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 An object is profoundly “withdrawn”--we can never see the whole of it, and nothing else can either....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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Darrell, I can relate well to your descriptions of objects -- how they behave, how we relate to them, how not to 'dissolve' them -- as they show up and behave in lucid dreams.  The broader metaphysical view you present, however, is definitely one the OOO folks (whom we're discussing in this thread) would contest, to the extent that it places primary reality in the mind and treats objects as idealistic projections of the mind.  The OOO folks agree there is good reason to count imaginal objects as real but they resist seeing objects as 'reducible' to -- or illusory surface gleams on the face of -- a deeper, more real energetic or consciousness base.

One thing that view would seem to be inconsistent with was my healing imagery yesterday when I ran with a pulled muscle that flared up before, during, and a few runs after the marathon I ran Oct. 19th. I think I shared here the healing flower (flow-er) technique. It involves seeing all of one's being as an outflow from an inmost center of self. The flowing is visualized and is also felt (kinesthetic sense). I then focus on the energy flowing into the affected areas, in this case a pulled muscle in my upper and inner thigh muscle (or "lat"). I had aggravated the muscle so much during the previous run that I expected to make it a mile or so and then switch to stationary bike to finish the aerobic part of my workout. But using the techique constantly through the run worked far better than I expected. I ran about 6 miles and the affected area was better after I finished the run than before and has not flared up since. It was as though I healed it instead of aggravating it. While doing the technique I once again experienced "ontological equivalence." This time my mind saw the same energy I was feeling as being one and the same as the energy I have been unusually receptive to recently while placing my hands on three of the large oak trees in my front yard. Life force? Also almost anytime my mind got off the outflow focus and thought in normal categorizing ways I felt warning signal twinges as though I had better stay in the flow, or else. The previous run when this old injury recurred I was thinking negative, low frequency, tense or angry, thoughts. I was not using the imagery at that time. I believe I had allowed my muscles to tighten up and become more vulnerable to stress as they became less well oxigenated during the five mile run. Last nights was the opposite, as I really had no option but to use the mind-over-matter technique in order to help out and manage the injury. Besides the new ontological equivalence experience I also had a sense of my inner "gate-keeper" allowing the energy to flow from the "deeper side." I was also comfortable with personifying the gate-keeper function as Jesus Christ, but seeing it at other times (most of the time, actually) as a kind of small chamber or box worked fine too. The specific imagery appeared less important than the feeling into the depths and the feeling into allowing the flow to transition on out from there onto the surface where my physical being is. 

Without this depth metaphysics which assumes not only depth but a more energy and mind-like reality the deeper in one centers, would the OOO folks be able to experience such "fruits," real or imagined? The depth-transition model allows for a kind of mental "space" to help out with the physical "place." Even if this energy-behind and mind-behind metaphysics is imagined, it allows for mental emptiness or relative formlessness (what i mean by "space," as in "spacey") to help breathe new possibilites into the assumed actual realities (what I mean by place, as in everything has its place). Even if the inmost "objects" (flows, gate-keeping boxes, soul, JC, etc.) are objects of the individual's imagination, by seeing them as being deeper in and under or behind the objects such as leg muscles, I get the "fruit" of a healing or at least a muscle relaxation response. As well as the sense of "faith." Faith seems to require a sense of something coming from what seems to be a nothing or at least from a nothing much. It is a sustainable form of the child's game "peek-a-boo." Now you don't see it, now you do. Once you sense that this something from nothing or not much of anything or more from less process is actually a normal aspect of reality (called potentiality), then you have confidence or faith that you can locate and actualize potentiality. Faith is a realization of the surprisingly effective creative process that operates throughout life. If seeing potential as being more real than we normally think. It is seeing a reality behind or within the actual "objects-themselves." The only way this behindness is "reductive" is if you are thinking like matter and insisting everything to have a solid "place." There is no actual reduction in sensing the realities within realities. It only looks like a reduction when you insist on thinking like matter. Do OOO folks have a sense of spirituality, synergy, unified fields, etc.? Do they miss out not only on these concepts, but on their fruits/effects? Can they heal themselves? Can they restore their inner confidence, security, or faith? How do they avoid flatland nominalistic thought and feelings in which every "thing" is more or less on the same level of significance? I psychogically and existentially "need" depth. So why not at least pretend there is depth in reality? If it works, it is pretty darn "real." What do the OOO folks have that works for them?  

