Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Known is Nothing Compared to the Unknown-Unknown

I am not so good with analysis of myths or where meaning is in symbols. Part of this may reflect a fear that the act of trying to understand is the brainwashing mechanism itself. It’s good to have an excuse for ones ignorance. Anyway, I find truth in my reaction to my experience.

I was blessed in that this started very early, when at 7 years of age I looked a 1917 penny and was shortly thereafter sent home because JFK had been murdered. It meant nothing to anyone else but to me it meant that the world was much bigger and stranger than I could understand.
Segue to 12 years old when my dad kicked me out of the house in winter with no shoes. As I walked I found my feet generated plenty of heat. Again, something that I did not understand that nonetheless filled me with great joy. Because my lesson was not learned the experience was repeated with the same result, great joy. My dad was my unwitting guru even though I did nothing but irritate him in return.

Later as he was breaking down a bit, I accepted the role as scapegoat. He started to make oddly formed demands on my younger siblings, and I would ‘play it back’ to him in an effort to show how absurd the demand was. The mocking tone was effective in turning his attention away from my siblings. (Although their reaction was mixed, sometimes seeming indifference and sometimes that gap mouth look indicating incredulity or horror.) It irritated him greatly that he could not make me be angry, but I have to hand it to him because he also was not one to hold a grudge.

One time, after we had lived on the farm for three years or so, we found ourselves in a vigorous exchange, with me safely positioned on the opposite side of a large table. Dad is doing the usual line about how the kids are not doing work that has been assigned. So I says, in my typical cheeky way, (the aspiration is for truth without anger), so dad check this; you know that I do in fact do most of the tasks that are assigned to me. You also know that every project involves many separate tasks. You also know that because you are a perfectionist that you pick on the one small element that was done ‘wrong’ rather than encouraging us kids for the many tasks that we do do and often do well. Therefore, because you seem to not be able to break yourself of this habit, I will no longer do anything that you ask or demand for me to do.

Apparently I had framed my argument convincingly because his response was little more than nearly mute, OK. The year and half remaining for me at the farm, dad held to his word and never asked for another thing from me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Virus within Intellect

This is from a thread started at the Rigorous Intuition GD forum.

More than anything else, the mental experiments of my teen years have saved me from a life of mis-spent effort. Now, I was the smart kid in those days and I knew that I was quite ignorant. I mean, all you had to do is memorize a bunch of stuff that teacher said, arrange the stuff in the way that teacher liked, and then repeat it back. My questions ran more along the why track.

Like why did my dad, a bright good hearted man, seem to have his life coming apart at the seams. 1972 and recession coming on, he actually made some good moves. He bought forty acres and we moved to the country and built our 64’x32’ park ranger style post and beam house for our 9-kid family. And as long as change was in the air, my dad found it reasonable to switch from being a strong Catholic to being a strong fundamentalist. Anyway it all happened at a PERFECT time for me. I had radical epiphanies about the utility of beliefs. I liked the new church for a time as the people were great. The notion that Catholics and pretty much everybody else were going to Hell because they did not conform to the strident requirements of this sect did not bother me for while yet. After all, I had gone from skinny nerd (with an obscure sense of humor) to top dog just by getting in the car and driving for a half hour. And the girls, Oh man, -game to go, especially the deacons daughter. And I find myself asking, as I enjoy the tactile sensations involved with removing a bra and fondling the smooth and silky breasts of a nubile young woman, -why?

Meanwhile, back on the farm, we got the garden in, chickens, goats, cows, but truth be told we were not honest ‘country folk’. My dad had taken the attitude, “We are moving to the country so I can teach you kids how to live”, instead of “We are moving to the country because that is a better place for me to learn how to live”. And that is the trouble with bright people; they always think they know what they are doing. They have it all figured out, as long as they can ignore the impact of the stuff that is not figured out. Eventually reality bites, and the shiny new category classification system stops popping facts out like toast out of a toaster. (Or the facts start to have a strong downward tilt.)

