• Baden
    8.7k
    perhaps such a real need not just be a trauma, maybe it can also be a source of joy, empowerment and discovery.fdrake

    Heidegger rolling in the flowers type thing? Speculative again, but depends how condensed the joy of transgression is into the fear of punishment. I'd tend to say the prohibitive is constitutive. Primally and developmentally, fear is dominant re the macrosocial (society) level with (ideally) a balancing love at the microsocial (family) level. So, applying socio-linguistic (ritual) origami to nascent awareness gives you a recognizably human consciousness, the price of which is psychological boundaries that may be practically impenetrable. Transgression can be joyful but as pleasures are behaviourally conditioning, the telos of that path veers towards ostracization / incarceration / self-destruction, and that presents a huge mental barrier for Joe Average. But, sure, the potential is likely there.
  • Baden
    8.7k


    More from the article:

    "...my question about whether we can be persuaded into the “right” belief about our “true selves” rests on the false idea that there is some truth waiting to be discovered. And that we can get at it with enough evidence, as though the Alex of today was waiting, dormant, inside the Alex of 2000, and that the right sort of evidence could have revealed him. Of course it wasn’t."

    Great story. Bouncer Alex was no more "true" Alex than toffee-nosed Alex because there was no correct "identity of Alex" waiting to be found. There were and are circumstances and reactions and redistributions of potentials, and out of it comes someone who is more or less comfortable in their own skin. So, identity cleaves to ritual and rituals form of identities in more or less stable configurations. The substance is nowhere to be found and can't be reined in—as in defined and controlled by—rationality. Which leaves a hole in what rationality should be. History never ends and Nobody is at the wheel.
  • csalisbury
    2k
    Heidegger rolling in the flowers type thing? Speculative again, but depends how condensed the joy of transgression is into the fear of punishment. I'd tend to say the prohibitive is constitutive. Primally and developmentally, fear is dominant re the macrosocial (society) level with (ideally) a balancing love at the microsocial (family) level. So, applying socio-linguistic (ritual) origami to nascent awareness gives you a recognizably human consciousness, the price of which is psychological boundaries that may be practically impenetrable. Transgression can be joyful but as pleasures are behaviourally conditioning, the telos of that path veers towards ostracization / incarceration / self-destruction, and that presents a huge mental barrier for Joe Average. But, sure, the potential is likely there.Baden

    But maybe, pace Bataille, having sex near your mother's corpse while wearing a mitre isn't a necessary prerequisite for rolling in the flowers.

    Even if the real is that in which the social and symbolic is suspended, it doesn't follow that the only access to it is trangressive violence to the social and symbolic. If you're playing chess and also want to sip lemonade, you don't have to knock the board over first.
  • unenlightened
    4k
    Even if the real is that in which the social and symbolic is suspended, it doesn't follow that the only access to it is trangressive violence to the social and symbolic.csalisbury

    Well that is not at all the implication I want you to draw. The social and symbolic is already real and cannot be suspended. There is no person absent the social and symbolic to transgress or not transgress and whether or not you can sip lemonade during chess is entirely a matter of the conduct of the chess ritual itself - which may be more or less formal.

    There is a lack of respect for emotion, that culminates precisely in the denial of its reality, that has devastating consequences both for the individual and for society. Matter and energy are fine notions and very useful at times, but reality is made of giving a fuck.

    History never ends and Nobody is at the wheel.Baden

    Nobody? Who is Nobody? You might as well use the old fashioned term "God" -- The Abyss that Looks Back - old Gives a Fuck Himself. There are traditions that Nobody can be realised as Jesus or Buddha, but otherwise, it is Little-old Ritual Me running the show and making history.


    Ritual is the science, and icon the technology, of emotion. It's called an iPhone for a reason.
  • fdrake
    2.8k
    Well that is not at all the implication I want you to draw. The social and symbolic is already real and cannot be suspended.unenlightened

    I agree with that, but I think you're being a hypocrite a bit in the thread. I suppose a more polite way to put it is that you're suffering from a methodological oversight. You're trying to frame reason as a ritual among others, which it is, but it's also a ritual of domain non-specific criticism. This holds even when reason is treated as part of an embedded continuum with the our emotive and sensory (and linguistic) faculties; however they behave, it's the social mediation of it all that matters. Moreover, then, this capability to transform our rituals is already built into our rituals, when viewing custom from such a zoomed out perspective that it also contains practices of reason.

