Losing Consciousness

By John Zerzan

We might say that the three most momentous overall events have been the Big Bang, the emergence of life, and the arrival of consciousness. In terms of the third, everyone has a general notion as to what is meant. Very familiar—but elusive. In fact, consciousness has been called “the last surviving mystery.”i

What exactly is consciousness? How does it come about? What does “consciousness” mean? Saying what constitutes jazz is a parallel slippery one. Hence the line, “If you gotta ask, you’re never gonna know.” The Oxford Guide to Philosophy puts it simply: “Consciousness exists, but it resists definition.”ii

It may be said to be perception of the inner environment or the immediacy of self-awareness. It is something so very central and yet, as Raymond Tallis asserts, most of what we do “can be carried out at least as well, and probably better”iii without it. A pop culture fascination with zombies comes to mind, with at least one attendant question: with the frightening reality we face, is it any wonder that many would rather have less consciousness? But in any case we certainly aren’t zombies. Unlike them we seem to be mainly animated by ourselves, by a mysterious interior force.

Not forgetting the wound at the heart of present-day consciousness. The million or more young Japanese, for example, who suffer from what is called hikikimori, a kind of IT autism/withdrawal. The techno world is now our backdrop for any exploration of consciousness.

Nothing can be more real than our own consciousness, even if nothing is more difficult to spell out. It is so close to what it means to be alive. Thus it is hard to take seriously the claim of some neuroscientists that it is nothing more than the noise neurons make, an illusion. But Colin Tudge wonders how something that isn’t conscious could somehow have illusions.iv Thomas Nagel’s “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”v brings to mind consciousness as tied to our basic sense of ourselves.

Not only is there no accepted definition of our subject, “it is impossible,” according to Stuart Sutherland in The International Dictionary of Psychology, “to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written about it.”vi In this vein, John Horgan noted that there are those who think that “consciousness might never be completely explained in conventional scientific terms—or in any terms, for that matter.”vii

Evidently what gives meaning to existence cannot supply meaning to itself. Without it nothing can be understood and yet consciousness remains an unanswered question, a profound and possibly eternal mystery. In terms of its emergence, for example, how could it speak to what was present in its absence, prior to consciousness? We know, after all, nothing but what consciousness puts there. It is impossible to reveal what it is by coming from the outside because there is no outside. The very effort to do so is something that is inside consciousness. As Ronald Chrisley put it, the difficulty is “not just that we don’t have an objective understanding of this or that token instance of experience, but that we don’t know how we could have an objective understanding of [that] experience at all.”viii

Freud was so very puzzled by consciousness that he turned almost entirely to the unconscious. It is also true, however, that in the field of philosophy of mind the literature on consciousness outstripped that on any other topic by 2000. Locke said that consciousness is “the perception of what passes in a man’s own Mind.”ix It is the realm of the knower being aware of their knowledge. But doesn’t this beg the question? What exactly is such “perception” or “being aware’?

Consciousness may not be a single entity, but that which varies in kind as well as degree. Is it an entity? Brains are made of things, but is consciousness made of anything? It is not anything other than itself. It is unique and private, utterly first-person, and more than that. There seems to be a bedrock, bare-bones, nothing-but element or dimension somewhere in there, as well….

“Considered as to its specific nature, consciousness is a domain closed in itself, a domain into which nothing can enter and from which nothing can escape,” wrote Aron Gurwitsch.x Sounds more like a black hole than our general sense of it. “No matter what theory we come up with,” assayed Colin McGinn, “it always seems to run into some shattering difficulty.”xi Michael Frayn concluded, “Without it nothing can be understood; about it nothing can be said.”xii

We might look at a non-complex organism, one without a nervous system, as “conscious” insofar as it reacts, to, say, a change in temperature or a need for nutrients. But of course it is not self-conscious; it lacks a feeling of autonomy, among other things. For us, consciousness is the living nerve of the self, a mineness, what it feels like to be a particular kind of being. There is a unity of selfness capable of grasping oneself as oneself.

Consciousness of one’s life is the background for all the other experiencing, while not forgetting the physical embodiment of it all. And a basic puzzle remains. Raymond Tallis noticed that “the harder the ‘I’ looks, the less there is to find that seems to be the ‘I,’ to be what the ‘I’ is.”xiii What we are trying to comprehend is the me that is trying to comprehend it. The poet Anna Hampstead Branch cut to the chase: “What are we? I know not.”xiv

Meanwhile, postmodernist thinking has done its best to deflate any claims to self-identity. Postmodernism marginalizes consciousness by asserting that it and the self are fundamentally no more than effects of language. The idea that language produces consciousness (cf. Emile Beneviste) is related to its corollary propositions, e.g. the denial of intentions and even of the presence of the speaker in speech (cf. Derrida), and the denial of the originality and coherence of the author.

Not only are these positions total surrender to the totalizing estrangement of the symbolic, they exhibit an ignorance of human development. Consciousness almost certainly preceded language by many thousands of years. We know that very significant human intellectual capacities are roughly a million years older than evidence of any symbolic ethos. And would not cognitive abilities necessarily predate language? How else could it be explained? Hence to claim that language causes consciousness puts the sequence plainly in the wrong order. There is also abundant case-by-case evidence that consciousness persists in individuals who have been deprived of language function.

Language does not create consciousness, and yet it is true that it is a hugely pervasive, confining presence. As Wittgenstein described, “A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside of it for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us repeatedly.”xv Robert Bly celebrates the captivity, missing Wittgenstein’s point entirely: “I say, praise to the first man or woman who wrote down…joy clearly, for we cannot remain in love with what we cannot name.”xvi The dependence on language is pointing at the moon and seeing instead the finger.

