Making notes for a summary set of principles for my little pamphlet on the Metaphysics of Adjacency -- containing numerous points relative to certain recent threads on this site. 

BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ADJACENCY

  1. Reality is a variable situation of same-difference. To think of sameness and difference as a single adjustable phenomenon takes us to the very edge of our capacity to think about things. Because we cannot think beyond this threshold it must stand as the ultimate principle upon which we call to organize our philosophy. Worldviews which invoke perspective-based reality AND classic traditions of non-dual mysticism require that reality behave as an active, self-modifying same-difference. Whenever we detect the “space” of existential proximity – or adjacency – between any two or more types of things we are relating to a connective-separation of some kind.

  2. There is no pragmatic or ontological conflict between approximation and certainty. When it is understood that “=” (formal absolute equivalence) has always meant simply the maximal degree of performable approximation (i.e. the highest achievable degree of proximal adjacency to truth) then we also must understood that approximateness can be relied upon to secure and provide all the desirable effects we associate with absoluteness.

  3. Dualism, monism, non-dualism, etc. are not philosophical alternatives. In the degree to which any of these kinds of positions are fully explicated they increasingly reveal the same basic arrangements of the same basic classes of ontological necessity – differing in style, mood and emphasis. The divergence between these adjacent styles of reality-theory is also a convergence. As we develop an intuition for this kind of functional simultaneity we find that it can be described usefully as an unfolding of phases or layers which en-fold, but do not replace, each other.

  4. The METAPHYSICS OF ADJACENCY describes all the general modes of conceptualization which operate between the regime of conventional paradigms and the threshold at which meta-theory merges into the silence of fully trans-conceptual experience. Such modes have been called “vision-logic” or “meta-theoretical” or “second tier”. There is a practical convenience to subdividing this zone into three layers of holarchical complexification.

  5. The first, most popular and most superficial form of the Metaphyics of Adjency (hereafter called an MOA-1) describes all theory and ethics proceeding from the asserted or queried & potential incommensurabilty between individual reality-tunnels and also group reality-tunnels. Herein, general reality is conceived as being indefinitely adjacent to its own alternatives. Therefore MOAs of this sort are frequently characterized by notion like: multiplicity, alterity, suspicious of unifying narratives, relativity, pluralism. The notable ethical expression of this approach is the affirmation of the apparently excluded background class – women, racial minorites, the poor, the ecosystem, the unconscious mind, uninspected assumptions, etc..

  6. An MOA-2 is also sometimes called an integralism, a post-post-modernism, a constructive or reconstructive post-modernity, or terms which indicate the inclusion and transcendence of deep pluralism. Such approaches are often felt to be the site of bridging attempts to connect material and spiritual philosophies. This form of thinking does exhibit itself in worldspace and a set of feeling-tones which are highly amenable to the sharing of structure between the analytics of physical reality and various subtle (and/or immeasurable) intimations of reality. Here we find any theory and ethics proceeding from the declared or suspected commensurability of incommensurable, paralax-ical reality-tunnels. A human appreciation for the “coincidentia oppositorum” and a generalized friendliness toward the heart of all paradoxes swells into an anticipatory feeling for the pragmatic harmonizablity of adjacent realities. One beings to move, in this sense, ambidextrously.

  7. An MOA-3 pushes all of this to the very edge. It takes the implicit logic of the description “indescribable” as the generative boundary and source of integrated pluralimsm, non-integrate pluralisms and practical contemplative spirituality. Thus, the limit-condition of description itself is made to function as the most reliable basis for all descriptions of reality – flexible intra-reality. The shared theoretical, ethical and yogic significance of all types of MOAs is temperamentally, philosophically and politically presumed. Importantly, this includes fidelity to the comprehensive potential “attractor” of all meta-theories. Such an attractor is available because eternal approximation is – when viewed as adjacency -- no obstacle to the ongoing perfectly-realized enactment of completeness. And the shared human experience of MOAs and MOA-resonant feelings becomes the basic political class in which our benevolent universal humanist and even trans-human allegiances are hopefully concentrated.

  8. The security, empowerment, intelligence & healthy righteous freedoms of human civilization depend upon an arrangement of inner and outer life according to combined and flexible (i.e. vague or self-approximating) unity-as-difference. This is the unit of deepening complexity – the quantum of the will-to-power an atom of “boddhicitta” or a drop of growth.