    In essence, what allows you to revolt against reason is criticism, reason in a different form. To be sure, I agree with the targets of your suspicion; our current instrumental reason is too heavily tied to unsustainable yield maximisation and not enough tied to longterm welfare. We definitely have sacrificed humanity on an altar of our own construction, but to tear it down we'll need to think critically! To build something new we'll need to think critically.

    Heidegger rolling in the flowers type thing? Speculative again, but depends how condensed the joy of transgression is into the fear of punishment. I'd tend to say the prohibitive is constitutive. Primally and developmentally, fear is dominant re the macrosocial (society) level with (ideally) a balancing love at the microsocial (family) level. So, applying socio-linguistic (ritual) origami to nascent awareness gives you a recognizably human consciousness, the price of which is psychological boundaries that may be practically impenetrable. Transgression can be joyful but as pleasures are behaviourally conditioning, the telos of that path veers towards ostracization / incarceration / self-destruction, and that presents a huge mental barrier for Joe Average. But, sure, the potential is likely there.Baden

    Behavioural limitations associated with norms or personal habits or personalities don't necessarily make us avoid trauma, the limitations can keep the trauma bottled in, giving it structure. Someone who has gone from narcissist to narcissist in their relationship history and has that as their norm need not be so afraid of symbolic transgression perturbing their behaviour. The personality that forms in wake of an encounter with the real is not necessarily diminished one, it could bloom.
  • unenlightened
    4k
    I agree with that, but I think you're being a hypocrite a bit in the thread. I suppose a more polite way to put it is that you're suffering from a methodological oversight. You're trying to frame reason as a ritual among others, which it is, but it's also a ritual of domain non-specific criticism. This capability to transform our rituals is already built into our rituals, when viewing custom from such a zoomed out perspective that it also contains practices of reason.fdrake

    Guilty as charged, your honour.
    In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach
    Fearing not I'd become my enemy in the instant that I preach
    My existence led by confusion boats, mutinied from stern to bow
    Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
    — His Bobness

    Where do I stand to deny myself a place to stand?

    To build something new we'll need to think critically.fdrake

    But this I dispute. This is the path we have been pursuing, and it can only lead to more of the same. Thought cannot produce the new, because it is reflective. I'll try a personal anecdote.

    I have been a smoker since I was 11. That's about 55 years of daily, hourly almost, ritual, just like a Muslim call to prayer. It's one of the most consistent things in my life. I've tried to give up a couple of times and gone back like an alcoholic falling off the wagon.

    If you think about the idea of 'giving up' it is a sacrifice. And that's how it always was - denying myself with gritted teeth, the thing that made me comfortably myself. And this was the course dictated by thought, with homilies 'it's bad for you to smoke', 'you ought to stop', etc. So when I stopped like that, I suffered from symptoms, nervous agitation, irritability. I was the same person, a smoker, not smoking and having symptoms, and wanting to smoke.

    But then something happened, such that something new was built. The might or must have been some provocation, but to me it is a mystery, that I will call a realisation of ... Well it occurred to me that I did not need to smoke or want to smoke; that I never had, but had been imagining I wanted to all this time.

    So I stopped. And I was anxious and agitated and irritable, not because I was not smoking, but because I had always been anxious and agitated and irritable. And there was no sacrifice, and nothing to give up, it was as straightforward as turning left at the crossroads. I don't smoke any more.

    But to be clear, I am describing in words something not thought but felt.
  • AngryBear
    19
    I think symbolism comes down to universal language, a language that really is a culture where all things of the mind merge together. It works in the same way as dreams where you compress multiple meanings into one, using form and composition to address all the issues together. So since it is reflecting the language and culture of the unconscious it is held very deer to the people.

    Many people claim the lion as their symbol because they have this personal and tribal connection with. Its a conscious link between our true selves and the outside world. Because the brain processes information in this dream way, its possible that this tribal dress of a culture (uniforms, flags, anthems, insignias etc) is purely natural.

    We are a family orientated species, our instinct is to stick together because we can survive better in large families (im calling society a family here because your surviving together). And a way to create and strengthen a bond with strangers to create families is to share symbols, a language and culture to link our unconscious self's together.
  • fdrake
    2.8k
    But this I dispute. This is the path we have been pursuing, and it can only lead to more of the same. Thought cannot produce the new, because it is reflective. I'll try a personal anecdote.unenlightened

    Thought alone can't, but it was never thought alone to begin with! Reflection isn't some isolated medium, as it can appear from the image of the armchair in our minds, it's part of every effective psychological/psychoanalytic/cultural intervention. I wonder how we would integrate our feelings with this new society, or void of one, if not relying upon our reasoning to do justice to the new concern for humanity (or for humanity + its environmental context) you wish to cultivate.
  • unenlightened
    4k
    Thread theme tune. Let us speak of freedom...