In the 11th grade I took the position that, if the beliefs of religion were social constructs, then the facts of science were probably also social constructs. This took the form of the assertion; all knowledge is hearsay. This also gave me a tool that I could use to resist the conditioning pressures of society. See, I wanted to be a scientist, but I did not want to have my intelligence measured by a constant taking on and spitting back of facts. What if the assumptions that the science was built on was faulty. Faulty things can be seen as truth quite easily, you know. Now you may protest, but…but science is objective and experiments are examined closely for holes in the reasoning. But….but assumptions cannot be presented objectively, that is why they are called assumptions. The people that are best at ‘acting’ smart and ‘acting’ spiritual do the most damage in this world. It’s nice to see a smart person like Chris Hedges own up to a bit of it. The whole article, more like rant, is pretty good.

....I was sent to boarding school on a scholarship at the age of 10. By the time I had finished eight years in New England prep schools and another eight at Colgate and Harvard, I had a pretty good understanding of the game. I have also taught at Columbia, New York University and Princeton. These institutions, no matter how mediocre you are, feed students with the comforting self-delusion that they are there because they are not only the best but they deserve the best. You can see this attitude on display in every word uttered by George W. Bush. Here is a man with severely limited intellectual capacity and no moral core. He, along with Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who attended my boarding school and went on to Yale, is an example of the legions of self-centered mediocrities churned out by places like Andover, Yale and Harvard. Bush was, like the rest of his caste, propelled forward by his money and his connections. That is the real purpose of these well-endowed schools -- to perpetuate their own.

Well Duuh!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

rednecks and liberals

I moved to a new place, three hours away about five months ago. This last weekend my wife and I went back to celebrate our daughters birthday. While there we hooked up with the more redneck contingent of our friends. We missed the husband of the one friend because he was hunting boar in Tennessee, while she was off to the Jeff Foxworthy show Sat. night. Two other friends I visited with were working on a plow truck in my first friend’s garage. He is a cement contractor and out of work in the winter. Having lived in the trades, I am comfortable hanging around with rough types. Still, I might push them around a bit as I identify the misshapen effects of living with certain ‘belief’ systems.

Our conversation became vigorous as my friends have little regard for Muslims. After a short history lesson, the second friend said in effect, well the bible says the ‘good’ people will be protected. He made his case with an appeal for 'goodness' being about helping widows and neighbors. After pointing out that Muslims have a longstanding custom of welcoming the stranger, it was also asserted that paying for bombs for one neighbor to devastate the remaining walled in sliver of the original people of this land, is a hard thing to connect to the concept of ‘goodness’. This followed on into a suggestion that the very secular and humanist modernist faction of the Jewish community had won an inner-communal struggle, and so therefore my friend was allied with people that he theoretically despises. So yes, sure I make people uncomfortable, but I do back off when it is strategically appropriate. If I do my thing well these folk will remain friends as they later realize that I was attacking their misunderstandings and not them as people.

Truth be told, I have not done my thing so well with my more liberal and ‘spiritual’ oriented friends. Frankly, most are more thin-skinned than the traditionalists, yet able to push away questions of pretences and ego projections with a deft defiance of reality.

I find it a bit odd that I can engage better with rednecks than I am able to engage with folk that claim to care about the current and future condition of this world. Once again, left with a puzzle.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Creativity Unleashed

This paper seeks to encourage others to engage with the process of creating the parameters for the next paradigm. The ideas put forward as possible parameters are less important than the need to recognize that the next paradigm will best be built from a wide social and cultural base. The "other" can then become our salvation rather than being seen as a threat.

Creativity Unleashed, or Who’s Gonna Let the Dogs Out?

How is it that society will come to understand more constructive ways to relate to the conditions of our existence? This paper seeks to illustrate the manner by which fixed belief systems inhibit our creativity and ability to change the expressions of our consciousness. In particular, a notion will be advanced that Satan and Lucifer are G-d’s necessary helpers and are pitted against each other, rather than against G-d.

The current occupant of the White House has said; "You are either with us or you are with the terrorists." This is a call for eternal war, and cannot be considered positive for the development of culture or society. Also, in a little noticed statement, the US Sec. of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, said that; " the "unknown unknown" is the thing that keeps me awake at night". The only work that I am aware of, that deals with the subject of the "unknown unknown" is found in a book called "Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method". Here Henry Bauer makes a strong case that use of the scientific method alone does not provide the necessary ingredients for the formation of valid science. Of greater necessity is having a community of searchers that have a common language and boundary conditions. He uses the puzzle analogy of Michael Polanyi to show how the scientific community working together produces the solution to the puzzle.

