et al say in 'The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man', "Anaximander presents a curious hybrid of empirical and mythopoeic thought. But in his recognition that the ground of all determinate existence could not itself be determinate, in his claim that not water, not air nor any other 'element' but only the 'Boundless' from which all opposites 'separated out', could be the [alpha rho chi nu, or 'origin' or 'sustaining principle'], he showed a power of abstraction beyond anything known before his day." ... "This change of viewpoint [from origin in terms of ancestral divinity to 'sustaining principle'] is breath-taking. It transfers the problems of man in nature from the realm of faith and poetic intuition to the intellectual sphere."
In discussing the commonalities and differences of the peoples of the eastern mediterranean at this time, Frankfort et al note views of nature which have a 'chaos' orientation in Mesopotamian thinking and an 'equilibrium' orientation in Egyptian thinking. But in terms of 'shape' (reciprocal disposition between a thing and its containing space), these authors observe; "The difference between the Egyptian and Mesopotamian manners of viewing the world are very far-reaching. Yet the two peoples agreed in the fundamental assumptions that the individual is part of society, that society is imbedded in nature, and that nature is but the manifestation of the divine. This doctrine was, in fact, universally accepted by the peoples of the ancient world with the single exception of the Hebrews. ["The dominant tenet of Hebrew thought is the absolute transcendence of God. Yahweh is not in nature. Neither earth nor sun nor heaven is divine."]
One could say that this view of God, which came to prevail in the western culture, ... a view which saw all 'matter' as being 'valueless' before God, removed the notion of 'shape' from the domain of inquiry, since the 'external God' notion transformed the view of reality as an ecological nesting of spheres within spheres (individual within community within nature within God), to one of an ensemble of material entities presided over by God. That is, the view of natural reality ceased being a container-based view where the 'Boundless' (unbounded) container was in the primacy, ... to one in which 'things' were not only dominant, but had no competition (space was 'void') within the domain of inquiry.
So, historically, coming out of this presocratic era, ... there was quite a battle going on with respect to the 'status' of the 'indefinite' (unbounded space or creative essence), with respect to its primacy in nature, .... whether or not it would be accepted as constituting the 'origin' or 'sustaining principle' of nature. Clearly, the issues of 'containment' and 'reciprocal disposition' or 'shape', were caught up in this conceptual evolution. While Aristotle would later come down on the side of the 'One', ... a material substratum for nature, ... he notes; "But the others say that the opposites are separated out from the One, being present in it, as Anaximander says and all who say there are one and many, like Empedocles and Anaxagorus; for these two separate out the rest from the mixture."
So 'shape' and its secondary role in our cultural philosophy, would appear to be the product of the historical evolution of ideas. Heraclitus' 'simultananeous unity and plurality', ... a notion which puts 'shape' into the primacy (whole-and-part relationships) in the same manner as 'shape' in the game of pool, ... was superceded by Aristotle's 'sequential unity and plurality', ... a notion which has us focus on 'the sum of the parts', ... structures in their own right out of the context of time and out of the context of how they relate to their 'containing space'. While inquiry into the former model for nature requires 'inclusionary reasoning' (relational intelligence), .. inquiry into the latter model for nature requires 'exclusionary reasoning' (rational intelligence).
With that historical background out of the way, ... we can speak to our current dilemma, of finding ourselves in a world where relativity and quantum physics are suggesting that we should have opted for the primacy of 'yin over yang', the indefinite over the material, ... the primacy of curved space-time over matter (as Faraday also suggested), ... rather than going for the primacy of 'yang over yin', ... the primacy of material things over the indefinite.
Well, that's water under the bridge, as Heraclitus might have said, but the challenge now seems to be, ... to become aware of just how the passage of three millenia has woven the exclusionary materialist primacy assumption into the fabric of our (western culture dominated) lives.
As Heisenberg suggested, before we jump to conclusions on 'what's out there', ... we should realize that the source or reference for our inquiry is our 'experience', and since it's our experience we must tap for understanding rather than secondary products of experience, such as scientific knowledge, we must include the tool of inquiry in our inquiry. Meanwhile, the tool of our inquiry has been excluded from 'rational' inquiry as exemplified by classical science. The including of the observer in the observed brings us back to this question of 'immersed view', ... the mode of viewing which brings 'shape' with it, rather than leaving us with voyeur, 'flatspace' images of reality as they might appear on a screen in front of us.
The process of generalization to get 'thing properties and behaviors', removes the information associated with immersed experience. For example, ... imagine yourself living in a network of caves where you have plenty of opportunity to feed on rock-boring animals which are about your own size. You search down all the tunnels until you find a living rock-borer and you pull it out and eat it.
