Archive | September 2019

Fourfold Vision and The Global Soul

Before they trundle me off to hospital, we should perhaps discuss the implications of Gebser’s “aperspectival consciousness” (or integral consciousness) for the fate of capitalist society.

Capitalist society is rooted in the primacy of the self-interest principle, i.e, “the rational pursuit of self-interest”. This emphasis on the self and its interest as the keystone (which also gave birth to the ethos of utilitarianism) emerged from the invention of perspective and the perspectival “point-of-view” in the Renaissance. The self-interest principle has become so much the expected norm of thought and behaviour that anything not motivated by the self-interest and for gaining personal advantage has come to be suspect, and it has now decayed into “the culture of narcissism”.

What, then, are the implications for social relations that may arise from “aperspectival/arational” mode of consciousness and perception?

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Emergence: Order, Measure and Structure

The implications of field theory is that energy and the energetic flux is the primary reality, and that what we call “matter” is an emergent property or aspect of the energetic flux. In effect, then, what we are essentially is a particular structure or Gestalt of energy that is aware, an energy which we call the “vitality”. In effect, all energy is vitality. Physicality is an emergent or secondary phenomenon.

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David Bohm and Ecodynamic Civilisation

If the Newtonian-Cartesian worldview of the Clockwork Universe and its associated mode of perception (perspectivising) gave you one type of civilisation — the Industrial civilisation — a new mode of thought and perception will give you another, different type of civilisation. We are already seeing the emergent outlines of this new type of civilisation and it’s particular mode of perception and insight. We may call it “Ecodynamic Civilisation”. Physicist David Bohm’s “rheomode” of consciousness and thinking, which may also be described as “ecodynamic”, is an important contribution to this emergent new civilisation.

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Neo-Liberalism, Fragmentation, and the New Normal

We are attempting to extricate ourselves presently from the tangled web of neo-liberalism’s self-contradictions and not doing this very effectively or proficiently. As you might expect, though, present fragmentation and the “New Normal” are intimately connected with the current socio-cultural milieu constituted through neo-liberalism. So if we hope to extricate ourselves from the New Normal, we’ll have to also do away with neo-liberal capitalism as well. Otherwise, we’ll just immerse ourselves in another self-contradiction.

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David Bohm on Inner Harmony

When we talk about “the New Normal” of “21st century schizoid man”, and of mind in dissolution or “fragmentation” in Bohm’s terms, we are talking about a loss of overall harmony, equanimity, or consonance in the whole personality and in the socio-cultural milieu. The “normalisation of the double-standard”, as one of the chief symptoms of the New Normal (which we refer to as “cognitive dissonance”) indicates a lack of harmony within the whole personality structure, which is evident by the phenomenon of “symbolic belief”. Symbolic belief manifests a radical contradiction existing between our private persona and our public persona. These become dissociated, and in consequence there is a lack of “inner harmony”, consonance or what we call “equanimity” or “poise” (or equipoise). This is what we call “narcissistic mode” of consciousness and thinking.

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David Bohm: Culture and Consciousness

What is now proved was once only imagined.

William Blake, The Proverbs of Hell

“Reality actually is a word with a certain implied thought content”.

David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order

Let’ resume today our ongoing discussion of Bohm’s rheomode of consciousness and thinking with an examination of how it intersects with the philosophy of Jean Gebser and that of Marshall McLuhan, both of whom also explored the intimate relationship between culture and consciousness. In Bohm’s case, this is the relationship described as that between modes of thought and the built environment although, in apparent agreement with William Blake, Bohm states that “reality actually is a word with a certain implied thought content”.

Both Blake’s and Bohm’s statements here reflect the conviction that “we don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” This can be the chief flaw of the narcissistic mode of consciousness and thought, but paradoxically we can also turn this flaw to our great advantage.

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Thoughts on the Global Climate Strike 2019

I joined the climate strikers here on Friday, 20. September, a strike that many are describing as historic and unprecedented in scale — in 185 countries. The only recent precedent for a protest of this scale was the Iraq War protests, and I think these two events are quite related. So, let me explain why I think these are manifestations of a pre-revolutionary situation in Late Modernity.

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