Laura Riding asked, “What were we, then,/Before the being of ourselves began?”xvii That beginning of consciousness seems to be much earlier than is commonly thought. As an artifact of human culture it necessarily arose in band society, our face-to-face hunter-gatherer mode of being for two million years or more, well over 95 percent of our tenure as a human species. It was assumed, moreover, that band society was based on kinship; that is, less a matter of conscious choice than the fact of being related to each other. Now there is strong evidence that this was not the case.xviii We were evidently self-aware selectors of our social and cultural attributes for much longer than was previously thought. In this vein, Paul Radin’s work among Winnebago people showed him their reflective, individualistic qualities, which completely discredit the views of Tylor, Lévy-Bruhl, Cassirer and others who viewed “primitives” as pre-conscious, pre-logical.xix

Raymond Tallis saw “no evolutionary reason…why there should be consciousness at all.”xx Domestication of animals, plants, and ourselves in the bargain enters the picture about 10,000 years ago, and we might ponder its impact upon human consciousness. It is clear that non-human animals that are domesticated exhibit juvenilization or arrested development (cf. Lodewijk Bolk). Konrad Lorenz concluded in the 1960s that we also degenerate under domestication. There is a basis for what Roger Caras observed as our ambivalence about our own domesticated nature.xxi Cut off from a condition of intellectual freedom and unmediated connection to the natural world, ours is a place of lessened conscious range and acuity, almost certainly. Nietzsche frequently lamented the suppression of instinct, which is now even more evident in our increasingly deskilled and self-doubting existence. Now we find complete dependence on experts, and machines to replace the most basic conscious capacities.xxii A favorite chilling example of mine is the “babycry” iPhone app: it translates a baby’s cry into one of five messages (the baby is wet, hungry, etc.). Imagine: after so many thousands of generations we are now reaching the point where we need a machine to tell us what our infant needs. Domesticated consciousness moves forward, suppressing and eroding what we always knew.

William James held consciousness to be an awareness of the fleeting present, created and sustained by memory of the past and anticipation of the future.xxiii That doesn’t tell us, however, just what that awareness is or where it came from. It is also a formulation for a specific time and place; it relates to what Matthew Arnold called “this strange disease of modern life.”xxiv The “fleeting” present, the “anticipation” of the future are vivid for us, but they may have been missing altogether when the present did not flee before us and the future didn’t need to be a matter of anticipation. Lacan’s fatalistic ethic of the body comes to mind here. He describes a structure of anticipation in which the self is destined to fail,xxv fitting for an age of anxiety and foreboding.

In a context where experience is negative and threatening, consciousness is altered. Now it becomes useful to block out, not to open. Walter Benjamin referred to the role of consciousness vis-à-vis an often traumatic reality: “…the shock is thus cushioned, parried by our consciousness.”xxvi Benjamin’s colleagues Adorno and Horkheimer saw that thinking has largely become “instrumental reason” under the deforming pressure of domination. Reason is no more neutral or privileged than technology—or consciousness. The instrumentality of the dominant order imparts a particular direction, at a basic level, to consciousness itself. In Foucault’s view, subjectivity is invented and defined by the ascendant social institutions, to control us. Consciousness may be “a feeling about domain-specific capacities that have accumulated over millions of years of evolution,” as Michael Gazzaniga put it.xxvii It is also an artifact of that evolution, another marker of what has overtaken our species.

From Descartes to today, knowledge of the conscious subject seems to have taken on ever-increasing importance as the necessary first step in understanding. It is both the most intractable problem and the most philosophically resonant problem before us. It was central for Kant, though he erred in seeing consciousness as independent of any experience. Robert Brandom noted that “no Hegelian concept can be considered outside the economy of consciousness and self-consciousness.”xxviii In Hegel’s idealist system, however, actual consciousness barely counted. Along these lines, Wilfred Sellars referred to him as “that great foe of immediacy.”xxix Kierkegaard, the anti-Hegel, felt that Hegelianism made us forget what it means to be a conscious self.xxx But for Schopenhauer, awareness of our conscious self is torture; hence the goal is non-consciousness, an aim shared by Buddhists. Bergson was more positive. He defined consciousness as somehow a feeling of spontaneity.

Phenomenology (e.g. Husserl, Merleau-Ponty) celebrates the vitality and centrality of consciousness. Husserl described how the world is constituted through acts of consciousness, emphasizing the inseparability of perception and what is perceived, of consciousness from its objects. Intentionality is a key phenomenological term, meaning that consciousness is always active, always a consciousness of something. Another important phenomenological idea is that thinking must return to that which precedes it, to an originary, pre-conceptual presence or immediacy. This point is anathema to post-structuralist/postmodern types, who assail the notion that consciousness precedes the language used to describe it, and who mount an assault on the central role of consciousness in general.
Kenan Malik refers to a “bizarre love-in” between postmodernists and the neuroscientists who try to explain consciousness as a mechanism and hope to achieve its computer simulation. But he also understands that it isn’t so bizarre that both camps “end up in this virtual world, because both abandoned the one thing that attaches all of us to reality—our conscious selves.”xxxi In a massively estranged world, it is also unsurprising that resistance to mechanistic approaches, even the most ghastly ones like transhumanism and cyborgism, is weakening. In fact, it is loudly asserted that the strengthening technological context of society is “rewiring” our consciousness to our detriment, at a basic level.

A relatively new entry is that of Roger Penrose, who proposes that quantum mechanics, in the person of neuron particles called “microtubules,” may unlock the puzzle of consciousness. The logic seems to be that quantum physics is mysterious and consciousness is mysterious, therefore they must connect with each other.

Generally speaking, neuroscience looks at the mind as a complex computer or set of computational functions. The brain is of course the focus, and this organ is examined in minutest detail; but what is left out is what it feels like to possess a brain. A common assumption has been that computers would at some point become conscious, by becoming more complex and having greater capacity. But while we know why bigger mountains have snow and ice, we do not know why bigger brains have consciousness. Nothing that has emerged in computer technology (e.g. “Artificial Intelligence”) is remotely like consciousness; no sentient device in sight. Neurophilosophy cannot give an account of consciousness that in any way corresponds to ourselves and our conscious lives. Returning full circle, as it were, how can we make a conscious machine work when we don’t know what that would mean?

The nature of the relationship between the nervous system and consciousness remains murky and much debated. A dominant thread is that it has something to do with information processing. Some of our science heroes suggest that consciousness is indeed like information and that therefore we might be able to store it. On a very similar wavelength, they confuse machine computation with thinking and storage with memory. They forget that logical operations may be executed without consciousness—and seem to have nothing to do with it anyway!

Neural activity certainly bears on the shaping of consciousness and to some degree various processes of consciousness can be localized or located in the brain by cognitive neurobiology. The brain is obviously a necessary condition of any type of consciousness, not only self-consciousness, but nowhere is it shown to be a sufficient condition. Raymond Tallis is an invaluable resource on the topic and here is a deliciously pithy comment: “In so far as matter matters, the last word on its mattering lies with the consciousness to whom it matters.”xxxii

There is another point of agreement between postmodernists and neuroscientists (and a much larger number of people who are not aware of the assumptions and implications involved). This is the idea that consciousness is definitively representational. The postmodern tenet that there is nothing outside representation is intimate with the mechanistic identification of consciousness as symbolic processing, or representational. Postmodernists and neuroscientists share a pedigree going back at least as far as Socrates’ belief that consciousness was pictures in the soul. But representation cannot precede self-awareness; it presupposes consciousness, as Tallis points out.xxxiii Is consciousness possible without representation? The weakness of the doubt thus expressed can be dispelled in various ways. For one thing, representation in the form of symbolic culture is a recent development among humans, dated by most archaeologists to the Upper Paleolithic. Thomas Wynn and others have deduced from archaeological evidence that humans were as intelligent as we are a million years before even the first symbolic artifacts, let alone symbolic cultures.xxxiv Is it at all likely, then, that they did not have consciousness?