Normal science deals with elements found within the boundaries of the dominant paradigm. That is the known and the known unknown. Elements outside those boundary conditions are often denied existence. Henry Bauer calls them the unknown unknown. To better understand the meaning of the known, the known-unknown, and the unknown-unknown, consider a square. The lines represent the boundaries of a puzzle. These boundaries represent our corollaries and assumptions. Inside the lines are puzzle pieces. The pieces that fit together are considered to be the known. The pieces inside the lines that don't yet fit together are considered to be the known-unknown. Everything outside the lines is considered as being the unknown-unknown and also, unfortunately, irrelevant.

Henry Bauer's use of the puzzle analogy is helpful although it is less than consistent. On one occasion it is treated as a fixed entity as when he says; 'Actually and ultimately, there is only one way to fit all the pieces together.' This implies that the puzzle is all of reality. On another occasion he talks about the puzzle growing. He seems to feel no need to explicitly state what is implicitly recognized through nearly everybody's experience. That is to say, the first thing that a puzzler does is to put together the boundary pieces. Yet the edge pieces define the puzzle and not the edges of reality. In a picture puzzle the edge pieces are the easy ones while in real life the boundary conditions are the most difficult to define. Indeed without boundary conditions we hardly have a puzzle to solve. The following statement of his provides another indication that Henry Bauer confuses the puzzle with reality.

"Every now and again, though, something happens....and then we have "revolutionary" science, or a Gestalt shift in some part of the puzzle.....The players thereby can never claim absolute finality for any part of the picture, and yet as larger and larger areas are completed, it does become less and less likely that major Gestalt shifts or minor rearrangements will need to be made-the less likely, the more there are links to surrounding areas of the puzzle."

Any credible scientist would concede that boundary conditions limit the extendibility of any given model, rather than considering them as the limits of reality itself. Currently existing paradigms deal with the known and the known unknown. Frontier science is liable to contain greater obvious error, but it represents the only way to deal with the unknown unknown. Its error or truth cannot be judged reliably by existing paradigms, as its conclusions lie outside the boundaries of current paradigms.

It seems to me that the strongest single determinant regarding the succession of paradigms lies in the aesthetic. The Copernican system was aesthetically more pleasing than the old Ptolemic system, yet at the time could not be said to predict events any better than the old system. Contrast this with this statement of Henry Bauer.

"The filter and puzzle model describes how the practices and institutions that have evolved in science sift out bias, error, and fraud under the scrutiny of the scientific community and the control of the prevailing paradigm."

It seems that most unbiased observers would see that while the current paradigm may sift out some bias and error, it will at the same time institutionalize other forms of bias and error. Those in "control of the prevailing paradigm" certainly felt justified in inhibiting the work of Galileo. In Galileos time the forces restricting science's pursuit of truth were religious, today those forces are economic and political. A Gestalt shift however, involves the replacement of one puzzle with a new puzzle; not simply the rearrangement of existing pieces. Previous rationality may now become irrationality, and vice-versa. Before Coperinicus it was considered irrational to believe the sun to be the center of the solar system, after conversion the opposite became true. How prudent is it then, given historical precedence, to be totally invested in current conceptual structures?

Consensual representations (OwenBarfield) form the relative truth structures at any given time within society. . While Truth may be Absolute, our understanding of Truth is never absolute. Any claim to understanding is mediated by words that form the interpretation of intimations of the comprehensive, (Karl Jaspers) or the ineffable (Abraham Heschel). Communication is also limited by the mutual understanding of the language used. As such, expressions of the Absolute will always maintain some distance from us.

Experience shows that when relative truth is promoted as being Absolute Truth, pathological response patterns are often the result. It is a false security thereby derived, as working with rigid or frozen categories surely inhibits a person’s connection to the ineffable (Abraham Heschel) or the comprehensive (Karl Jaspers).

Creativity is found in reformulating the information content within and between categories or, our ‘forms of structure’ (Aristotle) or ‘forms of understanding’ (Kant). Our current forms of understanding are rooted in a hard dualism via the Greeks and Descartes. This has been a legitimate stage to go through in that it has greatly assisted us in improving our analytical abilities. Still, it is time we used our innate creativity to better transcend the limits of dualism. Creativity can be used to reframe the boundary conditions of our puzzle. The "unknown unknown" can then become part of the known and the known unknown. That is, some of the "unknown unknown" can be brought within the boundary conditions of the puzzle (the known and the known unknown).

