I decided to move this post over to its own thread to work on this. I'll also move other related past posts over from other threads to riff on later.

The last post reminded me of something I've been working on using Bergson via Bryant. It's not completely thought through yet, with gaps still, but I thought I'd get it down here and then work on it further.

Now where Bryant might be akin to something like the MHC is in his endo-relational organizational structure. Recall in TDOO his distinction between exo- and endo-relations, and its correlation with intensional and extensional relations in a set (212). Endo-relations reside in the structural organization of its elements, the elements themselves not being autonomous entities. Hence the elements of this set cannot be otherwise; they must be in a relatively fixed pattern to maintain an entity's autonomy (214).

Bryant uses Bergson's diagram on memory to show how endo-relations are maintained (232).

It is similar to hierarchical nests but not quite. ABCD shows the unfoldment of an entity over time. A'B'C'D' show the memory of the entity, which feeds back into its unfoldment and also allows for future anticipation. But what is unfolded and remembered-anticipated is how an entity selectively organizes its structural elements in relation to its environment. This can and does change in response to these relations, but even when it changes it maintains a relatively stable endo-relational structure to maintain autonomy.

Where Bryant didn't go with this, and I do, is in relating this to the Wilber-Combs lattice. As I've laid out in different posts and threads, we might loosely correlate A'B'C'D' with our early development using MHC's stages with Gebser's, from pre-operational/archaic (D') to primary/magic (C') to concrete/mythic (B') to abstract-rational (A'). Formal rationality begins at A, which can be then trained to retrieve through focus and memory to integrate the previous levels throuch meditative or contemplative methods.

But here is where it diverges with the MHC and uses a twist or fold in the W-C lattice. I've claimed that the MHC continues to get more complicated with it's postformal stages, not fully remembering and then integrating the previous stages by not taking into account how the meditative process works. When integrated via meditation there is a fold or twist in both the W-C lattice and in Bergson's diagram above. Hence we get something more akin to Levin's bodies as the integrative process unfolds in reverse order, the prior magic and mythic becoming the transpersonal and the prior archaic becoming the ontological.

This relates to the W-C lattice in that the higher stages are the meditative integration of earlier state-stages in reverse order: gross-abstract, subtle-magic/mythic, causal-archaic. These are the third tier in the lattice. But whereas the lattice continues to differentiate states from stages in postformal levels a la the MHC, the states and stages undergo a transformation in the fulcrum of formal operations with meditation. i.e., they are heretofore more fully integrated and that differentiation is now replaced a la Gebserian IA awaring and the prior analysis-synthesis (de-re) above.

Relating this back to Bryant's endo-relational structure, the endo-relational elements are structurally organized in a specific and nested way akin to transcend and include. Wilber senses that there is a difference between enduring and transitional structures akin to Bryant's endo- and exo-relations. Wilber even uses Luhmann in ways similar to Bryant but not in this way, since Wilber's enduring structures are cogntive like pre-formal to concrete to rational. These would be more akin to Luhmann's independent and autonomous exo-relations.

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I’m also using Loy’s history of Buddhism, as it arose during the Axial period when egoic rationality was on the rise (see here and here). In this post I quote Loy: "Shunyata is not 'nothingness' but the formless potential that describes awareness prior to identification with any form" (166). Which brings me back to Damasio’s different selves or Thompson’s ipseities. This post relates them to meditation practice.  In the post following I argue that states like shunyata arise in the core self via meditation.

“Also of interest from the last article is how in the beginning it compares what I've excerpted above with Descartes' dualism, the mind being an immaterial 'ghost in the machine.' At the end he comes full circle, noting this same dualism is inherent to not only Husserl's transcendent consciousness but also to traditional Buddhist notions of transcendent awareness.

“This has been of course one of my own criticisms with various brands of shentong above and in other threads. I explained it as an aspect of the rational ego, the autobiographical  self or formal operations in MHC-speak. That's where the Cartesean split occurs, so that when we unwind in meditation to the core self, that first reflective 'I,' we misinterpret it as some form of world-transcendent, metaphysical entity.

“Hence the next step beyond the autobiographical self, the centaur, takes us into postmetaphysics, once again grounding these natural states with neuroscience, validating the states but refuting the transcendent interpretations. And as I've said above and elsewhere, we can get more complex in our 'operations,' but until we re-embody and anchor those in our core and proto-selves via meditation or some similar methodology it's all just more complex, yet less integrated, psycho-babble still caught in Cartesian dualism.”