  • unenlightened
    4k
    Thought alone can't, but it was never thought alone to begin with! Reflection isn't some isolated medium, as it can appear from the image of the armchair in our minds, it's part of every effective psychological/psychoanalytic/cultural intervention. I wonder how we would integrate our feelings with this new society, or void of one, if not relying upon our reasoning to do justice to the new concern for humanity (or for humanity + its context) you wish to cultivate.fdrake

    Thought was never alone, but tends to think it is. I want to dethrone thought, not annihilate it. Rather as technique in art is the servant of a creativity that is beyond thought. Mindfulness is not mindlessness.
  • Baden
    8.7k
    Even if the real is that in which the social and symbolic is suspended, it doesn't follow that the only access to it is trangressive violence to the social and symbolic. If you're playing chess and also want to sip lemonade, you don't have to knock the board over first.csalisbury

    Behavioural limitations associated with norms or personal habits or personalities don't necessarily make us avoid trauma, the limitations can keep the trauma bottled in, giving it structure. Someone who has gone from narcissist to narcissist in their relationship history and has that as their norm need not be so afraid of symbolic transgression perturbing their behaviour. The personality that forms in wake of an encounter with the real is not necessarily diminished one, it could bloom.fdrake

    I'm conceptualising the real (or the Real) here as that place utterly beyond identity and the social, but in which the potential for identity via the social is fostered.

    Per Lacan:
    "The real is that which resists symbolization absolutely."
    The Seminars of Jacques Lacan: Freud's Papers on Technique

    So, sure, the swapping of social norms at a micro-level can be freeing, particularly when, as in your example, fdrake, what's being swapped is the smaller exception for the larger rule. But what do you swap the highest level of the social for? What's left is the obverse of identity. It's by definition traumatic.

    See also: The Real

    "The primordial Real in which a (pre-Oedipal) human subject is born is differentiated from the real which a subject integrated into the symbolic order experiences. In the former, the real is the continuous, "whole" reality without categories and the differential function of language. Following the mirror stage, however, and the eventual entrance of the imaginary and the symbolic (the split of the subject between the conscious imaginary and the unconscious symbolic), the real may only be experienced as traumatic gaps in the symbolic order. An example of this are traumatic events such as natural disasters, which effectively break down the signification of everyday life and cause a rupture of something alien and unrecognizable, without the usual grammar of the symbolic that conditions how to make meaning of something and how to proceed."

    Of course, there's no obligation for you to accept that analysis either in whole or in part. But that was (more or less) where I was coming from.

    Nobody? Who is Nobody? You might as well use the old fashioned term "God" -- The Abyss that Looks Back - old Gives a Fuck Himself. There are traditions that Nobody can be realised as Jesus or Buddha, but otherwise, it is Little-old Ritual Me running the show and making history.unenlightened

    The idea there was exactly to avoid the society/individual-ritual-which-comes-first-chicken-and-egg-vs-controlling-deity fork while maintaining the idea of something beyond absolute arbitrariness re cultural development. So, not "God" nor "nobody" but "Nobody".

    But to be clear, I am describing in words something not thought but felt.unenlightened

    Aren't we all at some level unless we're merely parroting memes? The emotional response gets its validity from being a condensed form of reason as per your analysis. And generally, reconfiguring emotional content using reason may open up novel emotional perspectives and the novel reasons accompanying them. Doesn't sound very sexy, but...

    There is a lack of respect for emotion, that culminates precisely in the denial of its reality, that has devastating consequences both for the individual and for society. Matter and energy are fine notions and very useful at times, but reality is made of giving a fuck.unenlightened

    Agree, in a poetic/melodramatic moment I once wrote:

    "The automation of instrumental ends, the ultimate efficiency and triumph of enlightenment reason, has, as its dark after-image, the annihilation of thought itself and so the absolute superfluity of the form of reasoning it champions and that underlies the logic of its existence. The triumph of subjective reason then can only be fully glimpsed in its demise. Enlightenment devours itself before our eyes and demands we applaud its victory. And the God we killed in its name revenges himself on us by showing that what is most sacred in us must evaporate just as he did in the brilliant light of progress."

