In my research today I came upon this interesting article, “Here comes everything: the promise of object-oriented ontology” by Timothy Morton. (New link, old one broken.) It is of interest not only to speculative realism but also to some recent discussions on Caputo's ontology, modes of apprehension of such, and quantum theory. The article is 27 pages of text so I've culled some excerpts, lengthy in themselves.

 

Excerpts:

 

Speculative realism...asserts the deep mystery of a Non-Nature....object-oriented ontology (OOO)...goes further than this, rejecting essentialist Matter.... OOO is a form of realism that asserts that real things exist--these things are objects, not just amorphous “Matter”.... OOO extends Husserl's and Heidegger's arguments that things have an irreducible dark side: no matter how many times we turn over a coin, we never see the other side as the other side--it will have to flip onto “this” side for us to see it, immediately producing another underside. Harman simply extends this irreducible darkness from subject–object relationships to object–object relationships.... Causation is thus vicarious in some sense, never direct. An object is profoundly “withdrawn”--we can never see the whole of it, and nothing else can either.... We've become so used to hearing “object” in relation to “subject” that it takes some time to acclimatize to a view in which there are only objects, one of which is ourselves.

 

The notion of the “withdrawal” of objects extends my term strange stranger to non-living entities. Strange stranger names an uncanny, radically unpredictable quality of life forms. Life forms recede into strangeness the more we think about them, and whenever they encounter one another--the strangeness is irreducible....the uncanny essence of humans that Heidegger contemplates extends to nonhumans.... The more we know about a strange stranger, the more she (he, it) withdraws. Objects withdraw such that other objects never adequately capture but only (inadequately) “translate” them....This is what “irreducible” means.

 

Rhetoric is not simply ear candy for humans: indeed, a thorough reading of Plato, Aristotle and Longinus suggests that rhetoric is a technique for contacting the strange stranger....[it] amplifies imagination rather than trying to upstage it, and it revels in dislocation, not location.... Harman's imagery differs from ecophenomenological ecomimesis that confirms the localized position of a subject with privileged access to phenomena.... Harman's rhetoric produces an object-oriented sublime that breaks decisively with the Kantian taboo on noncorrelationist scientific speculation....ekphrasis is not about the reaction of the (human) subject, but about rhetorical modes as affective-contemplative techniques for summoning the alien.

 

The aesthetic, as we shall see, is the secret door through which OOO discovers a theory of what is called “subject”.... Melancholia is precisely a mode of intimacy with strange objects that can't be digested by the subject.... To lapse into Californian, OOO is so about the subject. There is no good reason to be squeamish about this. The more the ekphrasis zaps us, the more we fall back into the gravity well of melancholy. Sentience is out of phase with objects, at least if you have a nervous system. So melancholia is the default mode of subjectivity: an object-like coexistence with other objects and the otherness of objects--touching them, touching the untouchable, dwelling on the dark side one can never know, living in endless twilight shadows. If the reader has experienced grief she or he will recognize this state as an object-like entity that resides somewhere within the body, with an amortization schedule totally separated from other temporalities (in particular, the strict digital clock time of contemporary life). Through the heart of subjectivity rolls an object-like coexistence, none other than ecological coexistence--the ecological thought fully-fledged as dark ecology . The inward, withdrawn, operationally closed mood called melancholy is something we shake off at our peril in these dark ecological times.

 

Melancholy starts to tell us the truth about the withdrawn qualities of objects. OOO thus differs from theistic ecophilosophy that asserts, “There is a Nature.” It maintains no absolute distance between subject and object; it limits “subject” to no entity in particular. Žižek's suspicion of SR to do with the “feminine” self-absorption of objects: precisely what he doesn't like about Buddhism. Changing “self-absorption” to “withdrawal” or “operational closure” discloses what's threatening about Buddhism: an object-like entity at the core of what is called subjectivity. Like ecomimesis, Harman's passage affirms a real world beyond mentation. Unlike ecomimesis, this world doesn't surround a subject--it's a world without reference to a subject.

