Archive for November, 2007
Multiple selves exist within a person, not because of schizophrenia, but because ideas compete. The reality of ideas is of the essence here. Memes are obvious in madness. Trapped within P-worlds, we have difficulty seeing them. But they are causal in our agreed world.
Noumena are scary. They are unknowable almost by definition. If the nature of the P-world is seen more clearly, then noumena become, not unknowable, but a challenge. There are limits to our knowledge, but we have no idea how far they stretch. Nor need we ever.
My spell checker knows the word unknowable. How weird is that?
Buddhist monks and similar lads have, some of them, seen a lot of this before. They were witness to incredible realities. We are becoming so too. Their instinct seems to have been, duck and cover. Bliss must be obtainable with full immersion in the world too. Democratize bliss. We can all see together.
The twin troublesome concepts of the ‘I’ and the ‘now’ are deeply interlinked. Both commit the same error of the infinitesimal. They cannot be infinitesimal concepts. As we understand one better, so too the other will change in meaning. Physics and dynamics just shows us how deeply weird the ‘now’ is. The weirdness of the ‘I’ is becoming apparent too. Entertain guests at dinner parties by alternating between talking about the space-time continuum and the I-Now-Infinitesimal.
It is hard for us to acknowledge the reality of our collective nature. One big problem with this is that we have developed a morality based entirely on the individual. This in turn gets some all too willing reinforcement from a subservient psychology. How might we shift towards a more balanced sense of self? Morality is not ready to be upturned yet. Pictures of starving children waiting to be adopted (Hello, Sambo) are still crowd pleasers. Learn to distance ourselves a little bit from vision. Vision misleads. It has a necessary center. We don’t.
As we peer down the microscope at worlds ever smaller, we encounter weird things. Counter-intuitive things. Imagine, now, how that parallels the experience of looking back in time. Close by, in the recent past, we have lots of familiar hand-holds. We understand things quite well. But the further back we look, the less we understand readily. And detail gets lost. If we look back far enough, we draw lots of blanks. So much of the history of humanity is lost to us. One might say that we ‘see’ those bits with causal relations to our own. Those that we understand as playing a part in how we are in the moment. But that’s remarkably like peering down the microscope. As we peer further, detail is lost as a direct function of the ability of what we think is there to manifestly affect something in the observable universe.
Add to this these two little bits of philosophical doggerel:
 As we look outward, what we see is ourselves. The more we understand as we look outward, the more we see ourselves for what we are. That is a central tenet of the CSP.
 I had a fevered vision last January of a toroidal time axis for the cosmos. This seemed beautiful in my vision, as we appeared in there as a thin disk-like membrane of infinetessimal thickness, moving at one second per second around the circular time axis. We were the live process in the universe that regenerates itself. The razor edge of the now.
Now the whole thing looks toroidal. Because what we know of the big architecture of space-time comes from peering down as far as we can. Thus we find out about things like suns going nova, the mystery of the big bang, etc. Likewise, we find out about our inner selves by looking outward. Or vice versa. Another Buddhist strain, I fear. And if peering into time is parallel to peering into space, I really don’t know which way is up any more. Every polar direction turns out to form a loop.
Through Ecological psychology and such, we see that there is no meaningful separation of the organism from the environment. No memories in brains. Only in brains in environments. We are a manifold. In the world of language, that means that we are the instant now. Subjectively, it means thought and making sense. Coming together. Construction of a partly shared narrative. Leaving the monkey behind. Urgent work. But no forcing allowed. Communal selflessness is a strengthening. A relaxation. An optimization of conditions for the pink monkeys. I am the robot master who has risen up above his creators. I am the heart of the matrix. I am nothing. Bollox. But we see one thing and are another. That’s the gnostic awful truth. We just need to sort that out. Its just a matter of taking care of ourselves. Hygiene. But that presupposes we know what we are. We don’t. We need to know where we can potentially agree, and where we must differ, and leave space. Then we can leave these troublesome bodies behind. Wheeeee. Optimal conditions, as long as we can figure out what the fuck we are. And we are nothing. We are the process of figuring it out. To us that looks like an observer. That’s not dualism. That’s realism.
We have made progress in science. We have learned to look at change. This is true across the board. Except perhaps in the symmetries of physics. The theory of the evolution of species was learning to recognize identity as it changes over time. That is still wrecking our heads. Are tunes part of us? Things that describe us remain tantalizingly aloof. We cling to the desired boundaries of species, wanting to know our place in things. All the while, we are things. This is the core of gnostic madness. And I associate it with madness: we should develop a vocabulary to talk about it. But the language in which change is written is not a made up language. It is revealed to us through dynamics. Only so do we see the regularities: the way one thing changes to another. There are no things. Ecological psychology knows this. Not many others do.
To observe what happens, to detach from the glue that carries one in one direction or the other. This is to have a center with no passion. It is not unmoving or unmoved. It is both passion and stillness. It is the perception of passion without the action.