    Which was motivated by some of the same concerns, I think.
  • fdrake
    2.8k
    "The primordial Real in which a (pre-Oedipal) human subject is born is differentiated from the real which a subject integrated into the symbolic order experiences. In the former, the real is the continuous, "whole" reality without categories and the differential function of language. Following the mirror stage, however, and the eventual entrance of the imaginary and the symbolic (the split of the subject between the conscious imaginary and the unconscious symbolic), the real may only be experienced as traumatic gaps in the symbolic order. An example of this are traumatic events such as natural disasters, which effectively break down the signification of everyday life and cause a rupture of something alien and unrecognizable, without the usual grammar of the symbolic that conditions how to make meaning of something and how to proceed."Baden

    I'm a bit familiar with Lacan's real through Zizek's appropriation of it, and Badiou's obvious inspiration from it in his term "evental subjects". I agree with you that it is characterised as an 'absolute negation of identity', but all that ensures is an unpredictable formation of a new pattern in response to the event. No one imagines this as leaving zombies behind, devoid of consciousness and identity, it gets imagined as a process of identity transformation as the real can never be 'internalised' in the symbolic order. It isn't so surprising that the easiest examples of this are traumas that force someone to learn to deal with profound loss; it remakes their personality through the torsion around what was annihilated. But what if you annihilate destructive tendencies? On a more meta level; how can we attribute emotional valence to a tear in the symbolic order which produces the attribution of novel emotional valences?

    Per Badiou, what if the event is an event of love? And you're called to the truth of your inter-relation with another rather than the destruction of your hometown or death of everyone you know. This rings just as true and just as loudly as profound loss; and it is still a profound loss, a change which was never articulable pre-event, and post-event the intimate connection with the pre-evental subject is severed, as if one's personality undertakes a paradigm shift or iterates from one conceptual scheme to another incommensurable one; as if one beetle in the box is substituted with another, it is felt but makes its presence known only through shadows in language.

    To quote a song "I can't say that knowing you changed me for the better, but I can say that it changed me for good."
  • csalisbury
    2k
    If you think about the idea of 'giving up' it is a sacrifice. And that's how it always was - denying myself with gritted teeth, the thing that made me comfortably myself. And this was the course dictated by thought, with homilies 'it's bad for you to smoke', 'you ought to stop', etc. So when I stopped like that, I suffered from symptoms, nervous agitation, irritability. I was the same person, a smoker, not smoking and having symptoms, and wanting to smoke.

    But then something happened, such that something new was built. The might or must have been some provocation, but to me it is a mystery, that I will call a realisation of ... Well it occurred to me that I did not need to smoke or want to smoke; that I never had, but had been imagining I wanted to all this time.
    unenlightened

    I've had a very similar experience, recently, in my case involving drinking after work to 'wind down.' Just as you say - I had a shift from commuting home thinking to myself 'I shouldn't drink, I shouldn't drink, I shouldn't drink' to realizing that I actually didn't want to drink, that I didn't enjoy it and hadn't for a while. Again, as you say : I had been imagining I wanted to. And that was the real addiction, the addiction to the imagining because:

    And I was anxious and agitated and irritable, not because I was not smoking, but because I had always been anxious and agitated and irritable.unenlightened

    Once you can't blame this on (the lack of) something else, but rather as how you are (or at least how you've been for a while) you have to confront something else, tip of my tongue. Imagining you want something very much - and are either pursuing or refusing it - keeps everything in motion in just the right way, so things never settle.

    It's a weird thing because it's not a particularly liberating realization (you're left with yourself), but it's not something you can undo.
  • csalisbury
    2k
    My thought, against Lacan (who I'm annoyed with, because he set up shop in my head for a long time, starting in my late teens) is that trauma is two-part: (1) It's something you can't conceptualize or understand plus (2) a powerlessness in the face of it. I don't think that two necessarily follows from one. Take some primal scene : a kid on a bike being urged by his parents to ride it down a small hill. This is something he is not prepared for - as is the case with all true rites of passage - and the challenge is whether he gives in to fear and frustration or trusts himself to respond to the bike, to the hill, to his emotions with just enough serenity to not panic and crash. If he succeeds there will be a joy and some sense of mastery, which will spill over into who knows what other aspects of life. This too is constitutive of the social order, though partially outside of it. As much as trauma, at least.