 

If OOO construes everything as objects, some may believe that it would have a hard time talking about subjects--indeed, Slavoj Žižek has already criticized SR in general along these lines. This subjectivity is profoundly ecological and it departs from normative Western ideas of the subject as transcendence. Thus we see off Nature and its correlate, the (human) subject. I argue that OOO enjoins us to drop Matter just as we must drop Nature, and that this means that it can save the appearance of the most coherent and testable physical theory we have, namely quantum theory.

 

Let's turn our attention to... things....how far “down things” does OOO really go? Are these things made of some kind of substrate, some kind of unformed matter? Does “withdrawal” mean that objects are impenetrable in some non-figurative, nonhuman sense? Do objects have a spatial “inside”? Surely they might. But the principle of irreducibility must mean that this inside is radically unavailable. It's not simply a case of the right equipment passing through it, like a knife through butter. Even a knife through butter would not access the butter in all its essential butteriness. The proliferation of things that ecology talks about--from trees to nuclear power--do not compromise a holistic Nature. Nor yet are they comprised of some intrinsic, essential stuff. To dispatch Matter, we must explore the most rigorous and testable theory of physical Matter we know: quantum theory.

 

Unlike some thinkers who discovered OOO in spite of deconstruction, I backed into OOO through deconstruction. SR tends to mistake deconstruction for nominalism, subjectivism and Meillassoux's correlationism.... Contemporary physics concurs with a principle tenet of Lacan and Derrida: there's no “big Other,” no device, for instance, that could measure quantum phenomena without participating in these phenomena. All observations are inside the system, or as Derrida puts it, “There is nothing outside the text” (or, in Gayatri Spivak's alternative, which I prefer, “There is no outside-text”). Arkady Plotnitsky has traced the affinities between deconstruction and quantum physics. People commonly misconstrue “there is no-outside-text” as nominalism: we can only know things by their names. Far more drastically, the axiom means: (1) Any attempt to establish rigid boundaries between reality and information results in unsustainable paradoxes; (2) Language is radically nonhuman--even when humans use it. It would be a mistake to hold that (1) is correlationism. “There is no outsidetext” occurs in a passage in which Derrida is analyzing Rousseau's position on Nature, so it's worth pausing here since this issue is directly relevant to ecocriticism. Derrida tacks close to the text he’s analyzing, which is why he appeals to close readers in the first place. He is not making a sweeping generalization about reality. Derrida is only saying, “Given the kind of closed system textuality that Rousseau prescribes, there is no outside-text.” That is, Rousseau can’t go around making claims about nature, not because there is nothing out there, but because the way he models thinking sets textuality up as a black hole....[but] Derrida abstained from ontology: he considered it tainted by the generalization-disease. Unfortunately this defaults to various forms of antirealism. Derrida's is a sin of omission.... OOO shares one thing at least with deconstruction--refraining from assertions about some general essence or substance at the back of things that guarantees their existence.

 

OOO is troubling for materialisms that rely on any kind of substrate, whether it consists of discrete atoms or of a continuum.... Certain uncontroversial facts, demonstrable in highly repeatable experiments, shatter essentialist prejudices concerning Matter.... Quantum phenomena are not simply hard to access or only partially “translated” by minds and other objects. They are irreducibly withdrawn.

 

OOO is form of realism, not materialism. In this it shares affinities with quantum theory. Antirealism pits quantum theory against its opponents, since quantum theory supposedly shows reality is fuzzy or deeply correlated with perception and so forth. In fact, quantum theory is the only existing theory to establish firmly that things really do exist beyond our mind (or any mind). Quantum theory positively guarantees that real objects exist! Not only that--these objects exist beyond one another. Quantum theory does this by viewing phenomena as quanta, as discrete “units” as described in Unit Operations by OOO philosopher Ian Bogost. “Units” strongly resemble OOO “objects.” Thinking in terms of units counteracts problematic features of thinking in terms of systems. A kind of systems thinking posed significant problems for nineteenth-century physicists. Only consider the so-called black body radiation problem. Classical thermodynamics is essentially a systems approach that combines the energy of different waves to figure out the total energy of a system. The black box in question is a kind of oven. As the temperature in the oven increases, results given by summing the wave states according to classical theory become absurd, tending to infinity.