Darrell 

This:

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”).

is similar to what I was saying about "subjective" being a slip-in from another depth level of reality. Subjective awareness is possible because the human mind can travel along the depth dimension of reality. Different depth levels have different ontologies or "logic." The "texts" are the way of representing that logic within the reality level one is operating in. Meanings and metaphors happen when the mind can sense information from a different level of ontology, logic, text, reality. The reality of the quantum substratum of reality is quite different than the reality and rules of the realm of classical objects. There is more translocation, greater interchangability, etc. The rules to that particular "video game" are different than the rules to the surface game. If a human mind access the quantum substratum or the Vedic subtle body realm then it has a kind of cheater code that might provide an unexpected result out here in the surface program. What I plan to call a "programmer" can access depths and transfer them via basement doors or cheater codes into surface realities. This would explain  possible psychoid events or telekinetic effects such as the one from my life that I included in both my first book, Allsville Emerging, and in the second, about wholeness (co-authored with Layman): 

from about wholeness: 

The Spirit of Falling Tree

During a family vacation out west, I set my mind to noticing

“experience patterns” that occurred throughout the two week

trip. I likened these experience patterns to “spirits,” and wrote

journal entries about six or seven different themes, or spirits, that

I encountered. My whole vacation became an exercise in acting

through. Many of the “spirits” that I observed, wrote about, and

interacted with, expressed themes about authentic living and about

acceptance of death. One spirit, the Spirit of Falling Tree, was

encountered in a park called Storybook Island in Rapid City, South

Dakota.

The park had many statues and displays of nursery rhyme and

other fairy tale characters. One of the displays was about Little Boy

Blue. It was also designated as a memorial to a child who died while

chasing some ducks near a local river. He drowned in the river.

This story moved me, and soon framed my whole experience of the

park on that beautiful sunny day. I reflected about death, ego death,

the life journey, and living with authentic abandon in pursuit of

beauty. I identified closely with the boy who playfully chased the

ducks during his last moments on earth.

As we left the park, just as I was walking through the exit turnstile,

a huge Cottonwood tree crashed to the ground. This happened on

a calm day. The tree’s falling could not be attributed to wind or any

other natural force (besides, of course, gravity). Neither was any

man made force present. Nobody was pushing it with a bulldozer.

Nobody was climbing it. A similar tree nearby had a tree house, and

children were climbing it. But not this tree. As far as I could tell,

no one was even touching it. The tree’s time was simply up (rather,

down).

An interesting parallel was the fact that a wind storm back home

had felled one of our cherished big pine trees just a few weeks before

Layman Pascal and Darrell Moneyhon 95

our out west vacation — adding to the significance of the name

“Spirit of Falling Tree.”

Being there in the theme park exactly at the last moment of the

Cottonwood tree’s life was improbable enough. The fact that I

was still emotionally and spiritually processing the powerful story

when the rare event occurred, made the event seem even more

unlikely and mysterious. To me, it was a good example of Carl

Jung’s concept of synchronicity. Mind and reality seemed to have

been in perfect harmony, synchronized. To this day, that moment

seems magical. I feel that it validates the Spanish dictum “Life is a

Dream.” Whenever I recall that sacred moment, I once again “act

through” the event; immersed in its symbolism, like a little boy who

is over his head in waters.

What is even stranger about this story (and more meaningful to

me) is that my close friend and neighbor was to die from a freak

accident within a few months of the Falling Tree event. Bill had

an enthusiastic spirit of a child who explored life. He, like the boy

memorialized by the Little Boy Blue figure, died by drowning. He

was swimming in the Atlantic Ocean while on vacation in sunny

Florida when he got caught up in a riptide. Like the little boy

chasing ducks, Bill was playing when he died. It was as if the spirit

of Falling Tree had told me in advance of the earth-shaking trauma

to come.