Fine, ... but over time, you grow larger by consuming this plentiful bounty, ... both in population and in physical size, ... and at the same time, ... there is a trend towards survival of the rock-borers you have been preying on wherein only the small ones are surviving, the ones which are making tunnels which are too small for you to access.
If you think about how popular evolutionary theory looks at things, will see that it's all 'thing-based' (and not shape-based). Thus when your extinction shows up on the paleo record, it will go down in the books that 'you could not compete', ... that you were not 'of the fittest' and thus you did not survive.
Do you notice how this 'survival of the fittest' notion sees you 'in your own right', in the context of an ensemble of other generalized and competing 'things'. But what about your 'fit' within your containing space? What about the geometrical 'shape' aspects to opportunity?
You will be unable to come up with a 'thing-property' or 'thing-behavior' which in itself describes the disappearance of your rock-borer eating opportunity. It won't be possible because this opportunity relates to your 'reciprocal disposition', ... the shape of space determined, not by sum-of-the-parts structure, but by the reciprocal of your shape relative to your container.
Opportunity comes from the shape of the reciprocal disposition established by you relative to your containing environment. This is the opportunity a billiards ball 'sees', and it is a general feature of ordering in a (populated) finite, unbounded, curved space, the kind of space we live in.
Curved space refers to space which is self-referential, where the moves you make can come back and bump into you, .... as if you were driving around the outside of a sphere, .. on a 'round-the-world' freeway which had some traffic on it. When you hit the brakes and made the guy behind you do the same, ... that pulse would travel around the world and you would drive forward right into it. You would be interfering with yourself (in space-time). This in effect says that when space-time is curved, you are effectively 'contained' or 'immersed' it it, ... because what you do bounces back and impacts you, and so you have to 'tune-in' to the reciprocal disposition effects of this whole-and-part interference.
Since relativity theory requires curved space, we could say that 'rational inquiry', 'traditional science', and popular evolutionary theory, are 'non-relativistic'. Notions such as 'the selfish gene' of Richard Dawkins are emphatically non-relativistic. Only 'things' evolve in these theories, ... the environment is not seen as a coevolutionary partner, ... not in a simultaneous sense..
Container-content-coevolution, as discussed in the 'Slipping Up' essay, emanates from the curved space view of things, and of course, these concepts also infer that 'simultaneous unity and plurality' (domain of relational inquiry) is in the primacy over 'sequential unity and plurality' (domain of rational inquiry).
Again, if we start from our experience, we can see that both modes of inquiry are useful and needed, but that we must choose the 'right' primacy, in the sense that only one of these primacies is consistent with nature, and that is, the primacy of a 'simultaneous unity and plurality' as implied in relativity theory and quantum physics. This is the primacy in which the whole-and-part 'order' of space-time becomes important, ... the space-time phase relationships which underpin billiards and holography etc.
It is worth noting that the 'simultaneous unity and plurality' deals with issues of 'shape' in a reciprocal disposition sense, rather than with issues of material 'structure'. Viewed dynamically, issues of 'shape' become issues of 'harmony and rhythm' (the shape of the patterns of notes relative to their container of silence, and themselves, ... a relativistic notion which transcends 'euclidian things and linear time' and deals with dimensionless 'rhythms' and relative harmony of octaves, thirds etc. irrespective of 'beats to the bar' or absolute frequencies), .... while issues of 'structure' become issues of 'mechanical dynamics'.
In our cave-borer example, we can see that man can be judged by his 'mechanical dynamics' but his success will also depend on his harmonic relationships emanating from relativity between him and his containing space. The 'survival of the fittest' notion is normally interpreted in the limited sense of 'mechanical dynamics fitness' (causal fitness) which goes hand-in-hand with a vision of a passive environment which the 'fit' entity exploits. Meanwhile, we could include the notion of the relational harmonics emanating from the interference between man and his container, but this does not spring forth from his mechanical dynamical ability, per se, ... but from his ability to 'tune-in' to the indefinite, .. the reciprocal disposition between himself and his container, ... how he runs forward into the co-resonances of his own movements relative to the container. The cockroach does not have the same behavioral patterns as the dinosaur, not just because he has very different 'thing-properties', but because the co-resonances between him and his containing environment are primary determinants of his behavior.
The thing- based generalization of rational inquiry will nevertheless simply 'log them in' in the books in terms of their attributes. It will say nothing of their immersed, reciprocal disposition view. The technique of categorization of things is already removing the whole-and-part interference information found in nature. In feeling free to describe 'things' in their own right, out of the context of their environment, rational inquiry implicitly has us assume that environment is a secondary, rather than primary factor. This brings us back to Mr. Normality, the psychiatrist, in our essay, and the implied cultural level version of Mr. Normality, who is smugly proceeding to lobotomize all those and only those who cannot lobotomize themselves, ... but who can neither lobotomize himself nor avoid it.