  9. Vague, approximate and even “quotational” social trends are a positive sign of emerging adjacency-fidelity. They must be affirmed, integrated, explained in depth and made to behave in the interpretive service of precision and, like, advanced empowerment or whatever.

  10. Yogic, mystical, esoteric-religious & neuro-pshychological self-development programs must be assisted in sensing the usefulness of “functionally near” to replace the extremist spiritual goal of being “one with”. The operative principle of functional spiritual and developmental blending has always been adjacency rather than fusion.

  11. Conventional paradigms span a range between the worldviews of archaic and childish humanimals up to the flowering of the Metaphysics of Adjacency. Such paradigms can be said to operate largely upon the ontological power of nouns, verbs & adjectives. For example: conservatives are bad, Todd is a clever plumber, Sheila hunts well in the summer, God is great, God is unreal, etc. The shift introduced by MOAs subordinates nouns, verbs and adjectives through the explicit revelation of prepositions and adverbs. One common example is the assertion that this, that or all nouns are actually also verbs. Or the intuition that identity depends upon (or “is also”) a behavioral mode. MOAs employ the organizational power of conceptual operators akin to grammatical tools such as both/and/or/near/at/of/from/toward, inbetween, etc. Each of these invokes a multi-directional proximity which is at once a unifying and discriminating adjacency.

  12. Conventional paradigms are incommensurable because they conceptually and emotionally “double down” on their metaphysics -- apart from a broader, more flexible context. This is called the Myth of the Given. Conversely, post-metaphysical “meta-paradigms” (even if they exist only as the implication of the context of the one who is comparing paradigms) ARE fundamentally commensurable because of their shared patterning upon the principle of in/commensurability. To re-contextualize any metaphysics relative to the space of possible alternative explanations is to invoke ontological adjacency. Such a holding, conceived either as intelligent affirmation or as limitation, of metaphysics operates in an MOA mode which provides “quotational” framing or some other form of flexible perspectivism relative to all given entities. Thus it is not invalid to assert that MOA is general the explanation for post-metaphysics, plularism, non-dualism, integralisms, meta-theory, etc. It establishes that “What is” replaces What IS with no loss – only gain.

    -ish.

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Ah, dhanyavad, Pascalakirti.  I'm glad you've laid out these threads here, which have already shown up in so many glistening traceries through various discussions.  I've read this through once and will return to it again soon, once I've finished one "deadline piece" that's on my desk!

Pascalakirti, thanks, again, for posting your working draft of your Principles of MOA; it is quite a worthy project, and I hope to see it further flower.  Reading through your principles, I found two other phrases echoing in my mind...

 

The Metaphysics of -Ish

The Metaphysics of Asymptosis

 

...but I still think Metaphysics of Adjacency is the best.  (Asymptosis sounds like an oral hygiene problem).

 

Here are a few initial reflections...

 

3.Dualism, monism, non-dualism, etc. are not philosophical alternatives. In the degree to which any of these kinds of positions are fully explicated they increasingly reveal the same basic arrangements of the same basic classes of ontological necessity – differing in style, mood and emphasis. The divergence between these adjacent styles of reality-theory is also a convergence. As we develop an intuition for this kind of functional simultaneity we find that it can be described usefully as an unfolding of phases or layers which en-fold, but do not replace, each other.

 

Could you also say, "Dualism, monism, non-dualism, etc. are/n't philosophical alternatives"?  I would want to say that they both are and are not alternatives.  Because it seems to me that the intuition of a functional simultaneity is itself a non-dual view; from such a view, they are not strictly alternatives, as nondualism enfolds both dualism and monism (and nondualism also allows one to perceive the entanglement of these concepts with one another, across systems, in implicit if not always explicit form).  But as enactive operators, it seems also that there are real, non-negligible pragmatic (social, psychological, etc) differences that flow from the adoption of each "position."  Left "running" long enough, each may eventually circle around to embrace or acknowledge variants of its operational "other(s)," but I wouldn't want this acknowledgement of the "same" in same-difference to exclude or render negligible the philosophic, pragmatic (or other) differences, say, between dualist, pre-MOA and non-dualist MOA-2/3 views and enactments.