Notice how much meaning was packed into the true story. Acting

Through has a way of cutting into the very marrow of life. Had I not set my

mind upon the possibilities of deep symbolism before and during the event

it would have just been another “walk in the park.” I would have offered an

account of a little side trip during my vacation.

Contrast that to my spiritual experience. The facts of the story had

deep roots and graceful wings. Because I paid close attention to the qualities

and symbols and signs of the event, the “other side,” beyond my normal

consciousness (and on the other side of the brain than the side I normally use

to assess reality), offered me new insights. I seemed to have picked up signals

and energies from a spiritual dimension.

It is experiences like this one that convince me that the right brain can

act like a radio receiver and transmitter that picks up information from other

dimensions and that transmits energies capable of altering realities in this

physical dimension. The other side of my brain is not merely a computer that

processes information from this dimension differently than the dominant

96 about wholeness

left brain. The left brain seems to be tuned to the “reality station.” The right

brain seems … well, differently tuned.

Acting Through is a technique that activates both the right brain computer

(as processor of the images and patterns/metaphors) and the right brain radio.

As a computer the right brain offers a different way (more like “analogue?”)

of processing the information than does the left (more like “digital?”). But it

doesn’t seem to stop at mere processing of information gathered through the

regular senses.

The right brain also seems to pick up signals/information from other

dimensions which we tend to call “spiritual.”

It is more than interesting to note how the right brain can help us

transcend the factual aspects of an event. Some of this transcendence comes

from its creative, connect-the-dot, thinking within the head. But some of the

transcendence seems to come from a channelling of frequencies beyond the

space between our two ears.

The right brain helps us make meaning — either after the fact (as an

information processing computer) or in a way that actually alters the facts (as

a radio which receives and then transmits unusual frequencies that sometimes

alter the course of events in our familiar physical dimension).

darrrll

Bruce, I just checked out online Barnes and Noble. For some reason they already have the image of the book cover. No "look inside" feature offered yet, if in fact they ever do provide that feature. I plan to have it over at Amazon, as it is a good marketing tool. Sample reads might lead to sales. So far though, B&N is ahead of Amazon. 

darrell

Balder said:

Hi, Darrell, I just looked on Amazon and found your and Layman's About Wholeness book.  Do you not have a book cover for it yet?

How do OOOers handle quantum entanglement? Dismiss it as myth? 

I see a paralell in this metaphysics issue and introverted vs extroverted versions of the psychological function of thinking (as opposed to doing, relating, or intuiting/dreaming).

This morning I admitted to my wife that my communication often shows the egocentric error of assuming the listener knows what I am thinking about. The thought is so dominant or "loud" in my head that I assume the listener must somehow magically "hear" that loud thought. Becky is more socially-oriented than I, so she tends to attribute that egocentric communication to egocentric as in me, me, me, selfishness. But I am not egocentric in that way. If anything I give the store away, take my place in the back of the bus, bend over backwards to cooperate with others, etc.

So it dawned on me that we often equivocate between what might be called an egocentric thinking and communication error with an egocentric social attitude. Then it also dawned on me that my egocentric communication error was most likely related to my "introverted thinking" style, which is also reflected in communication. So thinketh a man, so speaketh a man.

In conversations I generally want to stay on a certain topic and go deeper and deeper and deeper, long after the others have moved onto other topics. I am either a deep thinker or a long processor or both. Others are thinking that I'm beating a dead horse when in fact I still see the horse winking at me!

To me everyone else has attention deficit disorder. About the communication or the social situation I often think "Why don't they really thoroughly intellectually process anything? Why do they flit from one topic and theme to another. They'll never figure anything out that way." 

With these personal insights I realized that I must be an introverted thinker. Often "introversion" is assumed to spread more or less evenly accross all psychological areas. This is not so. I am much more introverted in terms of the way I think (and therefore prone to the egocentric error) than I am socially introverted.

Even in communication I process thoughts outloud, which is a more extroverted tendency. Thus even in the one area of communication I am both introverted and extroverted. Introversion and extroversion is more heterogenious than we tend to think they are. My introversion is mostly in the area of thinking, which just happens to spill over into communication.