It is more likely that representation diminishes consciousness. Other perspectives or dimensions are inhibited once the symbolic is established. Immediacy is lost. The injury thus initiated is a commonplace of philosophy, dating from Hegel if not earlier. And it is little wonder that a distrust or unease about symbolic culture and its hold over us is always somewhere present. Lacan referred to a primary lack at the root of consciousness, but the lack is representation itself. Nietzsche described consciousness as a “disease” among Europeans, coming close perhaps to naming culture as the cause.xxxv Consciousness in the age of total representation has to be more damaged still.xxxvi

The idea that there are limits to our comprehension and that grasping our own consciousness may be beyond those limits is not a novel one. It seems to me that Colin McGinn has explained this very lucidly, in terms of representation. In sum: “While consciousness is a nonspatial phenomenon, human thought is fundamentally governed by spatial modes of representing the world.”xxxvii I think McGinn captured the possibly insoluble heart of the challenge to comprehend consciousness. Like time, consciousness may not be subject to representation.xxxviii Echoing St. Augustine’s meditations on time almost word for word, Sir William Hamilton wrote two centuries ago: “Consciousness cannot be defined; we may be ourselves fully aware of what consciousness is, but we cannot without confusion convey to others a definition of what we ourselves clearly apprehend.”xxxix Like time, consciousness may be nothing in itself, but there any resemblance ends. For the former, as an alienating, colonizing, dominating symbolic consciousness, is the bane of the latter. The inner reality of consciousness is active and fertile. We exert ourselves to plumb its full potential, to find what is preserved there, to find new states, a sharper self-presence, even if at times we also seek to be less than conscious.

Living under present conditions, our consciousness is haunted, and still we desire the open and undivided consciousness of the child, reminding us of what is almost a miracle, the polyphony of reality presented, not represented.

There is an often-told tale of a Pacific sailor who turns over his craft to islanders on an overcast, stormy night, and then marvels at their success at finding an island without so much as a compass.
When they arrived he asked, “How did you know that the island was there?”
The Native crew replied, “It has always been there.”xl

November 2012



Zerzan: against work, against civilization, against consciousness: next stop? suicide in the name of protecting wild nature.

how Wayne Priceless of you !!!

you have no reading comprehension if you think zerzan is saying he is "against consciousness" in this piece.

He is against all forms of representation; he thinks real true consciousness has nothing to do with representation; since he is obviously wrong (dreams experienced while sleeping are nothing but representations), he is a fucking moron. You, too, it would seem. Gosh darn whatta surprise.

dreams are representations? of what? please, by all means, objectively demonstrate that consciousness is representative.

Only humans dream. Your dreams aren't representations of things you've experienced? Chicketty check yourself, you android, you ain't human.

yeah dude. i fly in real life too, and everything is weird psychedelic colors and there are aliens.

No one said anything about dreams being representations of reality! But they are still representations, duh.

"Only humans dream."

Yeah, that's not true.

I know, I know, androids like you dream of electric sheep.

no, no, I dream of electric wizard.

"Only humans dream". This statement is an article of faith. type into google 'Bizkit the sleepwalking dog'. if you still believe that only humans dream well then I'll just agree to leave you to your faith based opinions.

You got trolled, son.

I am wild nature!

I am a beautiful fucking animal!

I am a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl

just bein a philosophy nerd here, and not one who knows a ton about hegel, but i'm pretty sure what jay-z says about him here is very wrong, and his thought has more in common with husserl's than that. this is one of the more interesting pieces he's written in years though, if not ever. not crazy about the 'magical native' image at the end but i guess as a primo that's kinda his thing...

I'm halfway there, Johnny!

What the fuck does jazz have to do with anything? Why is this shorthand for 'music'? what went wrong here?

Yeah that's weird, I was under the impression that JZ listens exclusively to the Grateful Dead. Eugene, man.

Yeah I'd just like to see people talking about phenomenology without mentioning jazz. I love this shit, just, no more jazz...

Zerzan's a big jazz fan (he's played Coltrane a few times on his radio show, among others), but it still doesn't make sense in context. Might be an editing error.

in before emile........

Wow. You were within 45 minutes. Congrats.

zerzan is coming from the popular notion that ‘consciousness’ is a ‘process’, a recently evolved ‘process’ that inhabits ‘some things’ and not others. he uses the same basic dualist philosophical assumptions that split the world apart into a ‘dead world’ [inorganic] and a ‘living world’ [organic] on the theory that ‘living forms’ are inhabited by a process called ‘life’, another one of these notional ‘johnny-come-lately’s’ like ‘consciousness’. meanwhile, nietzsche and schroedinger and aboriginals would say that life and consciousenss are immanent in the One-ness or Brahman, while the distinction between ‘internally animated forms’ and ‘non-internally animated forms’ is a ‘relational-spatial’ organizational’ distinction. as emerson expresses it, the genius of nature [life/consciousness] not only inhabits the organism, it creates it; i.e. these capacities are capacities of the One-ness that sources the emergent forms that tap into them.

“unmoved from time without end you rest there in the midst of the paths in the midst of the winds you rest covered with the droppings of birds grass growing from your feet your head decked with the down of birds you rest in the midst of the winds you wait
Aged one.”

e.g. zerzan meanwhile weaves into his article an underlying dualist assumption that ‘consciousness’ is a derivative of the oneness, a ‘recent arrival’ in the 'time-based' way of understanding relational transformation;

“That beginning of consciousness seems to be much earlier than is commonly thought. As an artifact of human culture it necessarily arose in band society. ... In terms of its emergence, for example, how could it speak to what was present in its absence, prior to consciousness? ... Thomas Wynn and others have deduced from archaeological evidence that humans were as intelligent as we are a million years before even the first symbolic artifacts, let alone symbolic cultures. Is it at all likely, then, that they did not have consciousness?