What's the message? .... the indefinite goes on, ... indefinitely, ... with or without 'things' such as 'intelligent beings'. What was that Edna St. Vincent Millay said in 'Huntsman, what Quarry?'
When Man is gone and only gods remain
To stride the world, their mighty bodies hung
With golden shields, and golden curls outflung
Above their childish foreheads; when the plain
Round skull of Man is lifted and again
Abandoned by the ebbing wave, among
The sand and pebbles of the beach, ---what tongue
Will tell the marvel of the human brain?
Heavy with music once this windy shell,
* * *
She seems to be saying that exclusively investing in homocentricity is not a good strategy, ... that we shouldn't put all of our stakes into one species, which makes perfect sense if one feels nature to be our container, ... a 'simultaneous unity and plurality' wherein we are invested in the whole. If we feel deep within us that we are a part of evolution, we can look upon and accept that poem with curious good humor rather than despair. Like the wife and husband who were heavily invested in 'the indefinite' of spirituality or pantheism, ... when he was found dead in the act of doing a headstand, ...and the news was brought to the wife, ... she quipped, ... oh, henry is always up to tricks, .. now get that thing out of here and bury it for me, will you.
Those are extremes as to where we 'invest', ... in the 'thing' or in the 'indefinite'. The indefinite is, of course, the 'experiential' aspect, the reciprocal space-time history which is unique for every 'thing'. A dog has one and a cat as well, ... so does a fawn and an eagle and a flower and a rock.
Anaximander and Heraclitus opted for the primacy of the indefinite, the experiential, and our western culture opted for the primacy of the 'One', .. the material. Thus our rational inquiry is focused on the material, ... and as we follow it, without accounting for the self-referentiality of our containing space-time, we are beginning to lose traction, ... beginning to slip and slide on the curvature of space and trying to dig in harder instead of 'getting relativistic'.
Heisenberg suggested 'we are our experience' (we are our indefiniteness, our reciprocal space-time disposition) and that we should start from there in our inquiry. This would be consistent with relativity and quantum mechanics. And to do this, we need to include ourselves in the inquiry, ... we need to start from the story of ourselves, from our experience which is interwoven with the experience of the whole, and to look up and out at the world which contains and immerses us, ... which is our co-experiential partner.
Once we demote our voyeur rational inquiry to a supportive role and put ourselves back into the center of our inquiry, I think we'll see that ..... 'shape is everything'.
* * *
Montreal, September 6, 1999
My friend Reiner is a man of many gifts, a great raconteur, humorist, connaisseur of fine wine and cuisine, an eye for the aesthetic, a lover of children and on. One of his gifts is 'rational thinking', and when he is in the mood for 'clear-thinking', the austere bluntness of his Dutch experience surfaces like a a German U-Boot and he will accept no propositions 'before their time', ... before they have been reduced and polished to the precision of Rolex watch movements.
One could surmise that Reiner and my essays would not be a good mix, ... and that surmission would be pretty much on the mark, give or take some. About a year ago, Reiner became more irritated than usual with the recycling ambiguity in one of my essays and he consulted with his friend, a retired engineer as to what meaning, if any, might lurk beneath the swampiness of my wordflow. His friend read the essay several times and concluded, as Reiner probably knew he would, with the opinion; ... 'It's been my experience, that if I can't understand it, the guy saying it doesn't know what he's talking about.'
Well, when Reiner fed this back to me, it piqued me for a tiny moment, ... but then I reasoned that what he was trying to say was just the Dutch version of Lao Tsu's 'he who speaks knows not, he who knows speaks not'. Mind you, he could have kept his judgement to himself, ... or do I contradict myself here?
My friend Chris is much younger than Reiner but with the buds of many of the same gifts, ... though he speaks with a softer, Texas accent. Chris, thankfully, has not had the same ensemble of lifeshaping experiences that Reiner had, such as running through the streets of German-occupied Maastricht, frantically trying to recapture and hide the escaped, oinking piglet a farmer had given him to hide in his backpack and take home to his family. A scene, humorous in retrospect, but surrounded by shadow, since such acts were verboten and sternly punished by the occupational forces.
In the plurality of personas which are simultaneously enfolded in each of us, ... the musician's persona is most often 'surfaced' in Chris, ... and in spite of the winds and currents, like a sailing vessel rigged for storm, ... he will take a bit of the surrounding bluster in his jib and use it to keep on sailing.
Well, its great to have friends whose differing perspectives induce into a richer experiencing of the world, and a specific case of this is what I wanted to share in this 'footnote' to my essay on 'Slipping Up on the Slopes of Curved Space'.