Now I'm thinking that our proto-self, which is what the core self observes, is where the image schema are happening. (Or maybe the predecessor 'mind'?) And it is here where we are accessing in small part some of those endo-relations I keep mentioning but have as yet explicated with any semblance of coherence. That's because I'm feeling my way into it, backing in, as it were, within and throughout the middle of what I already know. For image schema themselves arise in the middle of things, in media res, and this is the tenuous trail of breadcrumbs my Muse* leaves for me.

I'm thinking of naming her Museque (Mus-eek, fancy spelling and pronunciation for music).

Speaking of Muse-esque,

In a recent poem over at Integral Life I followed "halfway to God" until it became "halfway of God". This is typical of my position, exemplified in the MOA, that we inhabit a threshold cosmology where the line of significant growth occurs at the midpoint -- and is only obscured by casual notions of fully traversing or fully ascending. So, like you, I situate the foldback point as the essential agency in "leading edge" operations.

I always hesitate when hear about a "Cartesian split" -- partly because it is said so often that one suspects popular brainwashing but also because I am a consistently up against a view which wants to start with a differential as the identity of sameness. So my own inner ear always hears Descartes describing the utility of approximation and the necessity of using "duality" as the minimal description of unity. I am convinced that if we back up the split, in the individual or the cosmos, we fairly rapidly reach a condition in which split/non-split is the only viable articulation. Yet the essential ambiguity-structure requires, if we have integrity, that wherever we see "implicit split" models we are ready to confront them with "no split necessary" or "non-metaphysical" models.

The other thing that comes up for me is the Gurdjieffian vision. In that system the proto-self is like a prism or "beam splitter". But rather than establishing a duality it splits into a triple. The basic subjective potential shows up (to itself for the first time) as an erratic interplay of proto-knowing, proto-feeling, proto-sensing. Each of those, in various combinations, is then elaborated through embodiment. First in a system that is relatively simple -- so that the three parts are fairly well aligned (essence) and then in an increasingly complicated arrangement (personality) which consists largely of remedial adaptations to the dissonance and tension produced by non-alignment of these three aspects. By a progressive "work" of intentionally synchronizing these aspects we recover the flavor the unsplit beam. This has patterning effects on our personality, produces a kind of energetic chemistry surplus which powers the growth of understanding and being, and also teaches us the "mood" or "posture" which we can trace back toward the point at which the beam split.



theurj said:

I’m also using Loy’s history of Buddhism, as it arose during the Axial period when egoic rationality was on the rise (see here and here). In this post I quote Loy: "Shunyata is not 'nothingness' but the formless potential that describes awareness prior to identification with any form" (166). Which brings me back to Damasio’s different selves or Thompson’s ipseities. This post relates them to meditation practice.  In the post following I argue that states like shunyata arise in the core self via meditation.

“Also of interest from the last article is how in the beginning it compares what I've excerpted above with Descartes' dualism, the mind being an immaterial 'ghost in the machine.' At the end he comes full circle, noting this same dualism is inherent to not only Husserl's transcendent consciousness but also to traditional Buddhist notions of transcendent awareness.

“This has been of course one of my own criticisms with various brands of shentong above and in other threads. I explained it as an aspect of the rational ego, the autobiographical  self or formal operations in MHC-speak. That's where the Cartesean split occurs, so that when we unwind in meditation to the core self, that first reflective 'I,' we misinterpret it as some form of world-transcendent, metaphysical entity.

“Hence the next step beyond the autobiographical self, the centaur, takes us into postmetaphysics, once again grounding these natural states with neuroscience, validating the states but refuting the transcendent interpretations. And as I've said above and elsewhere, we can get more complex in our 'operations,' but until we re-embody and anchor those in our core and proto-selves via meditation or some similar methodology it's all just more complex, yet less integrated, psycho-babble still caught in Cartesian dualism.”

Now I'm thinking that our proto-self, which is what the core self observes, is where the image schema are happening. (Or maybe the predecessor 'mind'?) And it is here where we are accessing in small part some of those endo-relations I keep mentioning but have as yet explicated with any semblance of coherence. That's because I'm feeling my way into it, backing in, as it were, within and throughout the middle of what I already know. For image schema themselves arise in the middle of things, in media res, and this is the tenuous trail of breadcrumbs my Muse* leaves for me.