Schrödinger, in ‘What is Life’, refers to the Vedantic vision according to which consciousness is only one, singular, identifiable with its universal source (Brahman). The perceived spatial and temporal plurality of consciousnesses or minds is appearance or illusion.

this illusion is something we impose on our mental modeling by way of linguistic idealization which fragments the One-ness and RE-presents it in terms of ‘things-in-themselves’ and ‘what they do’, dividing those idealized local material systems created by our linguistic idealizing, into categories such as ‘animate/living material systems’ and ‘inanimate/lifeless material systems’, the former which ‘science’ claims, have a mysterious process called ‘life’ inhabiting them and giving them notional internal jumpstarting of behaviour capability. this is after linguistic idealization has RE-presented these forms-in-the-One-ness [the continually transforming relational space] as ‘things-in-themselves’, notionally with their own locally jumpstarting, internal process driven and directed behaviours [this forces us to fragment ‘evolution’ as something the One-ness is experiencing, into ‘evolution of the individual forms’ [darwinism] and ‘behaviour of the individual forms’, which in turn logically forces us to impute local jumpstarting of both ‘evolution’ and ‘behaviour’ to the forms linguistically idealized as ‘local material systems-in-themselves’. ‘genetics’ is imputed to be the ‘mechanism of evolution’ [with some ‘random chance’ thrown in to explain anything beyond what the notional genetic mechanism is capable of modeling], and ‘consciousness’ is imputed to be the ‘mechanism of behaviour’ which somehow arises from the material past, according to arguments such as articulated by Marxist-Leninist Nikolai Bukharin; co-author of New Economic Policy;

"Organic nature grew out of dead nature; living nature produced a form capable of thought. First, we had matter, incapable of thought; out of which developed thinking matter, man. If this is the case we know it is, from natural science is plain that matter is the mother of mind; mind is not the mother of matter. Children are never older than their parents. 'Mind' comes later, and we must therefore consider it the offspring, and not the parent existed before the appearance of a thinking human; the earth existed long before the appearance of any kind of 'mind' on its surface. In other words, matter exists objectively, independently of 'mind.' But the psychic phenomena, the so-called 'mind,' never and nowhere exists without matter, were never independent of matter. Thought does not exist without a brain; desires are impossible unless there is a desiring organism other words: psychic phenomena, the phenomena of consciousness, are simply a property of matter organised in a certain manner, a 'function' of such matter."

there is no getting around the fact that non-dualist and dualist philosophies lead to different understandings of ‘life’ and ‘consciousness’. the dualist philosophies regard the fragmentation of ‘forms’ given by linguistic idealization as ‘real’, rather than illusions of discursive/intellectualizing convenience.

as schroedinger suggests, consciousness is not a capacity of the individual member of a plurality, but the individual is a canvas on which consciousness that is immanent in the relational One-ness-world ‘writes’, consistent with the notion of emerson and nietzsche that the ‘local form’, like the hurricane in the flow, is the way the universe expresses itself. as schroedinger puts it;

“... each of us has the indisputable impression that the sum total of his own experience and memory forms a unit, quite distinct from that of any other person. He refers to it as 'I'. What is this 'I? If you analyse it closely you will, I think, find that it is just a little bit more than a collection of single data (experiences and memories), namely the canvas upon which they are collected. And you will, on close introspection, find that what you really mean by 'I' is that ground-stuff upon which they are collected.”

for zerzan, ‘consciousness’ is a capability that belongs to certain forms and not to others [the dualist view] while to schroedinger, consciousness is immanent in the continually transforming relational spatial-plenum [the non-dualist view]. once we mentally model the world using linguistic idealization to fragment it into a ‘plurality’ of local material systems which we ‘confuse for reality’, then our next modeling challenge is to explain ‘evolution’ and ‘life’ and ‘consciousness’ as if these are processes that belong to the notional ‘things-in-themselves’ that we have created thanks to linguistic idealization. this whole modeling edifice is a house-of-cards based on our western habit of taking our own language-created idealizations ‘literally’ and confusing them for physical reality.

when we are in this state of believing in our language-based intellectual models, we are ‘asleep’ with respect to our awareness of ‘physical reality’. only when we are able to suspend our intellectualizing, as in meditation, are we able to ‘become aware of our being one within the physically real, continually transforming relational spatial-plenum in which living and consciousness are immanent’. this is, of course, the aboriginal understanding [the world is pervaded by livingness and consciousness, and it is only western linguistic idealizations that artificially split it apart into notional ‘things-in-themselves’ some of which we impute to have life and consciousness and others of which we impute to be devoid of life and consciousness; i.e. this only makes sense if we take the independent-thing-in-itself status of the linguistic idealizations to be ‘physically real’, a view which is denied by modern physics].

Seriously, fuck you, extend your proletarian deflection, FUCK YOU.

I don't know if we can trust what you say since your mouth and your anus say two different things.


If life is one global unity movement then my question is how does a change in ourselves affect the rest of the world? How much can we expect from nonlocality based on modern physics? Do we still have to smash the oppressive institutions of power physically or can we change them with our minds? Do you equate the possible discovery of the Higgs field with a conscious universe? If radical changes in consciousness prove to be a formidable force in this world that would explain the emphasis on the manipulation of consciousness by the media and ministers of propaganda. The awakened ones are the nightmare of those who still sleep.

These constructs are broken. I give you daedlanth@tormail.com. fine, communicate. If you dare.

you ask;
“If life is one global unity movement then my question is how does a change in ourselves affect the rest of the world?”

this question doesn’t make sense from a non-dualist perspective since the phrase; “the rest of the world’ relative to ‘ourselves’ implies the dualist ‘self’ – ‘other’ split, while the notion of a ‘transforming relational-spatial-plenum’ implies non-dualism in the manner of physical storm-cells in the atmosphere [flow-cells in the plenum which are, in physical reality, purely relational features of the plenum].

if we acknowledge that the world is an evolving Unum [transforming relational-spatial-plenum] then mach’s principle applies and we cannot isolate ‘a change in ourselves’ from ‘the changing world’. it is all comprehended in the continually transforming relational spatial-plenum. if all of the storm-cells in the atmosphere were to ask; “how does a change in ourselves affect the rest of the atmosphere”, it would be apparent that this question doesn’t make sense since we can’t ‘split out’ the storm-cells from the transforming relational space in which they are the manifestations of relational-spatial transformation.

what the non-dualism of mach, poincaré, schroedinger et al ‘applies to’ is ‘physical reality’. ‘physical reality’ is like a lost and forgotten child, in western society; i.e. western society is focused on human productivity, as if it were something that we can optimize as a process in-its-own-right. this ignores the PHYSICAL REALITY that humans are NOT ‘things-in-themselves’ with their own locally originating, internal process driven and directed behaviours [such as ‘producing’ products]. in physical reality, it is not the case that ‘the farmer produces food products’; i.e. the farmer is himself included in a ecosystem involving earth, fire, water and air. to suggest that the farmer is the jumpstart agent of causal results such as foodcrops is linguistic idealization that is far away from physical reality. but linguistic idealization is the foundation for western civilization’s newtonian ‘reality-of-choice’ which is in terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’.

non-dualism orients the mind/worldview to physical reality while dualism orients the mind/worldview to linguistic idealization, the basis for western civilization’s ‘reality of choice’. awareness and attuning to physical reality has been abandoned by this choice, which is essentially the mind-body split. that is, ‘dualism’ is a creation of the mind wherein the mind goes its own way, and leaves its inherent mind-body non-dualism behind. what western civilization has institutionalized as ‘reality’ is ‘out-of-body experience’ [mind-games].