The day before yesterday, ... Chris told me to buy Pink Floyd's 'Division Bells' and a couple of other CD's. I don't question Chris, .. and he doesn't question me, ... that's just the way it works, so I went out and bought 'Division Bells'. At the same time, ... Chris knows that I have been trying to let music catalyze insights relative to the domain of perception and inquiry I have been working on, ... and he and I have both 'tuned in' to types of music which has a certain quality which somehow relates to the elusive ghosts of concepts that I am trying to pull out of the mist, and give them a whiter shade of pale, ... so that they can sit and be observed for a bit.
After I heard 'Division Bells', ...,our should I say, after I entered into to Floyd's Division Bells mindwarp, ... I sent off the following email to Chris, acknowledging the choice;
>Date: Sat, 04 Sep 1999 23:37:18
>Subject: division bells
>division bells sucked me into space like i was a piece of dry ice on a hot dallas street, ...
>i appeared and disappeared like a mist in the louisiana swamp, ... with every bass pulsation.
>the music wasn't coming to me, ... i was embracing it from the outside in, ... jumping on it and hanging on its back with my arm around its neck every time it flowed forth.
> . . .
>i think floyd is in my last essay, ... i don't know. where do things come from anyhow, ...
>i feel the bizarre and warm flow-fill of floyd here;
>1999: 'Any of the worlds 433 nuclear reactors, ... if without electricity for cooling pumps for more than 12 hours due to Y2K or other disruptions to power supply (or generator fuel distributions), ... will meltdown with massive consequences to human life and the environment.' 'Johnny, did you hear that?' 'Mom, ... those Y2K guys are not cool, ... 'they' are the problem according to most people because the information they are spreading around is tending to make people very concerned.', ... what's for breakfast? ...any more high school massacres in the news?'
>we, .... need to keep our story always in the eye of our inquiry
>la de daa-daa, ....la de daa-daa daa-daa, .... eyyyy, ...ay ayyy, .... ohhhh yeaaahhh., ..tympanum, cybals, ..crash.
* * *
Well, I never thought any more about this difficult-to-articulate 'feeling' from Pink Floyd until my waking, about an hour ago, ... or perhaps in my unrecalled dreams just before that, ... but this thoughtflow with Chris had given me the answer that Reiner had been waiting for; .... if there's substance beneath what I've been writing about, ... why can't I just 'spit it out'.
So, Reiner, ... please tell me if you think that this answers your question, or at least 'helps', ... now stand back and watch out for flying spittle!
1. It is impossible to articulate the view which one sees from a position immersed within a volume by means of rational, logical propositions.
Looking out from a position within a dynamic volume, such as from a point within a flow, there is no way to quantitatively capture the fluid dynamics within the volume. When one is looking out from an immersed presence or center, ... one senses only the relative angle (azimuth) which the observed detail is coming in on, and there is no way to quantitatively determine the range and azimuth of all the objects in the volume at the same time. And if the measurement takes some duration of time, the range or azimuth of the tracked objects in the volume could shift as one completes and compiles them.
The problem is equivalent to walking around the surface of a sphere (finite, unbounded curved space). At each instant, all I can know is that I am walking along a tangent to the sphere and everything is the same for me (gravity, appearances) except for the relative distance from my last measurement, thus on the basis of all of my 'what is' measurements (the domain of rational, scientific inquiry), I cannot distinguish between being on a flat earth or on a sphere, ... in other words, I cannot rationally 'prove' that I am immersed in a volume, ... no doubt the reason why the 'Flat Earth Society' has held on for so long.
Rational, scientific inquiry can dig no deeper than down to the 'what is', .... down to the substrate of logic which pertains to the 'what is', ... propositions which are 'true' or 'false' and removed from the context of time (as Euclidian space renderings demand). So one ends up with an ensemble of measurements about the 'what is', which may by arranged in causal sequence, but whose basic origin is the 'what is'. The problem of having it otherwise is that if the passage of time is not removed from rational inquiry to reduce it to the 'what is', then that which is 'true' in one moment may become false in another; e.g. 'he is alive', to be rational, is a statement about 'being' out of the context of time.
The condition which is needed in order to substantiate that we are immersed in a volume is that in a single moment of time, all of the parts are constituents of a common whole, ... i.e. the volume we are immersed in must be a 'simultaneous unity and plurality'. As Kepler pointed out, the harmony between two planets (three bodies including the sun) is SIMULTANEOUS, ... thus we have a simultaneous unity, (solar system), which has a plurality of parts (planetary orbits).
The notion of a SEQUENTIAL unity and plurality, is not sufficient to prove 'volumetric immersion', ... it can only provide fragmented views, which require IMAGINATION to be recast into the notion of volumetric immersion.