    But Lacan, the head priest, would like to emphasize failure and castration over everything else. Once you identify a rite of passage (an encounterwith the real) not with joyful success, but with the necessity of diminishing failure, you can draw in a lot of people (like me) eager to transform ressentiment into resigned wisdom. Powerlesness becomes a deeper power, just like that.

    Maybe there's an art of encountering the real, which is risking trauma for something else, using various techniques and social and emotional stores of self-belief to guide you through.
  • csalisbury
    2k
    addendum: the real-as-trauma model renamed 'wires' by phillip larkin


    The widest prairies have electric fences,
    For though old cattle know they must not stray
    Young steers are always scenting purer water
    Not here but anywhere. Beyond the wires

    Leads them to blunder up against the wires
    Whose muscle-shredding violence gives no quarter.
    Young steers become old cattle from that day,
    Electric limits to their widest senses.


    Also could be titled : the world as seen by a sad librarian.
  • Baden
    8.7k


    Positing the negation of identity accompanying incursions of the real as necessarily traumatic doesn't imply (in my book) nothing good can come from the trauma or that the trauma need be of some very dramatic nature. It would depend on the specifics of the incursion. You could maintain a conception of the Real as threatening and potentially destructive and so a source primarily of a socially-moulding fear along with ultimately positively transformative effects of specific encounters. I may have hammed up the description in my initial post, but I'm fairly sanguine about the whole thing. As I am about alternatives. Just don't pin the zombie librarian thing on me, please.

    Maybe there's an art of encountering the real, which is risking trauma for something else, using various techniques and social and emotional stores of self-belief to guide you through.csalisbury

    Sounds too uplifting. And your book was due for return yesterday. :razz:
  • creativesoul
    6.6k
    Hey Un. Interesting vein you've taken here.

    One says things like 'I am a graduate', 'I am a philosopher', 'I am married', as if one is the ritual.

    Identity 'undergraduate' undergoes ritual 'graduation' and becomes identity 'graduate'.
    Identity 'misfit' undergoes ritual 'diagnosis' and becomes identity 'schizophrenic'.
    Identity 'learner' undergoes ritual 'driving test' and becomes identity 'driver' (or not if 'fails')
    Identity 'sinner' undergoes ritual 'communion' and becomes identity 'saved'.
    unenlightened

    The identity 'misfit' is just as much a result of the ritual 'diagnosis' as the identity 'schizophrenic'. Both are results of diagnosis. You've not stated otherwise. This I know.

    All referents of the identities mentioned in the above quote require a creature capable of language use - aside that is - from learner. Only a language user can be an undergraduate, a misfit, or a sinner. Only language users can go through graduation, offer diagnosis, take a driving test, and/or take part in a communion ceremony in order to be saved by virtue of doing so.

    But...

    Being a learner is being a creature that newly acquires and/or further develops practical survival skills. I know the thread points towards more... deeper... possibly still unknown influential things in all of our lives. Indeed though, the rational, reasonable approach seems to have gotten stuck in it's tracks along the way. Imposing the rules of logic onto things that do not care about obeying them.

    Things like learning.
  • creativesoul
    6.6k
    But this I dispute. This is the path we have been pursuing, and it can only lead to more of the same. Thought cannot produce the new, because it is reflective. I'll try a personal anecdote.unenlightened

    There are new reflections. Things like learning.
  • creativesoul
    6.6k
    Unfortunately, because I'm aware of the fondness you have for Hume(he is the man), the mud that the wheels are stuck in is - in part - Humean. Hume does not - cannot - draw the distinction between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief. Reason, in Hume's sense, is distinct and separate from the passions.

    One problem is that he's taking account of that which existed in it's entirety prior to his account. Another problem is that careful contemplation of different viewpoints can influence and change one's passions by changing what one cares most about, what one is emotionally invested in, and the way one comes to acceptable terms with oneself and the world around them. So... Reason is not always slave to the passions. To quite the contrary, sometimes the passions change as an unavoidable consequence of having looked at the world through another's eyes.

    Unlearning...
  • csalisbury
    2k
    Sounds too uplifting. And your book was due for return yesterday. :razz:Baden

    get out of here zombie librarian number one trauma guy
  • unenlightened
    4k
    Thought cannot produce the new, because it is reflective. I'll try a personal anecdote.
    — unenlightened

    There are new reflections. Things like learning.
    creativesoul

    Nice to have you aboard!

    I'm going to play hardball about this; it's a question of time. Something is new at time t, and thereafter it is not strictly new, though we may go on referring to it as new for convenience for any length of time eg. any number of towns called Newtown, Newquay, Newcastle.