‘the farmer produces food products’ is linguistic idealization that makes it appear as if the production of product follows from the farmer’s intention [rather than arising from the earth, air, fire, water ecosystem dynamic in which the farmer is an included participant];

“[Descartes’ ‘I think therefore I am’ reflects] our grammatical custom that adds a doer to every deed. In short, this is not merely the substantiation of a fact but a logical-metaphysical postulate” … “That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following another but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as the only effective force–in will, in intention–it is belief that every event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is belief in the “subject.” Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’ 484

in ‘physical reality’, there is no such thing as ‘production’ out of the context of ‘transformation’ of the relational space we share inclusion in, ... ‘transformation’ wherein ‘production’ and ‘destruction’ are conjugate aspects of a dynamic One-ness. as mcluhan would say; ‘the mediating, transforming medium of relational space is the message’ and mach would say; “the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants [what the soil, sun, rain and atmosphere were doing before the farmer arrived, inspired the human and orchestrated his behaviour, making a farmer out of him. nothing other than his ego supports his inverting of the order of things and his claiming that ‘HE’ produces foodcrops].

but that’s all about ‘physical reality’ and modern western society, in its discussions of ‘what is going on in the world’, has ‘left physical reality behind’ and embraced linguistic idealization-illusion based mental models as ‘the operative [pseudo-]reality’.

as you say, those who want to ‘get real’ and re-orient to physical reality, the stuff of our sentient experiencing, are ‘heretics’ that scare the shit out of those comfortably ensconced in the pseudo-reality of linguistic idealization [the ‘what productive humans-in-themselves are doing as if in absolute space and absolute time’ worldview];

“The awakened ones are the nightmare of those who still sleep.”

those of us who are phantoms of western civilization’s intensifying nightmare, need to find a way to extend a helping hand to those in the ‘otherworld’ and assist them in leaving a sinking, conflict plagued ship. this is the challenge of ‘decolonization’.

re your question;

“Do we still have to smash the oppressive institutions of power physically or can we change them with our minds?”

the top-down hierarchical ‘oppressive institutions of power’ stand or fall with the unnatural putting into precedence the dualist, linguistic idealization based pseudo-reality, over the non-dualist physical reality. to confront them and defend against them makes sense but try to ‘physically smash them’ makes little sense, since they will continually re-assemble out of the ‘rubble’ so long as the inverted belief system remains intact; i.e. what needs to collapse is the ‘belief system’, and this is why decolonization movements focus first on ‘eroding the intellectual foundations of colonialism’.

bursting the mind-game bubble of western dualist civilization is the ‘name of the game’. a sharp slap on the face is not intended to physically re-shape those asleep, it is merely to awaken them out of their sleep. for heretics to slap powerful sleeping giants without getting wiped out in the process is a non-trivial challenge. the slap has to actually ‘wake them up’, and if it doesn’t, we will be the ‘nightmare’ that awakens nothing other than fear and rage as they remain in their dream-state.

in this non-dualist worldview, the we-they split is not physically real; it is a state of mind.

the top-down hierarchical ‘oppressive institutions of power’ stand or fall with the unnatural putting into precedence the dualist, linguistic idealization based pseudo-reality, over the non-dualist physical reality

This is way too narrow an understanding of authority, and it's symptomatic of popular "radical" tendency to focus only on the most immediately accessible forms of authority in the world and try to generalize all forms off of that, ignoring or eliding the distinction between ones that predate or function independently of 21st century capitalism.

For the last time, and please, without the uncharitable launch into a pedantic lecture on dualism vs non-dualism that we've all already heard because other people don't talk in precisely your preferred nomenclature, WHERE did all the all the "oppressive institutions of power in" in Vedic, Chinese and yeah, many aboriginal societies come from if not an appeal to one form of dualism or another? How does the authority of Advaita Vendanta Brahmin's ("past" or "present") fall with the rejection of a dualism they don't even hold? Why did stone age hunter gatherers wipe out the mammoths if environmental destruction is simply the result of segmented thinking that cuts the world into independent "things in themselves" rather than a single interconnected continuum? Why did Han Dynasty Taoists seek wealthy patrons for their alchemical experiments? Why did later zen-influenced Samurai continue to go around acting as feudal lords and mercenaries?

you seem to be hung up on EITHER/OR logic. you re-render my comments in EITHER/OR logic and you formulate questions in EITHER/OR logic and evidently expect me to answer them in the constrained terms of ‘EITHER/OR logic’.

many people would say that the aboriginal culture was pervasively ‘anarchist’ and that the western culture was pervasively ‘authoritarian’. did i ever claim that there were no fascists/control-freaks in the aboriginal community and that there were no anarchists in the western culture?

the non-dualist view requires BOTH/AND logic, which is evidently, not in your modeling toolkit.