 

By seeing the energy in the black box as discrete quanta (“units”), the correct result is obtained. Max Planck's discovery of this approach gave birth to quantum theory. Now consider perception, for the sake of which antirealism usually cites quantum theory. What does quantum theory show about our mental interactions with things? Perceptual, sensual phenomena such as hardness and brilliance are at bottom quantum mechanical effects. I can't put my hand through this table because it is statistically beyond unlikely that the quanta at the tip of my finger could bust through the resistance wells in the quanta on the table's surface. That's what solidity is. It's an averagely correct experience of an aggregate of discrete quanta. This statistical quality, far from being a problem, is the first time humans have been able to formalize supposedly experiential phenomena such as solidity. What some people find disturbing about quantum theory (once in a gajillion times I can put my finger through the table) is precisely evidence for the reality of things. (This is a version of an argument in Meillassoux, AF 82–5).

 

Quantum theory specifies that quanta withdraw from one another, including the quanta with which we measure them. In other words quanta really are discrete, and one mark of this discreteness is the constant (mis)translation of one quantum by another. Thus when you set up quanta to measure the position of a quantum, its momentum withdraws, and vice versa. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that when an “observer”--not a subject per se, but a measuring device involving photons or electrons (or whatever)--makes an observation, at least one aspect of the observed is occluded (QT 99–115). Observation is as much part of the Universe of objects as the observable, not some ontologically different state (say of a subject). More generally, what Niels Bohr called complementarity ensures that no quantum has total access to any other quantum. Just as a focusing lens makes one object appear sharper while others appear blurrier, one quantum variable comes into sharp definition at the expense of others (QT 158–61). This isn't about how a human knows an object, but how a photon interacts with a photosensitive molecule. Some phenomena are irreducibly undecidable, both wavelike and particle-like. The way an electron encounters the nucleus of an atom involves a dark side. Objects withdraw from each other at a profound physical level. OOO is deeply congruent with the most profound, accurate and testable theory of physical reality available. Again, it would be better to say it the other way around: quantum theory works because it's object-oriented.

 

Probing the quantum world, then, is a form of auto-affection. Bohr argued that quantum phenomena don't simply concatenate themselves with their measuring devices. They're identical to it: the equipment and the phenomena form an indivisible whole (QT 139–40, 177). This “quantum coherence” applies close to absolute zero, where particles become the “same” thing.

 

Implication and explication suggest Matter being enfolded and unfolded from something deeper. Even if it were the case that OOO should defer to physics, in the terms set by physics itself objects aren't made “of” any one thing in particular. Just as there is no top level, there may be no bottom level that is not an (substantial, formed) object.

 

To this extent, “object” (as a totally positive entity) is a false immediacy. Positive assertions about objects fail because objects have a shadowy dark side, a mysterious interiority like the je ne sais quoi of Kantian beauty. Is this nothing at all? Is there a path from the carnival of things to a bleak nothingness? Nihilism, believing that you have no beliefs, maintains that things emerge from an impenetrable mystery. Nihilism, the cool kids' religion, shuns the inconveniences of intimacy. We have objects--they have us--under our skin. They are our skin. OOO can't be a form of nihilism. It's the opposite view (relationism) that tends towards nihilism. Relationism holds that objects are nothing more than the sum of their relations with other objects. This begs the question of what an object is, since the definition implies a potential infinite regress: what are the “other objects”? Why, nothing more than the sum of their relations with other objects--and so on ad obscurum. At least OOO takes a shot at saying what objects are: they withdraw. This doesn't mean that they don't relate at all. It simply means that how they appear has a shadowy, illusory, magical, “strangely strange” quality. It also means they can't be reduced to one another. OOO holds that strangeness is impossible if objects are reducible to their relations. Since relationism is hamstrung by its reluctance to posit anything, it tends towards obscurantism. Relationism is stuck in a Euthyphronic dilemma: objects consist of relations between other objects—and what are those objects? An object as such is never defined. So while ecological criticism appears to celebrate interconnectedness, it must in the end pay attention to what precisely is interconnected with what.