For example for the man who is walking on the surface of the sphere, all he can measure in the moment is the right angle between the gravity vector and the horizon, ... that is, the 'tangent' to the sphere. As he goes from point to point, he can make more such measurements and relate them by relative position of the observational point. But this gives him the ambiguity that he could be walking on a flat plane.
Ok, but the stars, ... you say, ...
... As mentioned, and as Kepler pointed out, ... we have the same ambiguity in looking upwards and outwards at the stars. You can't measure all azimuths and ranges at once, ... it takes time, and then we end up with a sequence of measurements which we must put together and this time we have a flat sky choice, as chosen by some of the ancients, ... as if the stars were painted on the inside of a sphere whose center we are located at, ... this does not give the sense of 'volumetric immersion', ... of being 'part' of the continuous fluid-like volume we are observing, ... but instead gives us the sense of being an 'abstraction', ... as being an invisible point of observation which does not 'appear' within the observed space. The feeling of immersion must come from the sense that we are in a co-resonant dynamic with our containing space.
In fact, there is no rational way to prove that we are an immersed participant in volumetric space-time. Our rational constructs about space and time depend on our imagination. We imagine that if we could be at thousands of different points on the sphere and make our measurements SIMULTANEOUSLY, ... our clones helping us do the measuring would be seen as being spread out across a flat plane but we would see them positioned on the surface of a sphere. This is effectively what we do to come to 'believe' in our 'volumetric immersion' and spherical habitat.
We use the stars information at the same time, ... but the same thing applies to the stars, and in order to put the information on the stars together with the information on the earth, we have to imagine yet another thought experiment (or extension to the last) which has us looking up and down at the same time. And by bringing all these imaginary experiences into connection in our mind,... by depending (critically) upon relational thinking rather than rational propositions, ... we arrive at the perception of space-time as a volume in which we are immersed.
Rational inquiry in itself does not 'go the distance' in opening us up to 'how the world works', ... and in particular, it stops with the notion of flatspace, ... of a flat earth and an empty, painted-on sky, and it reduces us, the observer, to an invisible nothing.
If you take rationality to the limit as our culture seems to be attempting to do, ... you shrink yourself out of the picture, into nothingness, ... and it seems that quite a few people are 'jumping the gun' in trying to get there, ... or helping others to.
2. The statement "Imagination is more important than knowledge." was not just kitschy banter by Einstein, ... nor was the statement by Max Planck, that; "A new scientific truth does not win acceptance by converting it's opponents and making them suddenly 'see the light'. But rather the opponents eventually just die off, and a whole new generation grows up that is simply familiar with it." (rebirth occurs but rarely within the living adult).
The reason why I am working with a focus on youth is because it has been my experience that what Planck and Einstein are saying here are generally true in society. Many over-25 year olds 'just know' the answers, ... like chimpanzees who are conditioned, by an icewater spray, not to touch a certain ladder, and their 'policing' of each other becomes so effective that even after the icewater spray is long gone and the population of chimpanzees fully changed out (one by one), .. the group preserves and adheres to that 'knowledge' of 'how things work', continuing to police each other and enforce the 'no-touching' rule.
How does one know what one knows? Does one figure it all out for oneself? Or does one read it in a book? Or is it just what they call, ... 'common' knowledge?,... truths blowing in the wind?
Not everyone says; 'It has been my experience that if I don't understand it, the guy who's telling it doesn't know what he is talking about'. In particular, children don't say that, ... until they grow to around 25, ... or perhaps 16, .... or maybe even never, .... but the population density of those that do think along these lines varies with age. It has been my experience that it peaks at around 30-40 years amongst those on the 'right' side of the dual win/lose streams which flow out of our rationality obsessing culture.
Rational propositions are out of the context of time, ... clearly. It would have seemed a bit strange if Reiner's friend had made that same statement when he was two years old. Which brings up the question, ... is he the same person as he was then, or has he been taken over in the interim by alien mind snatchers. If all he has to go by is a sequence of diary entries which say 'I think therefore I am', ... he is in trouble, because those aliens might be fast movers and could have snuck in between the diary entries. It seems that Reiner's friend implicitly imagines that he is, at the same time, who he was and who he is now, ... a unified being which is, in the same moment, a plurality, ... rather than being a sequential mechanical build where stuff has been added to what was there before. No, Reiner's friend must see himself, his experience, kind of like the earth, ... as an evolutionary nesting of spheres within spheres and being all of these spheres at the same time. And when Reiner's friend's childhood and adult friends, and his children and grandchildren gather around him, ... and all look into his eyes and he into theirs and the love and recognition flows, ..Reiner's friend knows that he can safely fill in between the blanks in his diary entries, ... and assume that he is all of those people he was thinking about at the same time, friend and father, adult and child, rationalist and , ... relatio,...... errr, ... let me see now, ... I can dig the value of Lao Tsu teaching his two year old; 'he who speaks knows not, .. he who knows speaks not', ... in having him appreciate experientially learn things without having to rationalize them, ... to appreciate immersion in life rather than playing the voyeur rationalist game all the time. But I have more trouble seeing the value in Reiner's friend teaching his two year old; 'If you don't understand him, he who speaks, speaks falsely'. He seems to risk having his child take him for both a liar and a fool.