BOTH/AND logic is logic wherein it is possible to see things, at the same time, in BOTH a ‘both/and’ AND an ‘either/or’ logical sense. e.g. see Lupasco, Stéphane., Le principe d’antagonisme et la logique de l’énergie, 1951, ... also, ... ‘Stéphane Lupasco et le tiers inclus. De la physique quantique à l’ontologie’, by Basarab Nicolescu]

you seem to be saying that the presence of fascists/control freak leaders in the aboriginal community or amongst the Vedics refutes the proposition that the aboriginal culture and vedic culture are non-dualist.

you seem to take from my statements the proposition that a community can be EITHER dualist OR non-dualist. THAT IS A DUALIST VIEW as 'given away' by the employing of EITHER/OR logic. you chide me for being pedantic and repetitive, explaining over and over again, ‘dualism’ and ‘non-dualism’, when, you say; "everybody knows it already and all emile is doing is using his ‘preferred nomenclature’". it is evident to me that we are ‘not on the same page’ with respect to our understanding of ‘non-dualism’ and ‘dualism’, in the machean and schrödingerian etc. sense.

i see no sign of BOTH/AND logic in your comment, no sign of the ‘A = Not.A yin/yang equation [Kosko, Lupasco]. in my comment that you cite, i speak in terms of ‘precedence’, and this requires BOTH/AND logic;

“the top-down hierarchical ‘oppressive institutions of power’ stand or fall with the unnatural putting into precedence the dualist, linguistic idealization based pseudo-reality, over the non-dualist physical reality”

i repeat; ... when dualist thinking is put ahead of non-dualist thinking, oppressive institutions of power form; e.g. the social institution of ‘justice’. when dualist thinking is put into precedence over non-dualist thinking, we have the ‘offender-victim’ construct and ‘guilty or not guilty’ (accused is EITHER 100% OR 0% responsible and community-responsibility, as is the case in non-dualist thinking, is not even considered). that is, the putting into precedence of dualist thinking over non-dualist thinking yields western justice with its top-down imposing of absolute authoritative judgement. when non-dualist thinking is put ahead of dualist thinking, restorative justice [collective responsibility] and peace-making circles [egalitarian circles] that recognize the circularity of conflict, as in the machean relational space view. the dynamics of the individual and the dynamics of the community he is included in, are in conjugate relation. in a physical reality sense, it is impossible to separate the dynamics of the individual from the dynamics of the community; the one is included in the other in the manner the storm-cell is included in the atmosphere and vice-versa. the inhabitant is the means by which the [relational-space] habitat expresses itself; i.e. the habitat is not an expression of the inhabitants that currently reside within it. the habitat is a continually transforming relational space in which inhabitants are continually gathering and being regathered.

as with justice, the same comparisons follow with governance and commerce. putting dualism in precedence over non-dualism is the source of ‘oppressive institutions of power’.

basically, you are giving me a list of cases where ‘dualism’ is put into precedence over non-dualism so that a top-down oppressive structure forms; i.e. you are confirming my statement, that where dualism is given precedence over non-dualism, oppressive top-down structures form. i.e. you say;

“WHERE did all the all the "oppressive institutions of power in" in Vedic, Chinese and yeah, many aboriginal societies come from if not an appeal to one form of dualism or another?”

that’s what i said, wherever dualism is put into precedence over non-dualism, oppressive structures form.

but you seem to be telling me that your finding of ‘oppressive institutions of power’ in aboriginal societies refutes the claim that the aboriginal culture pervasively puts non-dualism into precedence over dualism while the western colonizing culture pervasively puts dualism into precedence over non-dualism?

people and people collectives have BOTH non-dualist thinking AND dualist thinking capacities within them. they have BOTH a sailboater persona [one derives form, assertive power and steerage from the dynamics of the habitat he is situationally included in] AND a powerboater persona [one derives one’s form assertive power and steerage from one’s own internal processes] within them at the same time, and they can put the former in precedence over the latter or vice versa.

now, the cultural belief traditions, as carried forth over the generations implicitly specify which of the two; ‘non-dualism’ and ‘dualism’ should have precedence over the other. in the aboriginal and vedic cultures, non-dualism is given precedence over dualism, while in the western culture, dualism is given precedence over non-dualism.

how does this difference in precedence ‘feel’ to the experient?

in terms of ‘journey’ and ‘destination’, putting non-dualism in precedence over dualism gives ‘the journey’ [sailboater mode] precedence over ‘the destination [powerboater mode]’ while putting dualism in precedence over non-dualism gives ‘the destination’ precedence over the ‘journey’.

BOTH/AND logic is required to address this ‘precedence’; i.e. we are experiencing the journey in terms of our inhabitant-habitat relational dynamic, at the same time as new horizons are unfolding for us. EITHER/OR logic is inadequate to deal with our choices here; i.e. if we put destination-orientation first, the quality of the journey will go ‘who knows where’, ... and if we put the quality of the journey first we will end up going ‘who knows where’.

in the flow of the freeway, we are aware that the conjugate to our individual assertive movement is the shaping of the unfolding openings that enable us to move forward into them. the shaping of the unfolding openings is relational-spatial [non-euclidian] while our individual movements are idealization that requires an absolute space and absolute time reference frame [that split the assertive agent out of his web of spatial-relations]. if we put the optimizing of the relational-spatial dynamic in precedence over the optimizing of the individual trajectory dynamic, we can sustain harmonious flow ‘as a collective’. if we put the optimizing of the of the individual trajectory dynamic in precedence over the optimizing of the relational-spatial dynamic, ... we shall need top-down instructions [laws/rules of individual behaviour] and a top-down regulatory authority to enforce them.

even if the pervasive ethic was,, “to put the optimizing of the relational-spatial dynamic in precedence over the optimizing of the individual trajectory dynamic” this would not rule out rogue drivers who did the inverse and “put the optimizing of the of the individual trajectory dynamic in precedence over the optimizing of the relational-spatial dynamic”.

there will always be conflict/collisions, whichever ‘precedence’ is operative. the question is whether we want to deal with it by way of laws/rules governing individual behaviour backed up by top-down enforcement by an overall authority, or by accepting collective responsibility and cultivating relational balance and harmony. the former view of dynamics seen firstly in terms of ‘what individual people do’ is based on linguistic idealization while the latter view of dynamics seen firstly in terms of transforming spatial-relations is the physical reality.

emille for future reference the word you're looking for in this context is vedantic not vedic. Vedic refers to a time period and body of literature, vedantic refers to a philosophical system based off of that writing. There are plenty of vedic things that are dualist, like samkhya. Advaita Vedanta didn't really take off till Adi Shankara in the middle ages anyway.