I am not rude or selfish when I keep on talking about a concept even though my listener wants to move on. I am just being true to the way I believe we can actually learn something, understand something, find and be guided by truth. I am not so socially egocentric or selfish as I am high in intellectual integrity. But this does show up in the social sphere as at least being "socially unaware," and at times admitedly "downplaying or minimizing social realities." The latter is in fact bordering on selfishness, but selfish attitude is not at the core of the social communication deficit.

It is a style of thinking issue. My introverted thinking style is at odds with the normal extroverted or ambiverted thinking style that is used during most social interactions involving verbal communication.

This, as I'm sure you clearly know already, applies to my communication here online as well. I am often off in my own little processing world. I justify it by seeing the online forums as serving thought, not socializing. We need relationships in order to grow, and growth can also serve relationships. But when relationships stymie growth and no longer serve growth then they quickly become an addiction, a mere pacifier that we suck on instead of looking up and about to see how to solve real problems and construct truly effective systems, etc. I think most relationships lean toward dependency and addiction, even though the true purpose of realtionship is far from that. It is to support us all as we help each other grow. 

Growth absolutely calls for some sort of intellectual and intuitive thinking processing about truth. Love is a truth (a very profound truth), but love that no longer loves truth is not true. If you love someone you want them not only to be healthy but to be healthy enough to grow. You want them to actualize as much of their potential as possible.

Other, more fear-based or possessive, less true, forms of love might try to hold a person back from finding the truth and from growing as a result of those discoveries. But the more true the love (or friendship, or even just supportive aquantance) is, the more it wants to find ways to help each other find truth and grow.

Admittedly there are many more avenues to truth than just sitting around thinking/intellectualizing, but even these avenues usually call for an after-the-fact debriefing or processing. "What just went down here that I feel to be so true." The intellectual processing becomes a part of those other avenues. We analyse and synthesize what happened. So that we might successfully replicate the "true" experience or the truly beautiful or meaningful experience. 

On the other end of the thinking style spectrum is extroverted thinking that leans heavily toward the surface objects presenting themselves out there. The OOO camp seems to applaud such extroverted thinking. Note that this in no way means they are socially extroverted people. Only that they look to the external object for truth. 

To an introverted thinker like myself this is just superficial thought, a rationalization of not getting messy from going deep, a form of attention deficit disorder in thought. 

Why would I even learn the details produced by extroverted thinkers who are just accumulating more and more external objects to be distracted by? Like social communication, if we continue to bark up all trees as though they were all equal (which might well be the socially appropriate thing to do) then we will never get anywhere worthwhile in life.

We need to go deep, find the right trees to bark up, and then flesh out those "trees." If our smarts are spread out all over the place then we will end up with a vast intellectual flatland. Unless of course we are super left-brained geniuses(sp?) who can retain a lot of identified/tagged information and still be free to notice broad patterns. Most of us aren't.

For those of us who aren't, computers and their memory (including the computer-assisted online forums and archives like this blog site) can do that storage and then free up our minds to think with patterns. Computers can liberate right brain thinking. But to learn about too many "objects" may be just a way to create an interesting but flat world and consciousness. Fiddling while Rome burns. Or missing the boat while playing a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Again, what do the OOOers say about quantum entanglement? 

darrell

Balder said:

Darrell, I can relate well to your descriptions of objects -- how they behave, how we relate to them, how not to 'dissolve' them -- as they show up and behave in lucid dreams.  The broader metaphysical view you present, however, is definitely one the OOO folks (whom we're discussing in this thread) would contest, to the extent that it places primary reality in the mind and treats objects as idealistic projections of the mind.  The OOO folks agree there is good reason to count imaginal objects as real but they resist seeing objects as 'reducible' to -- or illusory surface gleams on the face of -- a deeper, more real energetic or consciousness base.

Interestingly Darrell, you say you stick to a topic and dive deeper when others move on. And yet you have not even begun to stick with the topic of this thread enough to know what some of the OOOers think deeply about. If you want to know what they think about quantum entanglement, or anything else, then do your homework. As but one example, the very first post of this thread on Morton discusses quantum theory and its relation to OOO.