When boundary conditions change, (a rare event) the expert classes must redefine their relationships to society. Therefore, Mr. Rumsfield’s true fear is more likely, not the "unknown unknown", it is rather that the "unknown unknown" might become part of the known and known unknown. It may however also be the case that Henry Bauer and Mr. Rumsfield deal with the "unknown unknown" issue so as to signal and inspire other thinkers. Indeed in times past, members of the expert class would sometimes present exaggerated versions of orthodox positions so as to inspire students to examine new approaches to a given problem. (Beral Lang, Philosophical Style)

It is safe to say that most people are not happy with where society is at, or their place in society. Many search for the root causes of this dilemma, yet circumstances suggest we are far from identifying these causes. Our personal crusades may mask root causes rather than identifying them. Look at any panel of "experts" convened to address our larger problems. One person will cite breakdown of the family, another will cite lack of love, and the others will claim still different elements as the root causes. The primary cause expressed will always reflect the profession of the speaker. Each person will have valuable things to say; yet all will be far from the root causes. I fear that many "experts" exist to fill some "basic fault" or gap between perception and reality. (Morris Berman, 'Coming to our Senses') If this is the case then most experts will probably feel threatened if deeper causes let alone the "root causes" are brought up. Still there is a place for everyone in existence. Job descriptions and the means of value creation can change. Initiative is required to define our places in society, and our problems may be the best spur to initiative there is. I propose a toast to our problems: May we always have problems, never insurmountable, yet always a challenge.

At this point in our history many problems seem insurmountable. Whether the problem is resource depletion, environmental degradation, epidemics, fear of the other, or any other problem, the dilemma is inherent in our outlook rather than the potentials of reality itself. To be caught on the "horns" of hope and despair is a melodramatically paralyzing response better replaced with a personal absorption of the dilemma, which if lived with long enough can yield a personally meaningful response. While the solutions presented here (always partial and incomplete) may seem surreal and outlandish, be assured ancient "truths" are appealed to for the foundation. It is simply the case that "truths" are layered by rhetoric and myth making over time. One initial task is to cut through the rhetoric and reclaim more of the substance of the myths.

It makes sense that, over time, our guiding institutions will shape the forms of structure (understanding), so as to promote interests of the institutions. For example, while the early Hebrews considered Satan to be a roadblock or impediment to righteousness, a later Christian interpolation cast Satan as the representative of some external enemy. Casting Satan as an external threat then provides obvious benefits to the guiding institution, so as to rally the community under a perceived threat from the "other". Misdirected focus surly contributes to the loss of original information content (substance) within the category that we call Satan.

Our current dualistic system for understanding inhibits critical self-examination and promotes an unjustified sense of righteousness. The good vs evil agenda provides an all to simple target and shield for everyone involved. Culture and society can flourish only to the degree that our systems of understanding treat the "other" as a necessary element rather than as a threat. Towards this end, I would like to present a re-interpretation of a few categories that have been stripped of their substance over time. The following (abridged) system for understanding reality seeks to overcome some current limits of thought and speculation. Abraham Heschel, in his book "God in Search of Man", said that all experience contains elements of both law and spontaneity (order and liberty). Higher-grade experience happens when order and liberty are balanced and support each other. A low-grade experience will result when one dominates the other. Order without liberty produces a shallow and sometimes negative expression of order, and vice-versa. The following diagram serves to illustrate the effects of balance or lack thereof between order and liberty.

Imagine this figure in 3-d with an inverted tornado overlaid on it representing ones experience and history.

This figure implies that we all have both positive and negative elements to our being, and a focus on the positive will produce better relations.

Mr. Heschel claimed that there are three types of people. The first type seeks self-salvation. For the second type the Self is the problem, so that he will seek self-abdignation. The third type simply seeks fellowship. The salvationist will tend to do what he is told under the mistaken assumption that that is the way to claim his prize. People, for whom, the Self is the problem; expend their energy trying to transcend the limits of existence. Both are Self-centered and seek to relate oneself toward ones conception of reality, rather than to reality itself.