3. The basic units of information required to communicate (share) phenomena emanating from a simultaneous unity and plurality require an imaginary component.
Manus, an exceptional mathematician who Reiner also knows, died in 1985. Manus knew he had cancer when he handed me a copy of Gabor's 1946 'Theory of Communication', telling me that there was something 'profound' in it, that he 'couldn't get to', and that I should hang onto the paper and pop it up in a decade or two when the collective consciousness or the scientific crowd might be able to 'tune in' to and discover the mysterious and hidden morsels.
What Gabor says in his paper is that the communications theory we use, the theory of Shannon and Wiener, is non quantum-physics compliant, ... and cannot deal with our reality because it based on abstractions, such as the splitting apart of time and frequency which is not the way the world is, according to our experience. The basic unit of information constrains us to a binary choice between 'what is', and its peer 'what is not', ... i.e. binary one's and zeros. Gabor found that when he reworked the theory of communications accounting for Heisenberg's uncertainty relation (Pauli's time and frequency based restatement of it is that the product of the uncertainty in signal duration times the uncertainty in signal frequency is approximately equal to 1), there was a requirement for 'complex' signal, ... signal which had both real and imaginary components.
In physically realizable terms, what you do when you add in the imaginary component to the real component of the signal, 'has a simple significance' in the physical world, as Gabor says (p. 432 of the JIEE issue); "The function sigma (t) [the imaginary component of the signal] has a simple significance. It represents the signal in 'quadrature' to s (t) [the real component of the signal], which, added to it, transforms the oscillating into a rotating vector. If, for instance, s(t) is applied to two opposite poles of a four-pole armature, sigma (t) has to be applied to the other pair in order to produce a rotating field."
Das ist ganz klar, ja?
It's not so bad. Gabor's statement is congruent to Kepler's statements on visualizing solar system harmonics. In voyeur mode, one sees 'oscillations', ... the oscillations of mercury and venus around the sun, for example, ... while in 'immersed mode', one 'imagines' being a part of a simultaneous unity and plurality. One cannot rationally say so because one is not capable of making real observations of everything around you simultaneously, ... you must look here and then there sequentially and bring it all into connection in your mind, ... you must 'imagine' that it all hangs together and that you are part of this unity you are immersed in, a simultaneous part of it.
When you move from voyeur to immersed mode, one must ask 'who is 'it' who is doing the observing?' Clearly, when you are in voyeur mode, you are seeing things from a 'vantage POINT', but when you are immersed in the living volume, ...and perceive the simultaneous unity and plurality of it, ... 'you' are the containing space, ... you are the eyes (or visualizing sensation) of the container, ... 'you' are the 'Indefinite' from whence this ever-evolving dipolar materiality continually springs forth from, .... 'you' are the 'field', ... the 'ether'.
The 'rotating field' in Gabor's paper is not a 'thing' which rotates, ... a 'field' is not a thing, ... it is something which co-occupies the ensemble of things. The 'rotating' adjective is to indicate that material dipoles within the field will want to rotate.
The point to take away here is simply that the addition of the imaginary component, based on the space-time phase relationships of the real signal, converts the communication signal from a voyeur view of 'what is' and 'what is not' ('explicit' true or false data) to a multidimensional view from the eyes of the containing space.
When Kepler took all his separate voyeur observations of the planets and brought them into connection in his mind, taking care of all the space-time phase relationships as he did so, ... he could 'feel' the simultaneous harmony of the system of sun and planets. 'It was him' and 'he was it' because its when you're an immersed part of something that you can feel these harmonies which include you in them, when you enter into and become a part of the story you have been evolving.
This is not difficult, it is natural and we come fully equipped for it when we're born, ... it's how we develop and evolve a sense of self from our experiences, ... bringing our experiences into connection in our imagination and taking care of all the space-time phase relationships to build a holographic resonant thought-web (simultaneous harmony) based living volume which includes ourself.
What's difficult is getting kids to trade this natural gift in in exchange for western Rolex rationality, ... trade it in for a rational voyeur mode of perception and inquiry, ... we get the kids to do it by the bartering of our love. It may take 16 years, .... it may take 25 years, ... but our culture has learned how to be very effective at it. In the most successful cases, the youth loses touch with his sense of connectedness and immersion which comes from imagination, ... and develops such an acutely crisp and clear rationality that he sees himself becoming omniscient king of the cosmos, .... knowing that the words of those who love him, ...urging him to 'come back to his story, ... to 'imagine' what it 'used to be like' when he was a child with his mother, ... knowing these relational words to be too ambiguous to fit into the precision of his knowing, ... knowing that 'they do not know what they are talking about', .... and all the while intensifying his rational clarity, and commensurately shrinking and focusing his vantage point down to nanometric proportion, before extinguishing the last lingering spark of imagination which has 'held it all together'.