- an (A) student of such things

thanks for correcting my somewhat loose usage in using ‘vedic’ in some situations where it would have been more correct to use ‘vedantic’. i accept that you may well be an ‘A’ student in such things, and i readily acknowledge that i am not. but my aim is not the mastery of philosophical history of the east indian peoples. in fact, i could have called it ‘hindu belief system X’, the non-dualist philosophy that agrees so well with the non-dualist worldview coming from relativity and quantum physics, as described by schröedinger and others and compared with the teachings of advaita vedanta. that is, my interest is in the fact that this same ‘topological view’ of the ‘self-other relation’ that requires non-euclidian space rather than euclidian space, that is cropping up in modern physics, has cropped up before, in aboriginal belief systems and in ancient chinese [buddhist, taoist] and ancient hindu belief systems. it exists before and in spite of the variety of ‘languages’ that have been used, with varying degress of success, in trying to capture a representation of it;

“Finally, our Euclidean geometry is itself only a sort of convention of language; mechanical facts might be enunciated with reference to a non-Euclidean space which would be a guide less convenient than, but just as legitimate as, our ordinary space ; the enunciation would thus become much more complicated, but it would remain possible. Thus absolute space, absolute time, geometry itself, are not conditions which impose themselves on mechanics ; all these things are no more antecedent to mechanics than the French language is logically antecedent to the verities one expresses in French.” – Henri Poincare, Science and Hypothesis

you seem to be saying that the presence of fascists/control freak leaders in the aboriginal community or amongst the Vedics refutes the proposition that the aboriginal culture and vedic culture are non-dualist.

No, it's your implicit assertion that non-dualism is antithetical to authority structures, and the accompanying assumption that if there were authority structures they must have been associated with the (up to now unspecified) presence of some coexisting dualism in that society.

The fact that there were and are authoritarians who were also staunch non-dualists. There have been and still are fucking warlords and hierarchical religious figures whose approach is entirely non-dual. They were not closet dualists.

This whole response was a gigantic evasion of that and a repeat of the same original rant, which is what I was trying to avoid.

it’s evident that you simply ‘do not get’ what i am saying [the viewpoint of mach, poincare, schrödinger].

you say;

“there were and are authoritarians who were also staunch non-dualists”.

so? there were and are paedophiles who were also priests in the christian church.

or course there are people who preach one thing and practice the opposite.

but you are saying that warlords are ‘practicing’ non-dualism?! i.e. you say;

“There have been and still are fucking warlords and hierarchical religious figures whose approach is entirely non-dual.”

that doesn’t make sense. the approach of a warlord is not ‘non-dual’ and neither is the approach of an hierarchical religious figure ‘non-dual’. their rhetoric may be non-dual but their approach is dualist.

the non-dualist approach in leadership is where the leader acknowledges, like a sailboater, that his power and steerage derive from the dynamic collective he is situationally included in. the dualist approach in leadership is where the leader believes, like a powerboater, that his power and steerage derive from his own internal processes [or from God speaking through him].

nature’s storm-cells [inhabitants] in the flow of the atmosphere [habitat] ‘understand’ that their power and steerage derive from the relational dynamics they are included in

the physical reality is non-dualist. that is mach's message.

the APPROACH of ‘warlords’ and ‘hierarchical religious figures’ is to hijack the power of position [hijack the minds of the people] and use it for their own powerboating purpose [i.e. to jumpstart their own ideas, whether influenced by cronies or thinktanks or whatever]. the non-dualist circle flow is broken in this dualist approach. those in the circle surrounding the dualist leader, rather than flowing their influence in through him as in the aboriginal tradition so that he becomes 'the expression of the people/universe', become ‘pawns’ of the idealizations of the warlord and/or ‘hierarchical religious figure’.

in what way do you mean that; "the warlord can have an entirely non-dualist approach"?

Rise Ghost of WAR!!!!

Rise Ghost of WAR!!!!

It will rise.....

ghost-of- war

And, this folks, is daedlanth..."leader" of the Black Army.


ghost-of- war

When this site gets ignorant, I will bring it down. when you rail against rights, I will bring you down. Big hackers, lolz. scumbags, trying to control me... I am gathering your fist's. seriously, bitches. time to die.....

I lose consciousness all the time. I guess I'm doing something right after all.

Consciousness is the product of a creature (or device) utilizing a brain (or other type of central nervous system) to process information, if the processing is such that a model of the world and a model of oneself are built.

If Zerzan declares with skepticism that consciousness is unrepresentable then he is representing it as unrepresentable therefore disproving his own argument.

you are one of the most annoying variety of people.

can authoritarianism be non-dualist? this side-discussion on whether there can be non-dualist authoritarianism [no! this is nonsense] is like the discussion surrounding henri poincaré’s assertion that ‘it is nonsense to say that ‘the earth rotates’’.

at first glance, most western-raised people [because our thoughts are conditioned by our language and grammar] don’t find anything wrong with the statement ‘the earth rotates’.

but poincaré is making the point that nietzsche makes when he [nietzsche] says it is ‘the greatest stupidity’ to impute a ‘subject’ to some emergent event as in ‘lightning flashes’ or ‘the earth rotates’, so as to make it appear, using the subject and verb structure of language, that the dynamic phenomenon we observe is the result of the actions of the local subject, that is now portrayed as ‘the doer of the deed’. in this linguistically idealized 'doer-deed' view, it is now ‘the earth’ that is SAID to be doing the rotating [rather than the physically real situation wherein the rotation derives from the dynamics of the habitat the earth is an inhabitant within].

but elsewhere we have said the world dynamic is characterized by everything depending on everything else; e.g. ‘gravity is everywhere at the same time’, and so it is as well for ‘fields’ such as the electromagnetic field [‘luminous energy’ and ‘thermal energy’]. there is no ‘LOCAL sourcing agency for dynamics’ in a continuously transforming spacetime continuum [spatial-plenum] therefore there is no sense to statements such as ‘the earth rotates’. the truth of such a statement would imply that the earth is not an flow-feature within the continuously transforming relational spatial Plenum [One-ness], and that space is an absolute, fixed empty and infinite operating theatre wherein it is the local material inhabitants that are responsible for the dynamics we observe. in which case, we must impute the sourcing of the dynamics to the ‘subjects’ we invent in language, as we do with hurricanes by naming them and defining them to give them ‘subject status’ or ‘doer-of-deed’ status.

poincaré calls this language game of imputing local self-sourcing [powerboater instead of sailboater] existence to a ‘subject’ as ‘nonsense’ while nietzsche calls it ‘stupidity’. the great masses of people who ‘speak the language’ call it ‘reality’.

it is certainly not ‘physical reality’. it is ‘dualist’ linguistic idealization, where we notionally impute ‘their own’ local jumpstart sourcing of dynamics to the forms that we observe. in this case, we can forget that the sourcing of dynamics, as in gravity, is non-local, non-visible and non-material.

the ‘reality’ of western civilized people is ‘illusion’ [vedantic ‘Maya’] based on linguistic idealization; i.e. is ‘nonsense’ and ‘stupidity’.

the biggest nonsense and stupidity is in endowing subjecthood to ourselves as in our invention of ‘I’.