 

11.Conventional paradigms span a range between the worldviews of archaic and childish humanimals up to the flowering of the Metaphysics of Adjacency. Such paradigms can be said to operate largely upon the ontological power of nouns, verbs & adjectives. For example: conservatives are bad, Todd is a clever plumber, Sheila hunts well in the summer, God is great, God is unreal, etc. The shift introduced by MOAs subordinates nouns, verbs and adjectives through the explicit revelation of prepositions and adverbs. One common example is the assertion that this, that or all nouns are actually also verbs. Or the intuition that identity depends upon (or “is also”) a behavioral mode. MOAs employ the organizational power of conceptual operators akin to grammatical tools such as both/and/or/near/at/of/from/toward, inbetween, etc. Each of these invokes a multi-directional proximity which is at once a unifying and discriminating adjacency.

 

I resonate with this principle for obvious reasons (and recognize in it some of the points you made in your response to my forthcoming paper, Sophia Speaks).  However, while I recognize (and celebrate) your MOA as a prepositional expression of meta-theory (akin in some ways to Latour's and Serres' systems, while also, I believe, surpassing them in others), I remain hesitant to limit authentic second-tier meta-theories only to the prepositional or adverbial lenses.  You might be able to change my mind about this, since I already have a preference for the prepositional approach, for instance, within my own classification in Sophia Speaks.  But, for now -- and this is what I argue in my paper --, I think we can track a developmental unfolding within each of the grammatical lenses, rather than each occupying a fixed place in a developmental hierarchy of grammatical philosophemes.  For instance, I think there is a developmental difference in the nounal appeals to substance between Aristotle and SR or OOO, or in the verbal appeals to process between Heraclitus and Whitehead.  There are also more or less subtle and refined (adjacently-illuminated) understandings of prepositions.  The TSK tradition critiques the prepositional from-to orientation that informs naive conceptions of the self (and space and time), for instance, but would be quite comfortable, I believe, with the prepositional Views of Serres or MOA-2/3.  I didn't mention a progression of Adjectival thinking in the paper, but I would argue you may find some more sophisticated versions of it in (aspects of) Panikkar's cosmotheandrism or Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality.

 

This account becomes complicated, however, because it seems to me that these orientations advance, in part, by enfolding aspects of the other lenses into themselves.  (This is partly what I was getting at with my heno-ontology, which is not a simple pluralism in my understanding but a kind of holographic sensibility). For example, OOO's nounal substance account enfolds (verbal) process and (pronounal) perspectival elements into its description of objects, and in so doing (in a unifying/differentiating move) exhibits an implicit prepositional sensibility.  But, in giving emphasis to substance as it does, it retains a non-negligible nounal "flavor" in my view that differentiates it from a prepositional Serresian or an ad/verbial Whiteheadian approach...  I try to suggest something like this when I talk about the "entanglement" of the various philosphemes in their advanced stages, which nevertheless merit differentiation along the lines I recommend...

Hey Bald'r,

Good to hear from you.

My booklet exploring MOA seems like it could benefit from a condensed, up front articulation of its diverse forms -- since the range of items to which it applies may not be immediately obvious.

I agree with you about #3 is quite valid. Although there is a little skewing depending on the level of adjacency. My phrasing (when "these kinds of positions are fully explicated they increasingly reveal...") takes much of this into account. But perhaps it does not make it quite explicit enough? Only alternatives can be treated as non-alternatives!

Yet we might also consider that these particular nominal distinctions (dualism, monism, etc.) are not the real distinctions which might underlie the divergent real world outcomes. Clearly there are variable degrees of convergence and divergence which result from allowing different operating systems to run their own descriptive style over time. But ambiguity enters precisely at this point. We must not be -- as so many have -- hasty in presuming that the enactive variations are actually expressed by the common  self-descriptive phraseology or popular notions of "obvious alternatives".

Thus we may indeed wish to render these differences negligible IF 

(1) the difference is dependent upon a specifically incomplete articulation of these positions

(2) the link is unproven between enactive variations and popular historical-philosophical categories.


To your second point:

Are second tier and meta lenses being limited to adverbial and prepositional grammars? No. I am not making a limiting claim. Not exactly.I am careful to say "can be said to operate largely upon..." but again -- is this too subtle? Do you think a more explicit statement is necessary here?

