Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
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.
Trying to pin everything down is a fool's errand. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Wittgenstein.
"So different is this new perspective that Wittgenstein repeats: 'Don’t think, but look!' (PI 66); and such looking is done vis a vis particular cases, not generalizations. In giving the meaning of a word, any explanatory generalization should be replaced by a description of use. The traditional idea that a proposition houses a content and has a restricted number of Fregean forces (such as assertion, question and command), gives way to an emphasis on the diversity of uses. In order to address the countless multiplicity of uses, their un-fixedness, and their being part of an activity, Wittgenstein introduces the key concept of ‘language-game’. He never explicitly defines it since, as opposed to the earlier ‘picture’, for instance, this new concept is made to do work for a more fluid, more diversified, and more activity-oriented perspective on language."
More from SEP, which sounds a lot like how basic categories and prototype theory are defined in cognitive science these days:
"It is here that Wittgenstein’s rejection of general explanations, and definitions based on sufficient and necessary conditions, is best pronounced. Instead of these symptoms of the philosopher’s 'craving for generality', he points to ‘family resemblance’ as the more suitable analogy for the means of connecting particular uses of the same word. There is no reason to look, as we have done traditionally—and dogmatically—for one, essential core in which the meaning of a word is located and which is, therefore, common to all uses of that word. We should, instead, travel with the word’s uses through 'a complicated network of similarities overlapping and criss-crossing' (PI 66). Family resemblance also serves to exhibit the lack of boundaries and the distance from exactness that characterize different uses of the same concept. Such boundaries and exactness are the definitive traits of form—be it Platonic form, Aristotelian form, or the general form of a proposition adumbrated in the Tractatus. It is from such forms that applications of concepts can be deduced, but this is precisely what Wittgenstein now eschews in favor of appeal to similarity of a kind with family resemblance."
Also see Chapter 2 in Lakoff's book Women, Fire and Dangerous Things entitled "From Wittgenstein to Rosch." A copy of the book is here.
Actually read the whole thing, as it critiques philosophy based on Aristotelian necessary and sufficient conditions, later expounded on in Philosophy in the Flesh, copy here. It's also a critique of models of hierarchical complexity, which I explored in the real/false reason thread. It's why these days I prefer postmetaphysical hier(an)archical synplexity.
I found a free copy of Synergetics by Buckminster Fuller here, of particular interest to us syntegralists. The following sections relate to my writing on leverage and compression earlier in this thread here.
792.30: Tension and Compression: Everything we call structure is synergetic and exists only as a consequence of interactions between divergent compressional forces and convergent tension forces.
792:40: Tidal Complementarities: We have demonstrated experimentally that tension and compression always and only coexist. One can be at high tide of visibility and the other coincidentally at low tide, or vice versa. These tidal covariables are typical complementarities: They are not mirror images of one another, but must always balance one another complexedly in physical equations.
Developing tensegrity in the human body. Continuing the last post, here's an example of applying compression and leverage in a Tai Chi form, performed by Master Zeng Chen Dong.
This talk is comparing brain waves to Gebser's structures, starting at 14:55. Is integral just gamma? (18:30) No, "it's the transparancy of all the structures" (19:20) and "moving between them and holding them simultaneously" (19:35).
Excellent article exemplifying syntegrity. A brief excerpt follows but the entire article is well worth 15 minutes.
"The first represents the kind of static view of individuals and their connections most often employed in terms like ‘community’. This sees the individual as a complete node unto itself with connections represented as static and uniform. This view is also expanded to create unstable fictions in which every so-called “citizen” is considered to be connected uniformly through nationality or every “woman” is connected through womanhood. But more simply, this is also just when you are planning a get-together and thinking in your head about who is friends with who in a broad overview kind of way.
"The second image represents the self as slightly more complex and networked but with connections between individuals still essentially uniform. The second model is just a complex self with a static view of its connections with others. This second model can be seen in something like the Dialogical Self theory in psychology, where the networked self is described through the ways in which composite aspects of our psyche dialog internally with each other to create coherence. This theory looks at the voices of all those people and things that influence and comprise us and the ways they live in a micro-society in our minds. This vision recognizes a network of internal nodes (such as these different voices in our heads) forming a dynamic and open-system of information sharing and connectivity seeking to build bridges outside and within itself.
"More complex than the previous images, the third view represents the fully networked self and other. It sees individuals as complex maps and the connections between the self and others as additionally forming dynamic networks of connections. This is more the neurophysiological view. In this view, each of these nodes might represent a neural pathway with a thousand individual neurons inside of it. A proper map could contain every single neuron in a brain and its full network with others or even subatomic quarks. This view represents a kind of Venn-diagram of selves where the individual network system overlaps with an infinitesimal sliver of the other. Another form of this view could be looking at the overlap of the ways we use language wherein our connotations are largely completely distinct but that there is enough overlap for us to communicate meaning."
This thread started with Bryant on Bergson, so now I ling this post of Deleuze on Bergson. Of particular note for now:
4.3. Critique of Presentism:
1. We tend to confuse being with being-present.
2. The present is precisely what is not, what is always moving outside itself, always in the process of falling beyond itself, always caught in the act of presentation.
However Bergson viewed intuition and analysis as the absolute versus the relative way of knowing. The former is "a method that aims at getting back to and knowing the things themselves, in all their uniqueness and ineffable originality." This could indeed be Deleuze's criticism of Bergson's metaphysics of presence?
Bryant, L. (2008). Difference and Givenness. On the method of intuition:
"We ought not to assume that by 'intuition' Deleuze means the direct and immediate apprehension by a knowing subject of itself, of its conscious states, of other minds, of an external world, of universals, of values, or of rational truths. […] Strangely, then, intuition, for Deleuze, is mediated insofar as it involves a plurality of acts of cognition. […] It must be practiced and performed, that it requires a discipline and 'training,' rather than being an immediate given. In this respect, it is much closer to phenomenological methods of analysis than traditional appeals to intuition. […] What we seek is not difference as it manifests itself between two things, but difference in itself, difference differing from itself, difference as it can only be contained within duration or time unfolding itself" (53-4).
And of course Bryant's later work reiterates many of the same themes.
"Repeating a line of thought that can already be found in Bergson’s Matter and Memory as well as Deleuze’s subsequent appropriation of Bergson’s thought, Derrida thus argues that the passage of the now necessarily requires a split within presence, such that presence is never purely present but is always already 'contaminated' from within by absence. […] With Derrida’s resolution to the aporia of succession we thus get the beginnings of an account of the ontological grounds of withdrawal" (4).