    It follows that new something n, at time t, is unknown. Not that one doesn't plan Newtown before building it, but the plans are imaginary, and however detailed and closely followed they are, the built town will be capable of surprising the builders because the real is more than the imagined. (It might fall down in the first storm)
    Likewise, something m, new to me at time t, I can only reflect upon later when i have already learned from the new experience.

    This is the distinction I want to make, the temporal one, between the present, experiential, learning process, and the accumulating, learned, reflective thought process, Not that they do not influence each other of course, not that both are not happening all the time.
    This feeds into Hume's distinction, and the whole thing becomes an important tool for understanding trauma.

    At which point I must turn to my other friends, @Baden, @csalisbury, @fdrake to ask if they can offer a handy crib sheet for Lacan novices, because ahem, he is new to me, so I cannot reflect on anything other than an imagined freudian philosophy, or my own understandings of trauma from elsewhere.
  • Baden
    8.7k


    I've only sparred with Lacan and found some of his concepts intuitively attractive. Maybe csal who sounds like he's done the full 12 rounds.
  • Moliere
    1.7k
    It may seem off, but I have a question for you and I believe it relates to your topic "on the next step" so to speak.

    To what extent do you group rationality, scientific activity, and reason? Is the venn diagram of these three akin to an "O"?

    I ask because I'd like to posit that reason -- our ability to think -- differs from rationality -- social norms for collective thinking -- differs from science -- the present way we do things in universities, labs, and industry.

    In which case we should be able to provide a reasonable account -- at least in principle -- of rationality or science, though it would by these definitions count as unscientific.

    Of course I would agree with you that there is more to the story than reason when it comes to how we do things. But I guess I'm asking is the more even state-able, on your view?
  • Baden
    8.7k
    You might be interested in this one, un.

    https://k-punk.org/democracy-is-joy/

    "For human beings who want to move in the direction of love and freedom, the only option consists in the apparent paradox of theoretico-practically inserting themselves into the naturalistic matrix of cause and effect. The effect is to break down the cordon sanitaire that Hume placed around emotions, preserving bourgeois thought’s “commonsense” division between feelings and thought. In refusing this opposition, Radical Enlightenment democratises the possibility of what Lynne Segal calls Radical Happiness (with the proviso that Spinoza preferred to think of joy rather than happiness – because of the association of happiness with happenstance)

    Emotions don’t just happen, they emerge out of fields of cause and effect which can be analysed. This means that feelings can be engineered, in a hyperstitional spiral, which has more to do with what Justin Barton calls “lucidity” than with what academic philosophers call Reason. I’m using the term “emotion” rather than “affect” here, very deliberately. Affect as it is now routinely used by academics is pretty much completely opposed to what Spinoza meant by it. "
  • creativesoul
    6.6k
    Nice to have you aboard!unenlightened

    Thank you kind sir. Nice to be welcomed.




    Thought cannot produce the new, because it is reflectiveunenlightened

    Reflective thought - strictly speaking - could be characterized as any and all thought/belief about what's happened. However, I think we want it to be a bit more significant than that though. Right? Otherwise all thought/belief aside from prediction and/or expectation would count as being reflective. Thinking about the sound one just heard would be reflecting upon past sounds. Reflective thought/belief has to have some more significance that just being thought/belief that is not expectation and/or prediction.

    Reflective thought/belief is thinking about one's own worldview, one's own previous statements, behaviours, thoughts, and/or experiences. It is remembering how terrible one felt on one's own wedding day. It is regretting one's prior decision.

    Reflective thought not only can - but it also does - produce the new.

    Novel correlations drawn between things can be both. Being new thought and being reflective thought are not mutually exclusive and/or incompatible That's the general outline. Specific examples are innumerable. Here are a few examples thereof...

    One can dig with a familiar item that one has never previously imagined to be and/or witnessed being used for that purpose. That is reflective thought that produced new use of a previously existing tool.

    There comes a time in everyone's lives that we have our first clear memory of that which has already happened. When one first remembers one is remembering that which has previously become significant, symbolic, and/or otherwise meaningful. That memory consists of thought/belief that are both new and reflective.

    The original experience(now being remembered) included an array of directly perceptible things. The memory of that experience does not include that same array of things. Rarely does. We could even say that memory never includes all the same directly perceptible things. While being strict enough about what counts as being the same thing without drowning in Heraclitus' untenable river, we can talk sensibly about an attainable criterion for being called "the same". Strictly speaking, the memory of the original experience is never exactly the same as the original experience. However, the memory can and often does include the same sorts of things.

