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.
My reading of Lord Whitesnake (Sri Nag-arjuna) is that he is not presenting a typology of logic -- and therefore his logic cannot be similar or dissimilar to other logical systems. I view him as the originator of the Mahayana style which especially characterizes Zen communication. Particularly the attempt to structural depict the differential connection between structure and the lack of structure (zen aesthetics) AND the key notion, later elaborated by Hui-Neng, that prana IS samadhi. Meaning, basically, that a certain type of convergent thinking is isomorphic to the non-thinking absorption of high-coherence meditation.
This is the foundation for viewing his "logical arguments" and "negations" as artistic attempts to semantically depict the moment at which linear reasoning merges into trans-rational contemplation. And NOT as any kind of general format for reasoning about the world.
When the "emptiness" translation of Shunyata is renounced in favor of an "indiscernible" (or equivalent) translation, we see very clearly what is meant by the multiple negations.
It is not emptiness. It is not non-emptiness. It is not just both emptiness and non-emptiness... neither is it the absence of both. All THAT is specifically the nondual and conventionally indiscernible element to which consciousness can be directed through speech of a certain kind.
LP: My reading of Lord Whitesnake (Sri Nag-arjuna) is that he is not presenting a typology of logic -- and therefore his logic cannot be similar or dissimilar to other logical systems.
Can you say more? This doesn't really follow, from what I can see. He may not be attempting to teach or present a typology of logic, but he may nevertheless be reasoning in a particular way, with characteristic patterns and 'moves,' that can be compared to other logical systems.
LP's is a version of the Gorampa shentong camp, Hui-Neng being the Chinese offshoot. I'll stick with the historical debate on this and the likes of (post)modern and rangtong experts like Priest, Graham and Batchelor.
Balder said in a FB IPS post: “Whitehead and Hartshorne suggest that a-terms (absolutes) are asymmetrically dependent on, and abstracted from, (relative) r-terms. […] What would be the reason for the differing testimonies (such as you find between Rangtong and Shentong schools, for instance)?”
That's the difference in a nutshell: the shentongs see that the r-terms are asymmetrically dependent on, and abstracted from, the a-terms. It's quite clear in Wilber's writings. And no, the solution isn't a 'balance' of the two in some higher integration, which is an extension of the shentong (aka 'false' a la Lakoff) reasoning. There's a lot in Lakoff and company's research that supports the rangtong version as noted in several threads, like 'real/false' reason.
We might also add the testimony of the popo versions of rangtong who also live in Multipli City: the polydox theologians, as well as that 'other' school of complexity (Morin, Prigogine), as well as the speculative realists and ontocologists. And so on.
Yes, the Man-From-Dolpo's (dolpo-pa) approach is closer to my view -- and basically states that a Causal (negated absolute) and Nondual (affirmative in/distinction) are both viable interpretations of the Whitesnake Tradition. However ultimacy must err toward the latter. This is also present in most all the great teachers. Even the Onion-Valley-Man (tsong-kha-pa) asserts that Buddhamind incorporates emptiness with its opposite. But those additional qualification strike me as unnecessary attempts to correct a misinterpretation that cannot be distinguished from the conventional mistranslation of the terms. However, as I mentioned on FB, this does not have much to do with the logical issue of a-terms and r-terms. That is a useful debate on its own.
I would argue (contra Wallis) that deconstructive analysis is merely a preliminary or contributory aspect of bottom-up metatheory. It separates out what must be combined. Top-down metatheory, I would like to say, derives from autological principles which, being self-authenticating, appear as an initial scaffolding from which diverse valid approaches may be deduced (a la CTMU, Leibniz, etc.)
That would leave us with:
De/reconstructive or "integrative" models aligned with the notion of abstracting absolutes from relatives. And top-down models associated with deriving relatives from absolutes.
However we would also have to add that these immediately appear as deconstructive elements for use in a bottom-up integration. And in fact standard integral theory tries to handle that by affirming the eternal co-activity of absolutes (causal) and relatives (gross, subtle) -- and to do this it dispenses with the notion of "abstracted from" or "derived".