 

This radical finitude includes a strange irreducible openness.

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This is what I'm discussing in the review of Hartmann's book through the use of reframing. Lakoff of course has been on to this for years, as has Luntz. The latter two are well aware of the brain scanning and cognitive correlates for this sort of manipulation. Hartmann's purpose in writing the book is exactly to provide one with the tools to see through the manipulation by learning how they do it. And to do it oneself, but grounded in reality checks and an ethical code to manipulate for good, like a doctor or therapist. As a former bodywork therapist I 'manipulated' bodies with such intent through training. It also applies to this form of manipulation and training as well.

Speaking of which, Bryant has a recent post on an ethics of love. It is akin to the sort of progressive reframing that induces positive change in others for compassionate social good instead of the regressive sort that creates fear and punishment for private gain.

Bryant discusses that very thing in the post on ethics linked above. He applies it to therapeutic psychoanalysis, taking into consideration that we tend to unconsciously do the very thing we know is wrong. But he is also hopeful that if therapy focuses on opening oneself to healthy expressions of unconscious drives then this self-destructive circle can be overcome.

Framing can help us to be more conscious of how we unconsciously operate and to some extent reprogram our unconscious motivations with the technique. But of course it in itself is not enough, so I also take Bryant's suggestions to also address the Real. In this case, the real infrastructure of government policy and how it too affects and manipulates outcome unconsciously. Like the structure of capitalism. We know we are being abused by our jobs and bosses but we need the money to feed the kids and pay the rent, etc. So government regulations on work day length, minimum wage, workplace safety etc. have been pivotal in allowing us to have more free time to not only enjoy family life but to pursue personal growth.

And then there's the real and emerging communication-energy-logistic infrastructure of the Commons. It's that real infrastructure that is actually changing our lives at the deepest levels toward a p2p culture. But again, such an emerging infrastructure requires the political will to enact law to make it a reality, from climate change regulation to an open internet. Yes, we need to approach this goal with multiple methods in an ILP, so to speak.

One of which, to further help with us getting underneath our unhealthy unconscious desires, is to cover not only traditional psychoanalysis on our health insurance plans but alternative therapies like Reichian and various bodywork and emotional release therapies. I've been fortunate to have embarked on a lengthy journey into this alternative world and it has helped me immensely to not only understand my unhealthy unconscious desires but to transform them into more healthy expressions. We are not trapped in them forever and there are things that help. Granted, like Bryant and Zizek our strictly ideological or intellectual methods can only go so far. But there are a lot of other therapies that go further, and of course getting them covered on health insurance is an issue that needs political implementation so people can afford to pay for this necessity.

Bryant's recent post on atheism is of interest in light of this recent post on the Dalai Lama saying he should be the last of his kind. Bryant thinks that atheism is not so much about the refutation of the supernatural but that of sovereignty. He also relates the latter to arche, the master narrative that rules over all. Atheism is more properly anarchy, or as Caputo says an-arche or hier(an)archy. Bryant sees it as a democracy of objects, "an egalitarianism of actors," i.e., a P2P commons.

This Bryant blog post discusses the three conceptual personae of philosophy: The philosopher, the anti-philosopher and the mysterian. One can be a hybrid of all three, and/or one can express in one of them on a particular matter and in another of them in a different matter. The philosopher operates within norms of truth and reality that can be proven with reason and observation. Anti-philosophers hold that reality and truth are irrational and cannot be known; it's all custom and power. The mysterian is a hybrid. There is a true reality but it cannot be demonstrated rationally; it requires an intuitive gnosis. All three are necessary. And as I noted, anyone tends to emphasize one or the other or a hybrid depending on the issue, context, etc.

Bryant has a couple of interesting recent posts. In this one he again talks about Brown's rules of form, on how we must draw a distinction to discuss ( or think) anything, yet with each distinction we lose sight both of the unmarked space outside the distinction and the fact that the distinction so drawn becomes invisible to us. And yet we can take this process into account with second order observation, at least opening our distinctions to this excess beyond them, if not the impossible task of grasping the entirety of the unmarked space.