Thanks for that correction, I will "bark up that branch" of that one tree before fliting to the next tree! 

darrell

theurj said:

Interestingly Darrell, you say you stick to a topic and dive deeper when others move on. And yet you have not even begun to stick with the topic of this thread enough to know what some of the OOOers think deeply about. If you want to know what they think about quantum entanglement, or anything else, then do your homework. As but one example, the very first post of this thread on Morton discusses quantum theory and its relation to OOO.

beginning to find the previously overlooked "branch" here (from original post). I appologize for not doing enough homework or going deep enough first before launching into my own deep thoughts. I did not listen well enough or long enough before talking. That too is a common error of mine. Thanks for the correction. This relationship is helping me grow. 

branch:  

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.  ...

 



Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

Thanks for that correction, I will "bark up that branch" of that one tree before fliting to the next tree! 

darrell

theurj said:

Interestingly Darrell, you say you stick to a topic and dive deeper when others move on. And yet you have not even begun to stick with the topic of this thread enough to know what some of the OOOers think deeply about. If you want to know what they think about quantum entanglement, or anything else, then do your homework. As but one example, the very first post of this thread on Morton discusses quantum theory and its relation to OOO.

this is intrigueing: Observation is as much part of the Universe of objects as the observable, not some ontologically different state (say of a subject).

Observation is a an object between quanta. In human terms my quanta is most likely what we have called the "soul"? When my soul tries to observe another's soul I distort the other soul's characteristics according to my own way of unpacking things. 

In real time I provided an excellent example of that right here, in my communication (or lack of) here. I was so quick to unpack the communications from another human soul that I only heard what I thought they were saying (based on my qaunta's, soul's, previous lines of thought or "trees" I've barked up), rather than hearing out what they were saying enough to minimize my distortion of what they were saying. I distorted the other human quanta's characteristics, if you can call their thinking points a "characteristic." The points we make surely do flow out of our quanta. They are a result of how that soul unpacks things at any given time. What it perks up its ears and takes note of at that time, etc. What it assigns value to at that time. 



Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

beginning to find the previously overlooked "branch" here (from original post). I appologize for not doing enough homework or going deep enough first before launching into my own deep thoughts. I did not listen well enough or long enough before talking. That too is a common error of mine. Thanks for the correction. This relationship is helping me grow. 

branch:  

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.  ...

 



Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

Thanks for that correction, I will "bark up that branch" of that one tree before fliting to the next tree! 

darrell

theurj said:

Interestingly Darrell, you say you stick to a topic and dive deeper when others move on. And yet you have not even begun to stick with the topic of this thread enough to know what some of the OOOers think deeply about. If you want to know what they think about quantum entanglement, or anything else, then do your homework. As but one example, the very first post of this thread on Morton discusses quantum theory and its relation to OOO.

This: Relationism holds that objects are nothing more than the sum of their relations with other objects.

... is actually similar to what i was ranting about in terms of how true intellectual processing seemed to be at odds with social convention. In order to relate we nudge ourselves to just move along to the next object, never quite pondering just what that object really is. Ironically relating can lead to a kind of superficial relating that negates the actual objects within which the relating occurs. This is not really relating at all but flitting about. The objects need space to be themselves if the relationship is to have any depth or meaning. "Communion" (Koestler) can rape "agency" (Koestler). Full "being" seems to require a balance and integration of object and relations-with-other-objects. 

Why does this whole line of thought keep reminding me of men and women? 

As a man I tend to be self-absorbed and/or overly assertive. I tend toward agency. I should like the metaphysics of discrete objects that must have their shadow side or "man cave." 

My wife tends to call me on being too much an object and tries to get me to be more "relatey." In truth I am often liberated from my own ways when I heed her advice. My man cave gives me space, but so too does the strangeness of others. I can get out of my self-limiting boxes by either going deep into the man cave or wide into the world of others. Deep and wide are both important. 

My recent line of thought that going deep enough ends up wide might be true, but what if I don't quite go deep enough? What if my man cave is too much of a place, with all-too familar wall hangings, rather than a space in which to reinvent myself and to grow. Perhaps I should go wide also and take an "other's" point of view in order to get the "space" I need to break up my crusty matter-like ways and grow new shoots of being? 