    A familiar(same sort of) sound in a new environment connects past and present. A familiar smell in a new environment does the same. New thoughts will always include some of the same content. That's how thought/belief works.

    The sound of bells heard by one who is in another country can trigger memories also involving the sound of a bell. Wedding bells can trigger new thought and reflective thought. One can be certain that one is amidst a wedding ceremony in Vienna without knowing anyone involved, because one can still know who the bride and groom are, the flower girl, the ring bearer, etc. if certain circumstances arise.

    These are new events with new things. There are new correlations drawn between old ideas, thoughts, and memories and currently directly perceptible things. Being reflective and being new are not mutually incompatible and/or exclusive.

    Imagine walking in a familiar town. Imagine further, being particularly deep in evocative contemplative thought. There is an important upcoming foreseeable choice to be made. An inevitable future decision between two mutually exclusive options. A foregone conclusion as it were.

    The sounds of wedding bells, laugher, and excitement suddenly capture a sizable chunk of your attention. You immediately realize where you are. You're in front of the church. Hmph. It's funny how sometimes we go on autopilot only to have something or other redirect our awareness to our immediate surroundings and away from the imagined impending situation.

    The wedding is in the background. Literally, it's going on behind you. You are immediately reminded of a past distaster of a wedding, but immediately note that this one is different. There are happy go lucky friendly voices and the offerings of congratulations everywhere. Your attention is now more trained, and the decision dominating your thought now fades off in the background as you listen to what's going on behind you while still picturing your own wedding day.

    Suddenly the cheering crowd increases their volume, and before you know it a plethora of voices begin begging for the bouquet to be thrown their way. You're now deliberately attempting to picture what's going on behind you. A content smile begins to form. Weddings have always carried feelings of happiness. Just because some are bad ideas, does not mean that they all are. You're curious now what the wedding gown looks like. Sometimes they are the most beautiful things. Oh! The lucky person caught the bouquet! The crowd raises the roof.

    You turn to see the entire entourage. You cannot find the ring-bearer or the flower girl. At least, you cannot be too certain which child acted as either. The bride though... her identity is clear and obvious. And the recipient of the bouquet is waving it around cheerfully as though she'd found a life changing item or perhaps won the lottery.

    These are reflective and new thought, as they must be. There is no way to acquire a wealth of knowledge about anything in particular without reflecting upon that thing. Each thing learned is new. The composite of all the new thought has reflective thought as a basis.




    There are new reflections. Things like learning.creativesoul

    I'm going to play hardball about this; it's a question of time. Something is new at time t, and thereafter it is not strictly new, though we may go on referring to it as new for convenience for any length of time eg. any number of towns called Newtown, Newquay, Newcastle.

    It follows that new something n, at time t, is unknown. Not that one doesn't plan Newtown before building it, but the plans are imaginary, and however detailed and closely followed they are, the built town will be capable of surprising the builders because the real is more than the imagined. (It might fall down in the first storm)

    This use of "imaginary" and "real" seems a bit arbitrary and unhelpful. Hardball is good.

    At the time when the plans are complete but ground has yet to have been broken...

    The plans are new. The plans are real. The town is imaginary. The plans are not the town. The plans are known. The town is not.



    Likewise, something m, new to me at time t, I can only reflect upon later when i have already learned from the new experience.

    There seems to be some disconnect here. The something new to you at time t is part of a larger new experience. Red dresses can be the new focal point of a language-less child who does not know that what she is witnessing is a wedding ceremony.

    The red dress is part of the child's new experience. The child will remember that experience every time something else later reminds her of it. Could be that she's learned nothing from the experience. She was in a mental state of being completely captivated by that red dress, at that time, and partly as a result of the lady's face. It and the dress had arrested all of the child's attention. This child later remembers the woman wearing the red dress on the day of captivation, as the result of seeing another lady, who like the lady wearing the red dress, had hairy dark growth patches above their eyes.

    Remembering the wedding, the lady in the red dress's face, and the red dress is reflective thought. It is to recall some prior thought/belief about something that happened. Recollection is reflecting on past.

    I think that one can reflect upon one's own worldview as well. A new viewpoint can be later reflected upon without learning much at all from the viewpoint aside from what it consists of. One can also experience what happens when s/he/they consider and agree with a new viewpoint. One can later recollect this learning experience. In this latter set of circumstances, the argument given fits.