This version of Mr. Heschel's analysis changes his terminology so as to brighten the contrast of these images and to show substance within forms that many people consider to be empty of substance. First of all, there is no battle of Good versus Evil. In fact, if we allow that G-d is unnamable or beyond categories, then the battle is not between G-d and Satan at all. It is rather between different tendencies of expression, which educate through contrast. To illustrate, let us call order without liberty the static principle, or Ahriman (Satan). Under this principle you will do as you are told, and consider that the relevant authority structure is telling the "Truth". Next, let's call liberty without order the principle of indiscriminate change, and further, label this as Lucifer. This principle (idea) dispenses with received authority, replacing it with a, self-contradictory and absolutist demand for relativism. According to these measures, dogmatic orthodoxy is the tool of Satan, while rebellion from conventions is to be influenced by Lucifer. This can be brought into a modern secular context by considering "Type 1" and "Type 2" personalities. Type 1 personalities generally submit to the conditioning pressures of their parents and society, while Type 2 personalities tend to rebel from conditioning. While many people are not at the ends of the continuum, the rhetorical advantages are clearest at the ends. There is also a Type 3 personality, neither beholden to, nor disdainful of current conventions. Our job is to encourage first in us, then in our children, Type 3 personality expressions.

My contention is that a more balanced relation between order and liberty will deepen the possibilities within our categories and thereby better illustrate the substance contained within our forms. The quality of our experience is a direct reflection of the balance, or lack thereof, between order and liberty. This results in the strange corollary that Ahriman and Lucifer are G-ds necessary helpers. They serve to provide opportunity for discernment and a functional background on which we may find the value and effects of applying free will.

While consciousness is less developed, as with young children, it is reasonable for order to dominate liberty. As consciousness grows elements of liberty become more relevant, and if repressed will produce negative expressions of both order and liberty. The repressor will demand total obedience, while the liberator demands total repudiation.

In time consciousness will recognize the imperative to balance order and liberty. Then, rather than doing what we are told (Ahriman) or doing what we feel like (Lucifer), we will do the right thing and the Christ will rise from within us, sweeping the garbage of Satan and Lucifer out of our heads and allowing us to become effective co-creators with G-d. We can celebrate difference as an element that makes for a rich culture. Conversely, we can allow nasty operators to continue to create monsters that "must" be subsequently destroyed. An Old Spanish proverb says; take what you want... Then pay for it. All the fortunes in the world could never pay for the deceits of the ages. (Talk about family secrets, Diane Rheim. Dec 6,PRI) Still, the Grace of G-g rains down upon the just and the unjust alike, and the Glory of G-d will find expression. That is, the Grace (voice of the ineffable) will produce the Glory (harmony of greater understanding.)

In G-ds Love, Sounder

Sunday, May 21, 2006

New Outlook Society

I have done this 'shtick' for over twenty years. The silence is still deafening. Yet this is to be expected in response to a critique that undermines religion and secularism with equal vigor.

While information is necessary, it is not a sufficient element to create a proper analysis of our situation. Facts are context dependent, therefore only a new context or framework for understanding will change the relative values of various facts.

Our current context results from ‘belief’ systems that have shaped the general psyche to defer to authority for many centuries now. We are cultural adolescents, frozen by the threats of rapacious paternal figures. Realize, we only grow up when we go beyond rote and reactive responses towards integrating new elements into our psyche. Thus the only ‘doing’ going on, is effort designed to help transition society from adolescence to young adulthood. We gots to move out of the house and learn to pay our own bills.

As a long time student of current events and parapolitics, I find it interesting that rabble-rousers never do more than irritate our cultural beast. Our leverage to effect events will remain weak as long as we submit to the (formalized) mental conditioning systems that have defined human society since the Consul of Nicea.

When at the Consul of Nicea, Jesus was declared to be G-d, the church became a means to enforce authority and inhibit 'enthusiasm', and therefore an agent of Ahriman.

Descartes, with his clever speculations, further codified this dualistic pretence, separating the spiritual and the physical, - thereby obscuring again the value of individual creative expressions of consciousness. G-d is far off, “trust us say the authority figures, to explain to you how reality is”.

As we learn to better examine our cultural conditioning systems we may notice proposals for improvement.

Our collective Criteria for Understanding do more to shape psychical expressions than any news tidbit or informed opinion. The ‘harsh critics’ out there are to be reminded that a consequent cannot prove the antecedent and therefore one expression of initial principles cannot be said to be inherently more valid than another. It is in this spirit that the following ‘rules’ for psychical conditioning are presented, a new set of Criteria for Understanding.