In this one he uses a different distinction to talk about something similar. Some hold the anarchist/communist distinction to be the ideal, that egalitarian fairness and equality should rule the day. And yet adherents can and do get caught up in this 'party' line which becomes just as totalitarian and the other distinctions against which it fights. Another problem is that with no leader it's hard to make decisions, sliding into the sort of pluralist lack of focus that equalizes all views and ends up equivocating. To prevent such a slide Bryant recommends Lacan's notion of the plus-one, that 'leadership' role in any group that sort of represents the unmarked or empty space. That reminds us of that vast background against which we draw our distinctions, and what lies on the margins or outside them. And that focuses the group enough to make definitive decisions.

He doesn't give an example of how this would work in a practical group situation. But in the comments someone recommends Starhawk's book on horizontal decision making, which apparently was instrumental in the Occupy movement: The Empowerment Manual. I look forward to reading it, particularly Chapter 6: Leadership roles for leaderless groups.

Starhawk's chapter 6 is packed with a lot of helpful information. But for now I'll focus on one particular leadership role that seems at least broadly akin to the plus-one noted above. This is from the Snake style:

"Snakes keep an underview. They watch the group’s process and also help the group adopt practices and projects that build connections. They watch the patterns of emotion and communication in the group, and bring hidden conflicts up into the light. They challenge groupthink, keep watch on gossip and look at what is not being said or spoken about openly or directly" (131).

Here's how Bryant describes the plus-one:

"[...] the plus-one is an empty place. The person that occupies the position of plus-one is not a participant in the discussion, but is rather a function that halts the endless sliding of discussion. S/he– or should we refer to it as f(x)? –is an empty master with no illusion to containing knowledge or wisdom. There’s nothing– to use Zizek’s early vernacular –sublime about the plus-one in his/her exercise of the act. S/he’s purely empty, a function. [...] The plus-one, by contrast [with the Philosopher-King], is abject, an idiot, containing no knowledge or special wisdom whatsoever. S/he is a function but not a father or master. S/he’s an empty performative point."

This reminds me of the function of 'meta' in computer language. E.g., metadata is how data is organized but does not itself contain content or data. IT is chock full of content and seems more a theory than a meta-theory. Recall Mark Edwards' description of meta-theory, more consistent with the computer usage of the prefix:

"Whereas theory is developed from the exploration of empirical events, experiences and 'first-order' concepts, metatheory emerges from the direct investigation of other theory, models and 'second-order' concepts. Integral metatheory building is based on the analysis of extant theory and does not deal with empirical data. Consequently, it cannot validly make conclusions about empirical data based on its metatheorising. If it does so, it is stepping outside its realm of authority. To put this in another way, metatheory is primarily about other theory and not about the prediction or evaluation of first-order empirical data."

Meta-theory is not a monistic super theory per Sean Hargens, the latter of which is more like AQALingus. Hargens describes integrative monism thus:

"Searches for super-theory that supplants and marginalizes (integrates) other views."

In terms of the underview, I'm reminded of critical realism's criticism of IT as reported by Bonnie in this thread with discussion following. Interestingly Bonnie and Gary Hampson played "meta-theoretical referees," so if either would report on what and how they fulfilled this role it would be of value to this discussion . From the thread:

"Bhaskar talks about philosophy as 'under-laboring' different disciplines or fields. Critical Realism’s focus is to under-labor science (physics, biology, sociology)… which means that it can point out the hidden assumptions or embedded frameworks which 'under-lay' the science, thereby pointing to inconsistencies or falsities of theories that are created from within that discipline."

I know I'm just jumping in and have little clue what the main topic is, but noticed several mentions of an "under view." Snakes, etc. This matched some thoughts I poured into the essay I submitted to the Anthology project headed by Layman over at Integral Life. I used an excerpt from Layman's and my About Wholeness (soon to be at Amazon in both book and ebook form). Notice how "going" deep is thought to enhance seeing across quandrants and across categories in general. The speculation is that one's mind's eye takes on the quantum-entangled properties of a deeper view. When you look up (actually, out) from there, things that seemed more "siloed" (to use Rifkin's term) on the surface seem much less so from the deep vantage point. Deep allows you to go wide. Layman and I discussed deep and wide relationships quite a bit in the Depth and Wholeness section of our book (chapter one). 