Wilber I think touches on the risk of UL narcism contaminating one's wholeness or fullness or spirituality. The space in the man cave is still too much "old me." Still too "placey," where everything is "in its place." 

So going out and wide could help remind me that I may not be deep enough to get beyond the object called me and then grow that me into a new me. 

Thanks for nudging me to pay attention to the space beyond my own "cave" or deep part of my "box." Thanks for helping me get out of my box.

By going wide I now might go deeper.

darrell 


Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

this is intrigueing: Observation is as much part of the Universe of objects as the observable, not some ontologically different state (say of a subject).

Observation is a an object between quanta. In human terms my quanta is most likely what we have called the "soul"? When my soul tries to observe another's soul I distort the other soul's characteristics according to my own way of unpacking things. 

In real time I provided an excellent example of that right here, in my communication (or lack of) here. I was so quick to unpack the communications from another human soul that I only heard what I thought they were saying (based on my qaunta's, soul's, previous lines of thought or "trees" I've barked up), rather than hearing out what they were saying enough to minimize my distortion of what they were saying. I distorted the other human quanta's characteristics, if you can call their thinking points a "characteristic." The points we make surely do flow out of our quanta. They are a result of how that soul unpacks things at any given time. What it perks up its ears and takes note of at that time, etc. What it assigns value to at that time. 



Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

beginning to find the previously overlooked "branch" here (from original post). I appologize for not doing enough homework or going deep enough first before launching into my own deep thoughts. I did not listen well enough or long enough before talking. That too is a common error of mine. Thanks for the correction. This relationship is helping me grow. 

branch:  

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.  ...

 



Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

Thanks for that correction, I will "bark up that branch" of that one tree before fliting to the next tree! 

darrell

theurj said:

Interestingly Darrell, you say you stick to a topic and dive deeper when others move on. And yet you have not even begun to stick with the topic of this thread enough to know what some of the OOOers think deeply about. If you want to know what they think about quantum entanglement, or anything else, then do your homework. As but one example, the very first post of this thread on Morton discusses quantum theory and its relation to OOO.

theurj, After processing the thread topic a bit more thoroughly (thanks to your re-direct), I ended up in a familiar place of believing or sensing that in some way deep = wide and wide = deep. This concept means of course "very deep = wide"  and "very wide" = deep. A little othery, relatey, or "wide" would not be "deep." That would be the sense of attention deficit "flitting." Or "fluffy." 

But the kind of wide I experienced as a boy who took in all the starry night sky at once is wide enough to take me deep. If the mind allows itself to project enough to become, as Kristnamherti (sp?) says, "expansive," then that same mind feels "deep." I captured this intuitively sensed reality or theory of deep = wide in the following little poem I wrote many years ago: 

from The heavenly strains. (unpublished book of poems): 

The Snowfall

With the sun shining

and the temperature climbing to a predicted 48 degrees,

the snow will soon melt.

But, for now, it is here, and that is enough.

I feel it crunch beneath me

and it makes a sifting sound as I drag my feet.

On a still, open, plain

I see footprints of different sizes, shapes, and patterns,

writing the history of this snowfall

and of the lives which touched it.

This record will disappear.

The story will be lost.

The expanse will become a sea of bleached brown spongy sod,

and, later, a lush green lawn

covering all signs of snow.

But, for now, snow crystals glisten

like millions of twinkling stars.

The white blanket is a microcosm of the universe’s

time and passage. As I walk by,

stars appear and then burn out,

as if each step carries me light years.

You and I will soon no longer walk,

our stories will fade. Our lives will be covered

by new life. Still, its enough

to be here now,

with the universe glistening inside us.

What do you think of the premise or proposition that deep = wide? At some depth-point in an object's self there appears to be an emptiness (just as material things, at the atomic level, have 90-some percent empty space in them) or an unknowableness that we call "formlessness" or "void." Same for the very wide. Recall the 60s and 70s phrase "far out?" Far out, reality looks pretty unknowable, empty, formless, and void also. Kristnamherti's "expansive" and Tillich's "ground of being" seem to be in the same ontological space. (Very) Wide is ontologically equivalent to deep .