1. The spiritual and material is fundamentally the same.

2. Consciousness precedes Being; Being is congealed Consciousness.

3. Taking or presenting relative truth as being Absolute truth produces pathology.

4. Any particle is the agglutination of sub-particles that exhibit the proper combination of frequency, velocity, vector, and a cyclical balance between electro-magnetic attraction and static repulsion characteristics.

5. The manifest expression reflects the balance between order and liberty within consciousness.

Glory be

Sunday, February 26, 2006

How I spent my Summer

Internal mental dialogue plays an important part in all our lives. While young, a most basic question that I asked was, what do I know? My conclusions centered on the notion that my knowledge was mostly made up of conventions and hearsay. I toyed with the idea that in fact, I “knew” nothing. This led to an obsession to better understand the nature of reality. To this end I formed a mental experiment or prayer really, that said; “Dear Lord, please let me see reality as it is, independent of my preconceptions as to the nature of that reality.” This prayer was repeated for several years, two or three times a week as I was going to sleep. I had heard that there are several seconds between waking and sleep where the conscious and unconscious minds can connect more freely. My request was answered via a strange experience that was neither a waking nor dreaming form of consciousness. Beyond showing that my perceptions of reality were wildly different than reality, and that all understanding is mediated through forms, I could only conclude, along with Jack Nicholson, that I could not handle the Truth. Subsequent to this my goal in life is to become better able to “handle the Truth”, keeping in mind the legitimate role that our conscious mind provides in filtering the mass of data we might otherwise have to deal with.

I love writers and their attempts at giving shape to their forms of understanding. Their varied expressions and reflections will always impress and inspire, yet in reading it seems, as often as not, that many people seek validation more than they seek “Truth”. Thus the expert class seems to function in a way that seeks to cover up or hide the Basic Fault (Morris Berman). That is, their job is often to provide the phychic comfort inherent in the notion that our perceptions of reality are accurate representations of reality.

From my experience, I “know” that my perceptions of reality are wildly different from reality. Perhaps this is one reason for me to prefer writers that upset conventional understanding. Early interest for me centered on physics. This led me to read every “new physics” book that could be found. One thing I noticed was that, with one exception, the arguments were tied to conventional understanding as a means, I supposed, to attain some credibility. The one book that did not follow this path was written by an insane genius, or as part of some govt. black budget shopping operation that was seeking to “out” (or encourage) unconventional thinkers. Credence was lent to this last book because it did provide the beginning basis for understanding my “prayer experience”.

As I learned to express some of these ideas in conversation with others, a curious thing was to be noticed. While regular people could deal with the ideas presented, those of the expert class would be quickly offended and threatened. This led to further study of history of religion, philosophy, the history of philosophy and history of science. I came to believe that our understanding is driven more by social rather than rational considerations and that regular people were more rational than those of the expert classes. Quite naturally, my focus turned toward consciousness and its relationship to the creation of our collective experience.

A newswire from around this time related a quote from Vaslev Havel speaking to our senate. He reportedly said; “The one thing we learned from communism was that consciousness does indeed precede being.” Most of modern thinking places being ahead of consciousness, as in “the mind is a by product of the functioning of the brain.” Materialism, evolutionary theory and other modern notions contain this premise, implicitly and explicitly. Institutional Christianity also places being first as they claim, (and seek to impose their) understanding of the “objective truth” of the Bible. While we may “save the appearances” even with our incorrect premise for quite some time, eventually the strain between social structures and reality will surface, as it has with communism, and some cults.

The time is coming where we no longer have the luxury of blaming others for the social chaos that exists. Strength of character must be developed so that people can confront disturbing concepts that may threaten psychic stability. One stepping-stone that has worked for me involves the redefinition of certain words and concepts. For example, from the bible; Satan is said to be the ruler of this world and also the great deceiver. How could this deception be so complete that he could become the ruler of this world? Yes, as an external truth this concept is nonsense, yet as an internal truth it may provide significant material for study. In my attempts to create new forms of understanding this idea has provided the best jumping off point that I have yet found.

Currently most people feel that the “other half” of the people are deceived. While most people feel that they are beacons of rationality, it is the “other half” that are responsible for all our social chaos. For our survival we may want to consider that a truly great deception will fool nearly everybody. The rest are placed in mental homes or killed.

The internal logic of this paper can stand up only if the reader can accept, at least while these ideas are being presented, that our focus of understanding is driven more by social considerations than by rationality. The deceptions function because we think of ourselves as rational when in fact we are not, or at least we are barely rational.