    However, there are other situations when it doesn't. Not all new experience involves learning another way to talk about the same things.

    One sees a wedding for the first time. That experience may not include being able to name the event. One can witness a wedding without knowing how to articulate language. There are new things within the experience.

    The recognition of new things is an experience. A new experience is full of new things. A new experience is full of old things. The recognition of a new experience contains both, new and old things. Having a new experience does not require recognizing that one is having it.



    This is the distinction I want to make, the temporal one, between the present, experiential, learning process, and the accumulating, learned, reflective thought process...

    One that is worthy of consideration. That distinction is spatiotemporal only. Some content can transcend both time and space.
  • unenlightened
    4k
    I went quiet for a bit becauseI ran into the old 'whereof one cannot think, thereof one must stop posting' thing. There's a lot of interesting stuff been posted, so I shall ignore it all, and decline to answer any questions.

    But I am going to stick to this; newness entails unknownness. And it seems to me that there is no easier way to predict a complex world than to run it - or live it, because those damn butterflies keep making tornados...

    So the unknown is always with us alongside the aspects of predictability. With and within. So if I can get my butterflies to flap their wings just so, and give you the insight you need, then the world will be transformed.

    But I am not talking about hallucination especially as cultural sanction is already an hallucination, by hypothesis. I think it has already been pointed out that the distinction real/unreal does not function here. @Evil's revolutionary meme must inevitably eat itself.

    But what interests me is that what is implied is a radical freedom. Addiction can be, not overcome, but in some judo move, dissolved. And that includes the addiction to fossil fuel, to weapons and power, and so on. One does not have to go on being depressed, and suffering. Any time you want, you can walk out of your front door, and never come back.
  • fdrake
    2.8k
    So the unknown is always with us alongside the aspects of predictability. With and within. So if I can get my butterflies to flap their wings just so, and give you the insight you need, then the world will be transformed.unenlightened

    Think even this is too instrumental, there's two ideas in the butterfly effect as usually presented that just aren't there in chaotic complex systems:

    (1) Outlandish perturbation sensitivity.
    (2) Ability to attribute the cause of a cascade to any given perturbation.

    (1) Complex system dynamics are typically overdamped, which means that small perturbations (like the butterfly flapping its wings) are way more likely to fizzle out into their immediate environment (system A) before passing on any of their effects to some other system in the complex system (system B); this is like a generalised 'friction' tending to render events' effects minor.

    Moreover, perturbation sensitivity can't really be thought of as finding 'god's levers' into the system, it's still complex and hard to reduce to levers. Sensitivity reveals itself on the aggregate level, and is very difficult to link to any specific perturbation, which introduces (2)...

    (2) Given that we're in a cascade, we (or another system) only observe the effects of the cascade after it's built up a bit. A great example here is orgasm:

    ... a model is introduced wherein sexual stimulation induces entrainment of coupling mechanical and neuronal oscillatory systems, thus creating synchronized functional networks within which multiple positive feedback processes intersect synergistically to contribute to sexual experience. These processes generate states of deepening sensory absorption and trance, potentially culminating in climax if critical thresholds are surpassed.

    So generally people are gonna know what feels good for them in sex, but they're not going to know the biomechanics of everyone involved's flesh and friction and tactile feedback, despite these lower system components feed forward-ing to the state of pleasure.

    The take home here is that interventions in complex systems have to be done with respect to their organising principles (how they feedback loop, "do they enjoy this position and style of touch?" in sex) rather than their feedback loop inputs (the butterfly flapping its wings, the precise pressure and skin deformations and other tactile variables in touch). So we can think in terms of "what are the worst/best effects of this system and how can we act to stabilise our community/agriculture/relationship from it or grow from it?" rather than "i need to find a butterfly lever to pull to make everything right again".
  • unenlightened
    4k
    So we can think in terms of "what are the worst/best effects of this system and how can we act to stabilise our community/agriculture/relationship from it or grow from it?" rather than "i need to find a butterfly lever to pull to make everything right again".fdrake

    That'll do for me. The aim is to get away from the mechanical model, so the harder it is to find the levers the better. Or perhaps I could say, following Isherwood, 'I am a lever' not a puller of levers.
  • unenlightened
    4k
    Anyways, identity is ritual, and ritual has this property of great stability and great ability to transform. Likewise a society can be immune to the influence of the individual and totally sensitive to the influence of the individual. The difference between an eccentric and a trend-setter is whether or not the time is propitious.
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