The underlying assertion is that meta-work can only be performed insofar as it flexibly incorporates, evaluates, rearranges, etc. some other material that is considered to be "straight up". This activity requires the use (whether simply deployed or else overtly invoked) of dynamic interstitial activity. Such activity gains functional and/or descriptive prominence by the enactment of meta-positions.

I know that you are interested in the noun-al differences between say, everyday speech, Aristole, OOO, etc. but my point here would be that OOO is using a rather prepositional approach to nouns... securing and advancing their dignity (so to speak) by demanding that prepositional features be built into the definition of the noun. The irreducibility of an object is a "towards" that is also an "is" -- it depends upon an indeterminate relationships between "O" and O. This is a mode-like and preposition-like interpolation upon the standardized conventional sense of the noun. It remains noun-ish only insofar as it attempts to emphasize a particular point in contradistiction to other meta-level emphases.

We can see that noun-like or verb-like levels must be distinguished from a noun-like or verb-like styles... the latter of which may be the mode of articulation at any level of "grammatical complexity". These are validly distinct flavors which behave more like "lines". I would suspect that, as investigation proceeds, these grammatical terms will gravitate toward the level-usage and other terms may have to contextualize or replace them when in comes to the level-independent usage as basic styles. In either case, a grammatical analysis cannot long survive without accounting, in some fashion, for both these functions.

I'll only comment briefly on this grammatical question, since I don't think it's central to your overall thread, but I would certainly like to discuss this further with you at some point.  I may eventually start a thread on my Sophia Speaks paper, once it is published.

Yes, I agree that a grammatical-philosophical analysis will need to account for both grammatical levels and grammatical styles.  In the approach I've adopted so far, I have treated the grammatical categories as philosophemes or as overall styles of philosophy, each of which has the potential to exhibit stage-like growth (in the forms in which they are interpreted, employed, and expounded).  I did this despite the fact that I could also see what appeared to be a general developmental progression from nounal to verbal, perspectival, and prepositional philosophies over the course of history (with some dips and twists).  From a cognitive linguistic perspective, some of the parts of speech are indeed a bit more complex than others (prepositions tend to be more complex than nouns in that they usually are composed of compound image schemas; pronouns are typically mastered later than nouns or verbs).  But the differences in complexity among them are not so steep that they can't all be mastered very early in the life of a language-user, becoming functional and readily used elements in most language systems, even among so-called primitive peoples.  And in such cultures, the grammatical privileging of a supposedly "higher" part of speech does not guarantee greater sophistication in thinking.  For instance,  there are some tribal or 'indigenous' languages which strongly privilege verbs over nouns, but the speech or thought in these cultures tends nevertheless to be very concrete, photographic, and particular-bound (lacking general / abstract concepts or categories).  This suggests to me that we may not be able to tie differences in complexity or sophistication among philosophical systems strictly to intrinsic differences in grammatical complexity among parts of speech.  The preposition as it is emerging as a 'philosophical center' in various post/postmodern philosophical systems is indeed a subtle thing of beauty, but arguably it is not a 'pure' preposition either (a locator word), finding some of its subtlety and power in its absorption of dynamic verbal traits, for instance.  Its status is one that has been 'achieved' in its philosophical 'discovery' or 'instauration' after many centuries of nounal and verbal philosophical reflection, for instance, and its dawning philosophical 'form' reflects and embodies this history, so that it emerges 'always already' as what it also 'never was.'

There's more to say here, but I'll return to this in a later (separate) discussion.  Most generally, I'd say right now I'm in favor of -- and feel comfortable with -- using the parts of speech both as philosophemes or 'styles' and to designate certain historically emergent stages of philosophical thought.  But there's definitely more to explore here....

I'll return to some of your other Principles of MOA in my next post...

This is marvelous -- style fitted to content. Also I thank you for using the term "MOA-constrictor" which is often in my heart but too seldom in my typing.

As any theory rises in complexity we expect it to fall increasingly under the description of something like an MOA... regardless of its genre. Physics is a great example because, like philosophy, it is an area in which the boundaries of the conceivable have been pressed into the space of their own apparent limits.

As you say, there is a comfortable kinship between MOA-1 and multiple universes. It is tricksy to guess who gets how much further "up" and fascinating to see the resonances these moves have with the life and temperaments of the individuals. To mention De Broglie, whom I love, always bring the spirit of Einstein closer... 