We look at “facts” whose evidentiary value is determined more often by unexamined assumptions, rather than non-prejudiced empirical observation. We live in an ocean of circular logic. If you say to some people, for instance, that it is in an open court record that in the 70’s the Argentine military was busy dumping leftists, off of flights out over the open ocean, and as it happened there was always a priest or pastor on the flight. Was this to console the leftists being tossed to their deaths? No, it was to console the soldiers doing the tossing. When this story was told to an Aunt and Uncle, they simply said, no that is not possible, didn’t happen.

We can laugh (uneasily) when we consider the simple mindedness of earlier folk who thought that a person was a witch if upon, being thrown into the moat they floated, yet innocent if they sank. Still, we produce reams of analysis that is devoid of one critical element. Is the initial premise correct? Is Al-Quada an enemy of the State, or instead are they a clever tool of the state? Was the establishment of Cartesian Dualism a surrender of authority by the Catholic Church, or rather a means to ensure their authority on “spiritual” matters, by encouraging the creation of a physical science that deals only with gross manifestations of existence? While the declaration that the physical and the spiritual are fundamentally different encouraged excellent progress within the physical sciences, we are wrong if we consider this duality to be an Absolute Truth.

Consider the wave-particle paradox. It may be the case that any particle is the agglutination of sub-particles that exhibit the proper combination of velocity, vector, and a cyclical balance between electro-magnetic attraction and static repulsion characteristics. It is reasonable to assert that particles may exist, that are many orders of magnitude smaller than the resolution powers of current instruments. These particles would still be physical yet so small that they may be driven by resonance relationships and may be kin to consciousness itself. If this idea or ones similar to it were given consideration we might begin to see how the gross physical world is produced out of the implicate order, the ineffable, or the zero-point.

How do we relate to, and bring material from out of the ineffable? We have “visions”, and then we interpret the vision into prosaic terms so that others may understand it. This social compact (or inevitability) feeds back into the questions that we ask of the ineffable. Our knowledge is not the recognition of a pre-existing ideal (Plato). Our knowledge is not a new discovery (Sophists). Our knowledge instead represents answers that are arrived at always within the terms of the questions asked (Aristotle).

Has the era of dualism served its function and are we ready to move towards new sets of questions? Only when good people admit to their own involvement in maintaining Absolute Truth value for answers that result from what are in fact outmoded questions, will we as a society advance to a stage where our perceptions of reality and reality itself will exist within a more dynamic and healthy relationship.

This writing is for people that are seeking a way to bring subtlety into their ideological tendencies and concerns. The shrill rhetoric within today’s polity creates a situation where understanding of substance is replaced by shallow and self-validating forms of understanding. We will look for the story behind the story of history as a path back towards the realization of a more authentic experience.

Surely both liberality and conservatism contain commendable elements, and just as certainly they become negative when taken to their extreme. This is so because all experience contains elements of order and liberty, law and spontaneity or Halacha and Agada. It seems we often read history as a contest between order and liberty. It is not, because higher expressions (experience) balance order and liberty while denigrating one to raise the other produces a more crude and possibly negative expression of both. The situation is further complicated with the common sense realization that different levels of consciousness change the proportions of order and liberty needed to achieve balance.

Look at the interplay of order and liberty as a metaphor for history or growth of consciousness. For illustration, take as an example the raising of children. It is a truism that young children want to be told what everything is, while older children (teenagers) do not want you to tell them anything. We do well to take advantage of, instead of being frustrated by this situation. If given consistent answers and direction, boundary conditions are created that provide a healthy self-image, or sense of place for a young child. As the consciousness becomes more active around seven years of age, it is these ingrained boundary conditions that provide the basis for later healthy decision-making.

This outlook has clear advantages over current mushy modern child psychology and the 19th century advice to not make children soft by showing to much affection. The mushy modern method produces indulgent youngsters, where when the parents finally clamp down, they find themselves to be ineffective. Likewise, the reactionary method will either crush the spirit or create a total rebel. The new method cultivates an order that will form the basis for later healthy expressions of order and liberty.

Our current criteria for understanding have largely been shaped by the mechanical philosophy, or Cartesian Dualism. The aristocracy and the Church promoted this philosophy in the 17th century as an antidote to what was then called enthusiasm. Our understanding is shaped, - no defined and controlled by its dictates. A dispassionate challenge of Dualism’s initial premise, that the spiritual and material are fundamentally different, may provide conclusions that begin to overcome the dichotomies inherent in modern society.