I'm thinking of naming her Museque (Mus-eek, fancy spelling and pronunciation for music).

To re-member some, image schema (IS) are decomposable primitives (aka elements) and can be found in the middle of classical, linear hierarchies. Where I've been misled is in maintaining the notion that the endo-structural organization, even though it might be transcend-and-include, is not a linear, hierarchical progression, but like ISs maintains the 'from the middle' up/down structure. It's a hard one to diagram, with IS in the middle and the particulars going down or getting smaller while the generalities going up or getting biggger. I have to consult more with Museque.

So here's what Museque said to me:

"You're still seeing ISs as a fixed entity within a hierarchical relation. Whereas what you're calling ISs is a much more particular and general process between each and every level of any holarchy. It is that space between the boundaries of any two suobjects, that place where they exchange material and information. It is general in the sense that it is at every boundary, and it is particular in that it is specific to any given relational exchange. We might even call it, per Edwards, that mediating sign (Word) the allows communication between each. In humans it expresses as ISs; between other suobjects we'd call it something else."

A semi-accurate image for this is those fractal thing-a-ma-bobs that are so popular. Except that they are too pretty and symmetrical. Museque tells me that like onticological mereology each interation of a fractal boundary between suobjects is not the same, so the picture would be much more rhizomatic, diverse, each sign unique yet still a sign. A unique particular while also being a like general. A same/difference, as it were.

Still, how this expresses as an endo-structural organization is not clear, since the latter is supposed to be on the inside of a suobject, not in its exo-relation. But as I argued in the OOO thread, this inside/outside, endo-exo distinction is too crisp in Bryant, that perhaps ISs themselves are not just on the inside but are in fact in this boundary between. Where differance* is that transcendental pre-condition betwixt in and out, up and down, inside out and back again. Which of course changes everything. How though this can be 'structured'** is still beyond me. More consultation required.

* Aka my gal Khora, another name for Museque, the former being the more general, the latter specific to me.

** And perhaps it is not at all structured, being the unstructured space for Spenser-Brown which can only be inferred via the most tenuous of traces.

I also recall Balder introducing Sallis into the OOO discussion here. Here are some of my comments following that post relevant to the recent twist above.

"One can detect residues of Sallis' entire oeuvre, perhaps the clearest attempt to articulate a 'third kind' [the chora] begun in Chorology" reminiscent of my musings on Derrida's khora. Here's more that supports it.

"What is needed is a logic that addresses the originary openings in which things first come to show themselves, a logic of schemata, spacing, and imagining.[...] Sallis identifies several schemata (spatio-temporal determinations) such as simultaneity and spatial proximity that correspond to various logical categories. In each case the key feature is the yoking together of contradictory terms in a unity that neither destroys the terms nor cancels either of them."

Chapter 5 is on Schematicism, lending more support:

"Elementals are neither things nor properties thus "the law [traditional logic] that would govern the belonging of properties to things has no bearing" (151). Instead elementals provide jointures and horizons of things, disclosing their fundamental event-like nature. Thus the elementals and imagination share a special bond, as the imagination gathers and holds together the spatio-temporal dynamics of the elementals."

The 'excess' and the 'withdrawn' are also addressed in the review, two common themes in the thread.

"As Timaeus says, only if khora is radically indeterminate and formless -- only if it escapes the order of property and propriety -- can khora receive the properties and formal determinations that first makes the kosmos possible. Khora hovers on the very edge of nothingness, never showing itself as itself, but only in conjunction with the presence of the elemental bodies, as a trace of 'something,' which can never itself be made present. It is thus 'something' very much like what Derrida named différance: an originary spacing and 'differencing' that presence presupposes and that, as a condition for the possibility (and paradoxically the impossibility) of presence, can never itself be present."

I was also reminded (re-minded, re-membered) of this page and following in the OOO thread, previous ruminations on the recent twist above. On the page and following I started to read Morton's book Realist Magic and his notion of the Rift is relevant. He says that the Rift is between a suobject's withdrawn core and its local manifestations, between its I and me. I talked about the X as this crossroads, the X being in effect two crossed Is, as in I-I. So perhaps the Rift is as I said at any crossroads. This would though remove differance from the inner or virtual endo-relational structure, but that's what I've been arguing of late (and earlier in the first link).