{from A Whole Marathon -- essay in progress}: 

I have come to believe that from a deeper vantage point or zone, “in” and “out” are not so separated. In and out begin to converge. It's like quantum soup when we center deep. “Things” get less “local,” they overlap or are, as quantum scientists say, “entangled.” The clear distinction between in and out becomes blurred and less relevant.

While “blurred” seems to be a negative side effect of exhaustion, akin to being sloppy drunk, “less relevant” is really an unexpected liberation of whole new ways of doing things, akin to having a “buzz on.” “Spiritual” ways and the ways of “quantum mechanics” become much more possible as we retreat mentally to that deeper zone of being and consciousness.

But finding the possibilities is of little use if we can't also find a way to apply them to the physical situation we are in at the time. For “in” or “deep” to have much utility we must integrate it with “out” and “surface.” And when this integration occurs, we feel more whole. A good argument may be made that we are in fact more whole.

This integration of in and out just seems to happen naturally when you keep on running beyond a reasonable point to stop. Perhaps the mental focus on completing the taskonce your mind is “set” on accomplishing the goal, “no matter what” more or less automatically finds ways to apply the quantum soup to the surface realm of classical objects where your normal resources are significantly depleted. Like a miner digging for gold, your self system tends to figure out how to drill deeper and haul the gold to the surface. After all, you are mining for a precious metal aren't you? When you're running out of ways to keep on running, anything you find deeper inside that might help is like a precious metal. It's metal for mettle (toughness). Where there's a will to keep on running, there's a way to find the “gold” of reserve resources that can make it happen.

But not everyone with depleted resources finds the gold or other hidden treasures. Some stay with surface consciousness and simply decide it's time to stop. To them, you just can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Their sensible decision saves them much bizarre agony, but it also prevents them from experiencing the kind of depth dynamics, convergence of in and out, and quantum mechanic-like effects that I have been describing. Their realistic view of things is confirmed. For them quantum mechanics is but a distant abstraction that some egg-head scientist dreamed up. ...

Of course it would be better yet if I could simply access the invisible light switch in my mind that turns on the light of wholeness, without having to depend on marathons and resource depletion and other rather “messy,” difficult, situations to activate the “switch.” It would be nice if my pushing the envelope of my physical endurance manner of doing a marathon were to become training wheels that I could eventually dispense of when riding the bicycle of wholeness. I also want to outgrow “happy accidents” in general as the means by which I experience and/or become more whole. Suffering as a particular form of a happy accident (an “accident” because few people really want to suffer) might bring on a spiritual state, but a spirituality dependent upon suffering could lead to an addiction to suffering and to the natural pain-killers which it activates.

Using marathons and “just barely sufficient” training as a means to go deep and to integrate “in” and “out” and to feel whole is a rather primitive way and potentially addictive way to turn on the wholeness light switch. My type of marathoning is a meaningful and effective ritual that induces spiritual states such as wholeness and gratefulness and grace (or I suppose you could formulate it in a more secular way by saying: “states of wholeness that involve spiritual experiences”). But it is only a crutch or set of training wheels for the level of mastery I hope to achieve. I want this marathon experience (rich as it is) to be just another of Lake Potential's many lessons about my potential to actualize a more direct, less messy, less dependent, way to get to my desired destination of wholeness. That learning process itself is quite a (dare I say) marathon!

Speaking of “wholeness,” in About Wholeness my co-author and I describe how Ken Wilber's major knowledge perspectives or “quadrants” seem to also tie in to the integration of deep and surface realities, or “in” and “out.”

The Integral Map offers a broad or wide view. And Deep and Wide seem to dance together. The excerpt below takes a stab at explaining why. The bold print was added for emphasis.