A similar controversy played out in the second century as Ireneius and Valentius promoted their respective understandings of the new Christian philosophy. Simply put, Ireneius felt the need for consistent doctrine amongst the various churches, while Valentius promoted ongoing inspiration. Again, orthodoxy versus intuition or enthusiasm. While orthodoxy provides consistency that seems necessary for social cohesion, enthusiasm provides a dynamic element that is necessary for social growth.

Future criteria will point towards substance that resonates with the inherent striving towards growth, and that overcomes our inhibitions of ego and outmoded habitual thinking.

We must try to square the circle so that our criteria for understanding can provide guidance, while at the same time avoid the mistake of acting as if our map is the territory. Any criteria must have substance if it is to survive; yet its forms of expression will always be co-opted, to the greatest degree possible by institutional power structures. Any novel criteria for understanding will be useful to the extent that its principles can immunize itself from this sickness.

The main theme of the New Testament was Christ’s gospel of love, yet Christians exhibit many symptoms of intolerance. The Middle East during these early centuries was an area of great cultural interaction and trade. It is sensible to consider that wise people would have tried to bridge these cultures by creating a story or myth cycle that might connect the various communities so as to promote healthy interaction. The new myth story, being derived from older stories, would likely contain descriptions of stages of growth and development. This inherent impulse towards growth was co-opted by literalizing its contents. The one iota of the Consul of Nicea, Christ is of God or Christ is God, changed Christianity from a personal growth tool into a tool insuring the growth of imperial power structures. The dark ages lasted a long time because it’s hard to be inspired when your sponsors effectively say; “ Think this way or think about the pain of death.” This confidence game started to break down with the Gutenberg press and the spread of information it produced. Descartes came to the rescue with a mechanistic philosophy that served to subvert the “enthusiasm” that was again entering the larger community. The strategy was effective because, with the spiritual and the material declared to be fundamentally different the Church could re-legitimize their claim to be the proper intermediaries between the common man and a far off God.

While the mechanical philosophy did provide a framework for the growth of analytical thinking, less benign elements were also introduced. Deductive, or if this then that, reasoning has produced a situation whereby abstractions of abstractions are supposed to lead to a proper understanding of reality. This house of cards falls when a clear empirical observation conflicts with accepted “knowledge”. All is well as long as novel evidence can be ignored or tortured into fitting within the existing framework, hence the high wages of the intellectual elites. After all, while workers build stuff, the elites must protect us from the whole thing (society) falling apart.

Both secular and religious “experts” rely on the common acceptance of stated initial assumptions. It should be a clue for us to observe that the initial assumptions of both served the same or similar purposes. This inhibiting of enthusiasm has produced an unquestioning and rigid mentality, despite protestations to the contrary. The genius of Cartesian Dualism is that it appeals to the two polar mental styles, to support the same limiting assumptions. The traditionalist pole considers that all order is from the spiritual and they tend to lament change, (which they call societal breakdown). The secularist pole believes that order results from the material and a utopia can be created through “rational” constructs. Both poles promote an artificial conception of order. While the traditionalist element requires the acceptance of the Bible as objective truth, the secular element promotes the value of objectivity within a value free science. Yet, where can objectivity be, if we are coming at reality from one side, or the other?

My bet is that culture and society are becoming grown up enough to see our current structures of understanding for what they really are. That is, a set of boundary conditions, that while not being “Truth”, still provides a necessary framework from which to operate. As we grow, the framework of our understanding will change. Kids learn that Santa Clause was a story. And that is the real story, its all allegory.

I will finish this paper with my own allegory and one criteria for understanding that I consider appropriate to this day and age. We battle against powers and principalities. The static principle represents the idea that you will do as you are told; this is to follow Ahriman, more popularly known as Satan. This is order without liberty. The other side of this coin is the principle of indiscriminate change, or liberty without order, otherwise known as Lucifer. We always have the opportunity to be "saved" by the Christ principle. This happens by bringing balance to order and liberty, and thereby removing the garbage from our minds. Until that point we worship idols and replace G-d's will with ego driven constructs.

1st. criteria: Taking or presenting relative truth as being Absolute Truth produces pathology.

So be it. With Love to all.