Sign of the Cross. Keep in mind if we fold this cross it becomes a cube, with the five-petaled rose in the center, Jeheshua the mediator between heaven and earth.

S/he is also at the center of the Tree of Life.

And if we go back to the first image in the thread and put an "I" between A and O we get IAO, an infamous hermetic fomula heard in this Police song. Ok, so my imagination is running wild, it's ok. Mother Mary calls to me, let it be.

As a tangent to the Rose Cross, see this section from the wiki entry:

"On the back side of the rosy cross is inscribed the motto of the Zelator Adeptus Minor at the bottom, 'The master Jesus Christ, God and Man.'"

And "it is a glyph, in one sense, of the higher Genius to whose knowledge and conversation the student is eternally aspiring."

Or as I call it, talking with (being called by) Museque.

Which reminds me of calls for Cthulhu.

In my latest posts above I'm now looking more to the boundaries (the Rift) than to the inside/outside to discern the withdrawn and/or image schema. I was reminded of a couple of my posts from the adjacency thread starting here, copied below.

[Speaking of the Borg] 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 [adjacency] thread, the last post relates specifically to principles 1 and 10 [and 11]. 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.

Recall the series of posts on p. 6 starting with this one, where Musique opened my eyes. And with Sallis confirming my suspicions. One of which is that prepositions are the actual linguistic 'traces' of the withdrawn (virtual) image schema* (attractors) at any boundary (dynamic tension between compression/leverage). So 'connection' is indeed the key, or more aptly "the door without a key" in these lyrics.

* Image schema specifically for humans, for other suobjects the more general rhetaphor.

This post and following from another thread got me relating it to this thread. (And how it relates to the integral semiotics thread, another story for another post.) So I re-read Chapter 3 of Complexity and Postmodernism. The first part is about Saussure's structuralism and Derrida's post-structuralist critique. I'll not go into that here but highly recommend it since Cilliars describes both concisely and in easily digestible format. It's in how he applies it to memory, which if you recall (punny) is of paramount importance at the beginning of this thread. A few excerpts then to set the tone for later commentary:

"Put in the language of systems theory, Saussure still understands language as a closed system, whereas Derrida wants to argue for language as an open system. In denying the metaphysics of presence, the distinction between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ is also problematised. [...] Only when the distinction between inside and outside is ruptured, can the system become an open one" (43).

"Two important aspects of this model [Freud's] deserve attention. In the first place the role of memory should be underscored. ‘Memory’ refers here to the physical condition of the brain: which pathways are breached (‘facilitated’) and which are not. Memory is not a cognitive function performed by a conscious subject, but an unconscious characteristic of the brain (which is an organ, part of the body). Memory is the substrate that sets up the conditions for all the functions of the brain.

"The second important characteristic of Freud’s model concerns the role of the neurons. No neuron is significant by itself. Memory does not reside in any neuron, but in the relationship between neurons. This relationship, Freud (1950:300) declares, is one of differences. What we have, therefore, is a model structurally equivalent to Saussure’s model of language: a system of differences. Taking Derrida’s reading of both Freud and Saussure as a cue, we can develop a description of the dynamics of networks of interacting neurons, using the theoretical equipment developed in the post-structural approach to language.

"Derrida uses the concept of ‘trace’ to point to the influence that each component in the system of language has on every other component. The notion of trace is intimately linked with the notion of memory—memory in the material, non-subjective sense described above. In a neural network the function of memory is performed by the weights of the relationships between neurons. Because of the ‘distributed’ nature of these relationships, a specific weight has no ideational content, but only gains significance in large patterns of interaction. It therefore seems fruitful to suggest that the two terms—‘weight’ and ‘trace’—can in this context be used to describe each other. To think of weights in a neural network as traces (in Derrida’s sense) helps to understand how meaningful patterns in a network result primarily from the condition of the weights. To think of traces in language as weights helps us to conceive of them not as something ephemeral, but as something actual, albeit an actuality that is sparse.

"Similarly, Derrida’s concept of différance can be used to describe the dynamics of complex neural networks. The analogy works in the following way. If an ensemble of neurons (whether real or artificial) generates a pattern of activity, traces of the activity reverberate through the network. When there are loops in the network, these traces are reflected back after a certain propagation delay (deferral), and alter (make different) the activity that produced them in the first place. Since complex systems always contain loops and feedback, delayed self-altering will be one of the network’s characteristics" (44-6).

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