If we want to sense depth we might naturally start exploring our personal

insides in the Upper Left of this map. Obviously subjectivity is inward

rather than outward. However, as we indicated already, the idea of depth-continuity involves more than just an awareness within ourselves. It requires

an integration of in & out.

The Upper Right and Lower Right describe external realities — objects

and behaviors. And the Lower Left connects us to a form of inwardness that

involves other people. Note that the “other” in “other people” is, nonetheless,

outside of self, even if it is a more intimate outside.

Depth continuity then would require the ability to freely move or flow

from the Upper Left of this map to all three other areas. Four dimensions (at

least!) are needed to give us a more organized whole picture of reality. Yet we

can see that the attempt to be complete and inclusive strongly resembles the

kind of in/out depth we have been discussing in this section.

 

Within each perspective or “quadrant” mentioned above, lies a type of resource. When I went deep as a response to relative exhaustion during the final stages of my marathon, I ended up with a wider range of resources that I was free to tap into. ...

darrell

As you can tell from the other reply I just added moments ago, I see a relationship between centering "deep" and what Bryant calls "empty" here. I believe we do have access to quantum consciousness of an entangled and indeterminate nature where (what I call) "ontological equivilance" happens much more frequently. One thing over here seems ontologically equal to that thing over there. I experienced this during one of my training runs. While using (what I call) the "healing flower" technique to mentally go deeper and visualize my self as a flow from deep-to-out (believing this to also free up healing energies in order to calm and restore my calf muscles which were threatening to knot up/cramp) I automatically experienced an "ontological equivilence between my muscles and my wife's worrisome thoughts at the time (expressed just prior to my going out to run). Of course I am a poet also, and poets do tend to see metaphors as real, but the "connection" seemed unusually and automatically/naturally "real," in the sense of being "significant." In my mind, my muscle knots and my wife's worrisome thoughts were "birds of a feather" (or knots of a cluster?). I strongly sensed them to be "one and the same." In fact this experience (or illusion/delusion?) is where I got the idea of "ontological equivilence" in the first place. Going deep seemed to bring on ontological equivilence. My theory is that we take on quantum entanglement in our thinking, which helps us see interactions that would have previously been overlooked or boo-hooed. In truth there are many synchronicities or paralelisms here at the surface we call "reality." But our "surface-centric" (a term I believe I first introduced in About Wholeness) eyes just can't see it. Poetry and perspective-taking (such as using Integral's quadrants as points of view) helps reveal some of the many traces of quantum entanglement that manage to make thier way to the realm of classical objects here at the surface of things and the surface (consisting of descrete) "things."

darrell 

theurj said:

Here's how Bryant describes the plus-one:

"[...] the plus-one is an empty place. The person that occupies the position of plus-one is not a participant in the discussion, but is rather a function that halts the endless sliding of discussion. S/he– or should we refer to it as f(x)? –is an empty master with no illusion to containing knowledge or wisdom. There’s nothing– to use Zizek’s early vernacular –sublime about the plus-one in his/her exercise of the act. S/he’s purely empty, a function. [...] The plus-one, by contrast [with the Philosopher-King], is abject, an idiot, containing no knowledge or special wisdom whatsoever. S/he is a function but not a father or master. S/he’s an empty performative point."

This reminds me of the function of 'meta' in computer language. E.g., metadata is how data is organized but does not itself contain content or data. IT is chock full of content and seems more a theory than a meta-theory. Recall Mark Edwards' description of meta-theory, more consistent with the computer usage of the prefix:

"Whereas theory is developed from the exploration of empirical events, experiences and 'first-order' concepts, metatheory emerges from the direct investigation of other theory, models and 'second-order' concepts. Integral metatheory building is based on the analysis of extant theory and does not deal with empirical data. Consequently, it cannot validly make conclusions about empirical data based on its metatheorising. If it does so, it is stepping outside its realm of authority. To put this in another way, metatheory is primarily about other theory and not about the prediction or evaluation of first-order empirical data."

Meta-theory is not a monistic super theory per Sean Hargens, the latter of which is more like AQALingus. Hargens describes integrative monism thus:

"Searches for super-theory that supplants and marginalizes (integrates) other views."

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

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