I also believe that when expansive/wide moves through the invisible portal to deep it may also open up intermediate depth levels rather than only extreme, "very," depth/deep. This is aids in the application, rather than only apperception, of a mystically revealed truth. Access to very wide =  a chance to apply depth. Thus, I suspect an asymetrical equivalence between depth and width. And this works out beautifully. If I can go into the "door" of deep and end up seeing intermediate circles of reality around me (instead of only far out realities) then I have a chance to integrate Ultimate Reality with immediate reality.

Repeated applications of Ultimate Reality then can be internalized or assimilated into my whole life and being. Thus all three stages of mastering the Mysterious are available: access, application, assimilation. In about wholeness Layman and I called these the 3 Amigos. Each of the Amigos can act either as a mode (at any stage of mastery) or as a stage. While in the access stage you are mostly just accessing the wholeness or whatever you hope to master. You are getting glimpses. Wilber's "state." In the application stage, learning ways to apply the skill is your default program. In the assimilation stage, learning ways to assimilate/integrate the skill into your whole being is the main thing you do. 

The proposed asymetical equivalence in deep = wide seems to be a form of what John Wesley called "prevenient grace" a something-or-other (of course Wesley would call it "God") that helps you grow despite or irregardless of your conscious choice or will. If my asymetrical equivalence hunch about the deep = wide pattern is right, then the prevenient grace lies in the inherent design of reality. Open up and walk through the door called deep and you end up in a room called wide, but not necessarily as wide as you were deep. This is like a BOGO (Buy one, get one free) sale. Accept and allow ("buy") access to a very deep (or wide) reality and you get a free extra product that is a bit more applicable to your immediate reality or life situation. You get "apply" when you buy "access." 

darrell



Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

Thanks for that correction, I will "bark up that branch" of that one tree before fliting to the next tree! 

darrell

theurj said:

Interestingly Darrell, you say you stick to a topic and dive deeper when others move on. And yet you have not even begun to stick with the topic of this thread enough to know what some of the OOOers think deeply about. If you want to know what they think about quantum entanglement, or anything else, then do your homework. As but one example, the very first post of this thread on Morton discusses quantum theory and its relation to OOO.

This deep = wide insight reminds me of an insight I had while in psychology grad school: "depression isn't the problem. It's that we don't allow ourselves to get depressed enough. If we get as depressed as possible we will wake up and see we are still here despite the most depressing depression ever. And then we are liberated from the depression. We allow it to run its course and then come out on the other side of it. It's when we try to get undepressed that we might accidentally freeze ourselves in an intermediate zone of depression."  

This insight was greatly aided by exposure to the concept of the therapy technique of paradoxical intention, but it was also an outgrowth to a koan-like experience I had. I was pondering "how is it possible that i exist" so intently that I became momentarily depressed. But soon I was mentally liberated from the hard thinking. It was a shift from conceptual to perceptual, typical koan riddle shift (if successful). I thought the same pattern might apply to real (rather than my temporarily induced) depression. Fully embrace and work through your depression or dark night of the soul. Fighting it may fixate it. Work through it instead. 
 My wide (or whole?) = deep proposition seems to have the same "salvation by extremes" flavor to that insight about depression. Whatever you think, think it extremely (or, as the Taoists might say, "sincerely") enough that it reveals its own limitations and frees you to see beyond it. The problem is half thinking. Fanatics aren't fanatical enough to stop and go so deeply and thoroughly into their fanaticism as to pop out on the other side of it. Instead they become comfortable in an intermediate expression of fanaticism and never let it reach its logical conclusion. 

Salvation by extreme implies that a person might achieve balance and integration by being fully extreme or sincere. Doing the thought or feeling halfway and not pressing on allows external actions to lock you into a position and prevent eventual balance and integration. Surely something like "seeing" or "awareness" could provide the sincerity, as opposed to an alcoholic "hitting bottom." This would be sincere thought instead of extreme actions. Light instead of heat. 

So perhaps I should call it "salvation by extreme seeing" or "salvation by extreme mental simulation"? 

Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

theurj, After processing the thread topic a bit more thoroughly (thanks to your re-direct), I ended up in a familiar place of believing or sensing that in some way deep = wide and wide = deep. This concept means of course "very deep = wide"  and "very wide" = deep. A little othery, relatey, or "wide" would not be "deep." That would be the sense of attention deficit "flitting." Or "fluffy." 

But the kind of wide I experienced as a boy who took in all the starry night sky at once is wide enough to take me deep. If the mind allows itself to project enough to become, as Kristnamherti (sp?) says, "expansive," then that same mind feels "deep." I captured this intuitively sensed reality or theory of deep = wide in the following little poem I wrote many years ago: 

from The heavenly strains. (unpublished book of poems): 

The Snowfall

With the sun shining

and the temperature climbing to a predicted 48 degrees,

the snow will soon melt.

But, for now, it is here, and that is enough.

I feel it crunch beneath me

and it makes a sifting sound as I drag my feet.

On a still, open, plain

I see footprints of different sizes, shapes, and patterns,

writing the history of this snowfall

and of the lives which touched it.

This record will disappear.

The story will be lost.

The expanse will become a sea of bleached brown spongy sod,

and, later, a lush green lawn

covering all signs of snow.

But, for now, snow crystals glisten

like millions of twinkling stars.

The white blanket is a microcosm of the universe’s

time and passage. As I walk by,

stars appear and then burn out,

as if each step carries me light years.

You and I will soon no longer walk,

our stories will fade. Our lives will be covered

by new life. Still, its enough

to be here now,

with the universe glistening inside us.

What do you think of the premise or proposition that deep = wide? At some depth-point in an object's self there appears to be an emptiness (just as material things, at the atomic level, have 90-some percent empty space in them) or an unknowableness that we call "formlessness" or "void." Same for the very wide. Recall the 60s and 70s phrase "far out?" Far out, reality looks pretty unknowable, empty, formless, and void also. Kristnamherti's "expansive" and Tillich's "ground of being" seem to be in the same ontological space. (Very) Wide is ontologically equivalent to deep .

I also believe that when expansive/wide moves through the invisible portal to deep it may also open up intermediate depth levels rather than only extreme, "very," depth/deep. This is aids in the application, rather than only apperception, of a mystically revealed truth. Access to very wide =  a chance to apply depth. Thus, I suspect an asymetrical equivalence between depth and width. And this works out beautifully. If I can go into the "door" of deep and end up seeing intermediate circles of reality around me (instead of only far out realities) then I have a chance to integrate Ultimate Reality with immediate reality.

Repeated applications of Ultimate Reality then can be internalized or assimilated into my whole life and being. Thus all three stages of mastering the Mysterious are available: access, application, assimilation. In about wholeness Layman and I called these the 3 Amigos. Each of the Amigos can act either as a mode (at any stage of mastery) or as a stage. While in the access stage you are mostly just accessing the wholeness or whatever you hope to master. You are getting glimpses. Wilber's "state." In the application stage, learning ways to apply the skill is your default program. In the assimilation stage, learning ways to assimilate/integrate the skill into your whole being is the main thing you do. 

The proposed asymetical equivalence in deep = wide seems to be a form of what John Wesley called "prevenient grace" a something-or-other (of course Wesley would call it "God") that helps you grow despite or irregardless of your conscious choice or will. If my asymetrical equivalence hunch about the deep = wide pattern is right, then the prevenient grace lies in the inherent design of reality. Open up and walk through the door called deep and you end up in a room called wide, but not necessarily as wide as you were deep. This is like a BOGO (Buy one, get one free) sale. Accept and allow ("buy") access to a very deep (or wide) reality and you get a free extra product that is a bit more applicable to your immediate reality or life situation. You get "apply" when you buy "access." 

darrell



Darrell R. Moneyhon said:

Thanks for that correction, I will "bark up that branch" of that one tree before fliting to the next tree! 

darrell

theurj said:

Interestingly Darrell, you say you stick to a topic and dive deeper when others move on. And yet you have not even begun to stick with the topic of this thread enough to know what some of the OOOers think deeply about. If you want to know what they think about quantum entanglement, or anything else, then do your homework. As but one example, the very first post of this thread on Morton discusses quantum theory and its relation to OOO.

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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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