4. Explicit or 'rational' linguistic communications represent a 'sequential unity and plurality'.
Explicit communications are those which are 'constructed' sequentially from well- defined words and well-structured sentences and paragraphs. Because of this 'single issue at a time', sequential constraint of language, explicit language is not capable of conveying 'simultaneous unity and plurality' or 'immersed perception' concepts. In order to convey 'immersed perception' information, it is necessary to add an imaginary component to the information stream. The imaginary component provides the space-time phase information needed to 'bring a multitude of real and imaginary experiences into connection in the mind'.
The imaginary phase information is what enables the transformation of an explicit stream of information into a 'story' which one can 'enter into' and be immersed in, ... an experientially centered perceptive mode rather than a detached, knowledge oriented voyeur perceptive mode.
The space-time phase information is infused by means of ambiguous references which serve as common 'nodes', enabling the various statements to be brought into a simultaneous web of observations and allow the reader to feel as if he is immersed in the information or 'story', .... as if he were experientially centered within it.
But this ambiguity troubles the rational mind because the basic word entities 'include' multiple identities at once, ... often conflicting identities, ... as in the statements, 'she is good and bad', or 'this statement is true and false' which violate the 'law of non-contradiction', ... a 'no-no' for rational thought. But of course, that problem stems from in implicit 'Euclidian' view of space and time. In a curved space-time continuum, 'is' does not connote a binary 'true' or 'false' statement of existence but, instead, a complex and 'indefinite' source field of 'being and becoming', ... a 'simultaneous unity and plurality', a 'being' AND 'becoming'.
Heraclitus' writings were in the early era of the phonetic greek language, and this is a problem since Heraclitus believed that our reality is characterized by a 'simultaneous unity and plurality'. What we have retained is called 'the fragments' of what he originally presented orally. We have the bits, but not the story context which he delivered them within. He spoke of the problem of linguistic communication itself, as did others who have tried to interpret his 'fragments', ... a sampling follows which illustrates this issue ambiguity;
"Not comprehending, they hear like the deaf. The saying is their witness: absent while present."
"Most men do not think things in the way they encounter them, nor do they recognize what they experience, but believe their own opinions."
"Whatever comes from sight, hearing, learning from experience: this I prefer."
"Not knowing how to listen, neither can they speak."
"Much learning does not teach understanding. For it would have taught Hesiod, Pythagorus, and also Xenophanes and Hecataeus."
"The teacher of most is Hesiod. It is him they know as knowing most, who did not recognize day and night: they are one."
"I went in search of myself."
"The lord whose oracle is in Delphi neither declares nor conceals, but gives a sign."
"It is wise, listening not to me but to the Logos, to agree that all things are one."
"Doctors who cut and burn and torture their patients in every way complain that they do not receive the reward that they deserve."
"He who does not expect will not find out the unexpected, for it is trackless and unexplored."
"incredibility escapes recognition"
If one thinks in terms of a space-time continuum, .... without first converting every 'thing' into a fixed state of 'being' and sequentially manipulating the ensemble, as is the 'mechanics' of the 'rational' way, ... what Heraclitus says makes perfectly good sense. Of course, he who imposes a pre-emptory structural expectation on what he hears, ... is scarcely allowing himself to enter into the domain of the trackless and unexplored.
Charles Kahn ("The Art and Thought of Heraclitus") describes how the 'resonant networking' of Heraclitus' thoughts bring everying into a simultaneous, resonant unity;
"This notion of non formal resonance can be extended to the various terms for knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and intelligence found throughout the fragments (gnosis, noos, sophia, phronesis, etc.) At the limit, these diverse phenomena of resonance, taken together with explicit statements of identity and connection (such as 'war is shared and conflict is justice') will serve to link together 'all' of the major themes of Heraclitus' discourse into a single network of connected thoughts, thus articulating his general claim that 'all things are one'. It is because of this semantic role of resonance that the order in which the fragments are read need not, after all, be decisive for their meaning. The stylistic achievement of Heraclitus is to have contrived a non-linear expression of conceptual structure, a hidden fitting-together..."