Hartshorne (and Whitehead), I think, would resist strictly identifying the relations of r-terms and a-terms with bottom-up and top-down approaches, since they do not admit symmetricality between the a-terms and r-terms, whereas they do recognize the relative validity of both bottom-up and top-down approaches to theorizing. See this discussion of Hartshorne and Naggie for more on Hartshorne's distinctions between r-terms and a-terms: concrescence.org/index.php/ajpt/article/download/148/102
I've responded to this article with a new conversation on the FB page.
Another way of approaching r/a terms is through basic categories and image schema. Recall that these prototypes are in the middle of classical categorical hierarchies, between the most general and the most particular. Basic categories are the most concrete way we have of relating to and operating within the environment. Thus both the more particular and more general categories are more abstract. And yet our usual way of thinking is that the more particular the category the more concrete or relative the object it represents is and vice versa.
Which is indeed related to the a-terms being asymmetrically dependent on the r-terms, if by r-terms we mean those concrete image schema which are the basis of more abstract derivations. It's easy to confuse them because our 'common sense' associates the more concrete objects of the world with the most particular objects on our constructed hierarchies; the same for the most abstract and emphemeral of thoughts, which do not seem physical or material. And yet these hierarchies are not constructed that way, instead being from the middle up and down via image schema and basic categories.
Such things are unconscious and not readily apparent. So of course we can 'reason' from both the bottom-up and top-down in such hierarchies if we associate the r-terms with the most particular and the a-terms with the most general or abstract. But we do so from the most concrete of image schema, the actual r-terms, while the top and bottom of the usual, classical hierarchy are the most abstract.
Eric in the FB forum referenced Koestler's work "Some general properties of self-regulating open hierarchic order." It looks to be fruitful for this thread's endeavor. More to come.
From that discussion:
Recall from this Koestler source thread that "the regenerative potential of organisms and societies manifests itself in fluctuations from the highest level of integration down to earlier, more primitive levels, and up again to a new, modified pattern." We can integrate and re-program evolutionary wiring. As I argue in the fold thread it's not about every-increasing complexity but about a more fully conscious integration. Just adding complexity only continues the metaphysical underpinnings of an abstract ego divorced from individual and collective bodies, including the environment.
Btw, this agrees with Wilber's notion of modernism's dissociation of the value spheres. We differentiated them, an advance, but then instead of fully integrating them they went into dissociation. This is an ongoing phenomenon and one in which even kennilingus (and the rest of us) unconsciously participates. But we can get over it.
As to how this affects political framing, per Lakoff so many liberals are stuck in 'false reason.' I.e., the dissociation inherent to the Enlightenment paradigm. Conservatives have a better handle on integrating the pre-rational moral values and use that in their framing accordingly. Yet its a mythic moral code. The liberals have the better moral code but via their abstract Enlightenment dissociative language aren't connecting to that higher moral code. A more conscious integration at the liberal level would inculcate 'real' reason and better framing. We could say that the MGM is a continuation of this dissociation started in modernism, while healthy green is this integration.
Ever-increasing complexity is either short-sighted or short-hand for the amplification of a certain type of complexity. More often than not it is simply a stand against people who naively expect simplicity, obviousness and traditional common sense to provide all the answers.
The depth -- or "conscious integration" -- requirement requires more complexity with which to work. I am aesthetically fond of simplexity because it seems to answer a lot of complaints all at once.
Older moral codes are better assimilated. The enactment (moral strength) of an understanding of what is appropriate (ethics) depends upon it arising in cognition and getting digested by the whole being. Where that is not so conveniently provided by thousands of years of practice it must be supplemented by efforts and praxis today. A lot of the people with the most advance ethical visions, liberal Enlightenment and beyond, live apart from circumstances in which they must act upon their values with difficult choices and personal risks. Consequently only a speculative or "tip of the iceberg" morality comes into manifestation in many cases.