The promise of MOA is that it should give us the experimental and philosophical power of Bohr's complementarity with the harmony and adequate "realness" of Einstein's universe. To grasp those as one-ish is a task too often mention and too seldom attempted...

Bohr is a Bohrg. But resistance is not only not futile but necessary.

Speaking of resistance, according to the Tai Chi Classics one can "using four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds." To do this one must "distinguish clearly between substantial and insubstantial." Both are accomplished via compression and leverage, both within one's body and by applying them to another body. Compression and leverage are accomplished by maintaining 4 ounces of resistance or pressure between them at all times and through all changes. Without this resistance our biomagnetic and biomechanical energy does not flow with enough force to move much of anything, much less a thousand pounds.This is also critical in partner dance connection/communication.

To connect it to this thread, the last post relates specifically to principles 1 and 10.

For example, principle 1 is about the fundamental premise of same-difference or connective-separation. The latter pair is more suited to my purpose, as it exemplifies the relation between any 'two.' This could relate not just a philosophical axiom but practically to one person or two people (or more) in my above example. In practicing tai chi alone one is always playing with this ever-changing 'balance' between active and passive between parts of their body-mind, or substantial and insubstantial. And there are several of these balances going on at the same space-time, like between the two hands, the two feet, the head and feet, the front and back, etc. These complimentary parts are connected yet "clearly distinguished."

Where the resistance or pressure comes in is in the dynamic tension between them (principle 11). Note the preposition 'between.' It is what glues them together yet also keeps them apart like a generative (en)closure. I.e, they are adjacent, not one and not two, at least not exactly. This 4 ounces of resistance is strongly akin to any permeable boundary that is both open and closed, that not only separates one from another but also allows connection and communication with another. Hence the practice can also been done with another(s), which experience of working with another feeds back to working with oneself and vice-versa. The training requires both as an ongoing practice. Hence principle 10, for one is this practice is both/and/neither/nor one/two in oneself and with another.

yo, joseph: You say in (1.) that reality is a "variability of sameness and difference." Yet in (3.) you say that monism, dualism, and non-dualism are "not alternatives." Intuitively, this latter dictum sounds a bit like a bias toward monism/non-dualism. But, to add more to my aporias, since you speak of sameness AND difference in (1.), and also of "variability," does this not then already presuppose alterity and differance, and hence prioritize difference?

So which is it? Sameness or Difference? :-)

Hey yourself, "joseph"

The assertion here is that nondualism is best and most accurately articulated as the variable phenomenon of same-difference. Traditional nondualism is a mixed bag of monists & tantrikas. That is to say, some invoke nonduality as an alternative to duality. Others observe that this duality is itself undone through nondualism -- and that duality is nonduality. This is one of the roots of the Metaphysics of Adjacency. It is a clarification of the nondual principle which extends this common-aspect-of-sameness-and-difference throughout the "conditional world" as its structural organizing principle. 

We are saying, in effect, that there is no way to prioritize either sameness or difference since they are fundamentally a single phenomenon. The separator is the connector. To say either is also to say the other. Any form of languaging which minimizes this difference is useful. 

The ubiquity of multiplicity, say, is often a superior way of saying Oneness -- since it does not require a corollary opposite.

The intimate "adjacency" of sameness & difference varies such that it includes conditions ordinary described as different but also includes that state of optimal but potentially incomplete equivalence of same-difference in which we cannot find their seam of separation at all.

Variability should be emphasized in order to keep the join functioning of the conditional and unconditional reality in mind. When the alterity is forgotten then the spiritual experience of nonduality begins to feed into a philosophic approach which is beneath its contemporary dignity. Both variability AND ambiguity must anchor nondualism(ishness) in a post-post-modern approach. 



kelamuni said:

yo, joseph: You say in (1.) that reality is a "variability of sameness and difference." Yet in (3.) you say that monism, dualism, and non-dualism are "not alternatives." Intuitively, this latter dictum sounds a bit like a bias toward monism/non-dualism. But, to add more to my aporias, since you speak of sameness AND difference in (1.), and also of "variability," does this not then already presuppose alterity and differance, and hence prioritize difference?

So which is it? Sameness or Difference? :-)

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