Here's the bit that I like in Kahn, ... where he spits it out and tells it like it is, ... that the problem in communications is the 'hermeneutical austerity' in listening, which deprives the speaker of his 'multivocity', without which he cannot aspire to being the eyes and tongues of the container, and is reduced to being the mundane messenger of voyeur knowledge, as is our culture's reductionist obsession;
"With meaningful ambiguity in poetic discourse, however, there can be no single interpretation that is alone correct: the meaning is essentially multiple and complex. In the process of interpreting a text we may consider and discard some senses as inappropriate. But we will be left with an irreducible residue of at least two partially significant interpretations, two distinct statements to be understood as 'intended' by the author, if the ambuity itself is artistically meaningful [in the sense of implying the artist's conditioning of the 'indefinite' or 'negative space' from which the two conflicting entities emerged]. That is to say, to the stylistic device of polysemy or multivocity on the part of the author must correspond a principle of hermeneutical generosity on the part of the reader and commentator. This principle, which has been taken for granted in literary criticism for some time, has been unfortunately been neglected in the more austere proceedings of classical scholarship. As a result, a good deal of 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 sense --- some obvious, some recondite, some superficial, others profound. Such discourse presupposes an art of reading which classical scholars seem to have lost, ..."
What Kahn is saying, ... in the terms of rational scientific inquiry, is that since language is a 'single issue at a time' medium, space-time phase information must be overprinted on the 'rational' (explicit) communication carrier, to allow a resonant or 'holographic' visualization, which emerges relationally, by bringing everything into connection in the mind, ... so that the information 'speaks' with the multivocity of the container, ... speaks to us of our own immersed or 'lived' experience. The hermeneutical austerity which Kahn speaks of, seems to be intensifying in our society, ... forcing us to progressively take on the profile of univocal lobotomites of parasitic voyeurism.
5. Rational inquiry concerns the 'what is' and not the 'should be', therefore it informs one in an explicit knowledge sense, but does not tell you how to behave.
Pure rationality or the 'Kristallreinheit der Logik' (crystalline purity of logic) is something which the observer imposes on the observed (nature is hardly logical), and represents the frozen, abstracted state of 'being' of something that was, prior to the imposing of the logical structure, ...innately alive, flowing and evolving. Rationality 'kills' in the process of establishing the domain of 'what is' and to educate our children to believe that's all they need would be to push them towards insanity. It is the 'should be' which necessarily modulates our behaviors, ... 'should be' which does not and cannot exist in pure rationality, ... and if the 'should be' is not managed, ... for example by sharing stories of who we are, as in the aboriginal tradition', ... or from parables of 'good' and 'evil' from the somewhat bizarre combination of 'Fides et Ratio' (faith and rationality or commandment-based rationality), ... then the 'should be' may start to flap in the breeze.
Who are we if we do not respect our history and the lives of the yet unborn, and let this natural experiential feeling guide our behaviors?, .... if we allow ourselves to be the dog wagged by the tail of science and technology, .... to be narcissistically enslaved by our own clever image? ...
Excuse me, ... will return to my spitting it out, ...
Semantic impoverishment, the reduction of experiential expression to crystalline pure statements of 'being' reaches its peak in rational, explicit univocal statements which increasingly characterize the formal environments in which we immerse our children. If the child cannot sit still for it, ... if his living chemistry finds these infusions of pure rationality 'toxic' to his ontogenetic self, ... drugs like Ritalin can break down his natural resistance so that he can become indifferent to the toxic infusions. When the child is full of rational knowledge, at the expense of human experience and story, .... story and real life experience as in 'life on the farm', which is no longer shared with children in school because of 'political correctness' and fear of litigation, ... the child will have to find his 'should be' wherever he can, ... perhaps from the popular films and TV productions or from ideas garnered from CNN news.
6. Hermeneutic generosity on the part of the reader is necessary for extracting the full intended meaning from this footnote you have been reading.
It has been the author's intent to make his points, in this footnote, in as rational and explicit a fashion as he could. At the same time, he was 'coming from' a 'feeling', ... a multivocal feeling of how things are going as experienced in 'immersed mode' within the container of community, society, nature. The reader naturally has the prerogative to interpret all of the points made in this footnote solely as points of fact, which he can either accept or reject. In themselves they add up to some, perhaps, curious observations about the 'what is' in our society.
However, if the reader should allow all of these rational observations to come into networked connection in his mind, ... he may, by so doing, ... come out of his voyeur reading of this document and enter into the immersed mode of perception in which he now finds himself inside of the same story as the author, ... where he is now coming from his personal experiencing of this same story, ... this simultaneous unity and plurality called 'life' which seems to enfold everything, ... and if he comes into this mode,.... feelings of 'should be' may come to him. Perhaps he will feel that the educating of our children 'should be' changed, .... that perhaps we should be giving them a more hermeneutically generous environment and outlook?
In conclusion, I can summarize my writing style as follows; "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.)" In terms of curved space-time, Ludwig still 'is'.
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