language constructs such as ‘I did this or that’. ‘I had a thought’. are in the same vein as ‘the earth rotates’. there are no grounds in modern physics for endowing our human selves with subject status; i.e. locally jumpstarting doer-deed powers. we humans, like all forms-in-the-flow, are included in the continually transforming relational spatial-plenum. we can used linguistic idealizations such as ‘I’ to notionally break ourselves out of the dynamic Unum/Plenum and make ourselves over, in our minds, to local material systems or ‘machines made of meat’, notionally equipped with our own locally jumpstarting powers of deed-doing, and say things like ‘I am a farmer and I produce foodcrop plants’, ... as if we were a local source of powers to bring plants into the world, an illusion that seems to ‘work’ so long as the sun, the atmosphere, the water-cycle and the soil continue to ‘make our magic touch look good’. of course, our power to ‘produce’ stands or falls with the powers of the sun to warm and the air to fill with breath and the soil to fill with nutrients and the water to load up with nutrients and infuse them into the plants. ignoring this ecosystemic web-of-life, or simply taking it for granted, then, yes, ... the illusion that ‘man produces foodcrop plants’ seems to take on some meaning.

the mental concept of the subject ‘I’ as the jumpstart sourcing of dynamics, the doer of deeds is nevertheless ‘nonsense’ and/or ‘stupidity’, if we confuse such linguistic idealization for reality.

our use of linguistic idealization to notionally create ‘local subjects’ that we impute to be the local, material jumpstart sourcer[or]s of dynamics, the doers of deeds, is otherwise known as ‘mainstream science’. it is nothing other than a convenient way to RE-render complex dynamics so as to save us from having to think through the inherent complexity of living within an inherently interdependent connectedness. as mach says;

““Science itself, … may be regarded as a minimization problem, consisting of the completest possible presenting of facts with the least possible expenditure of thought” –Ernst Mach

even though we cannot physically-realistically claim that our ‘I’ is a local jumpstarting source of ‘the doing of deeds’ [our participation in the world dynamic is within a web of relations, we are not local absolute beings within an absolute space as linguistic idealization, in its minimizing of complexity, would have it], we are experients of our own unique situational inclusion in the continually transforming relational spatial-Plenum and as schrödinger observes, this sense of ‘I’ that we have derives from our acquisition and accumulation of unique situational experiences’.

“ ... each of us has the indisputable impression that the sum total of his own experience and memory forms a unit, quite distinct from that of any other person. He refers to it as 'I'. What is this 'I? ... If you analyse it closely you will, I think, find that it is just a little bit more than a collection of single data (experiences and memories), namely the canvas upon which they are collected. And you will, on close introspection, find that what you really mean by 'I' is that ground-stuff upon which they are collected.”

in other words, the non-dualist accepts that his ‘I’ is not the jumpstarter of its own development and dynamic behaviour; i.e. he does not confuse the convenient, simplifying RE-rendering of dynamics by inventing notional ‘local material systems with their own internal process driven and directed behaviours’ as the source of the world dynamic, ... for ‘physical reality’. he understands that his sense of ‘self’ derives from his continual acquisition of unique situational experiences, in participating in the continuing transformation of the relational spatial-Plenum.

now, the ‘I’ of the DUALIST, does indeed BELIEVE that he is the jumpstart sourcer of his own dynamic behaviour and that he is ‘powerboater-equipped’ for being his own ‘doer-of-deeds’. it is on this basis that rewards and punishments applied to the notional ‘individual behaviour’ is based, that western society has institutionalized as their ‘justice system’, and not only their justice system, but their system of 'values' which differentially rewards and punishes, empowers and disempowers, opportunizes and disopportunizes, privileges and denies privilege.

this dualist ‘I’ is the source of the notion of ‘authority’. ‘Authority’ is by definition, the local jumpstart sourcing of dynamical behaviour, be it the ‘pushing out’ of some theory by an ‘authority’ that serves as the ‘mouthpiece’ and ‘steward’ of the theory, or simply the pushing out of some ideas that come into the head of those ‘in authority’. such ideas may be overtly declared to be coming from God that is speaking directly to ‘those in authority’, as with claim of the divine right Kings, or not declared. in any case, the notion of a local jumpstarting ‘voice’ in the head of ‘those in authority’ that ‘must be followed’ is a definition of schizophrenia; i.e. centrally jumpstarted authority is community-level schizophrenia. the jumpstarting sourcing of the collective dynamic synthetically splits the community out of the real physical world dynamic it is included in, and makes it over into a detached machine that operates on the ‘habitat’ it is included in, as if it were an ‘independent inhabitant’ with locally jumpstarting, internal process driven and directed behaviour.

that is what ‘dualism’ is, ... the notional splitting apart of ‘inhabitant’ from the ‘habitat’ and conceiving of the ‘inhabitant’ as a ‘local, material system’ with its own locally jumpstarting, internal process [intellection and purpose-] driven and directed development and behaviour. this is how Katrina, the hurricane, graduates from a form-in-the-flow; a ‘thing considered in itself’ to ‘a thing-in-itself’ thanks to ‘linguistic idealization’.

‘non-dualism’ is to recognize the artificiality of this ‘language game’, and to acknowledge that our ‘I’ is not the jumpstart sourcer of dynamic behaviour, but the accumulating of unique, situational experience of participation in the continually transforming relational spatial-Plenum.

‘authority’ is by definition, ‘dualist’. instead of everything being influenced by everything, a local point source broadcasts out instructions that demands compliant behaviours from others. such compliance puts these others in conflict with their natural ‘attuning’ which would orchestrate their behaviour so as to sustain balance and harmony within the habitat-dynamic they are uniquely, situationally included in.

the actualizing of ‘authority’ is by definition ‘dualist’. to be non-dualist, one must let the outside-inward orchestrating influence of the habitat-dynamic shape one’s ‘dynamic-inhabitant’ behaviour [development and assertive actions], in precedence over instructions transmitted from a notional local point-source authority.

biology used to say ‘cells reproduce’, replicating the ‘dualist’ RE-presentation that is implicit in the earth rotates’ or ‘lightning flashes’. meanwhile, the recent acknowledging of ‘epigenetics’ rejects the notion that there is a ‘central authority’ inhabiting the cell nucleus that commands reproductive operations, and epigenetics biologists acknowledge that ‘signals from the environment’ inform the cell’s behaviour outside-inwardly through the cell’s ‘receptors’ and continually shape the behaviour of cell ‘effectors’ so as to keep developing cells [inhabitants] in harmony with the dynamic habitat they are included in.

the cell as a non-dualist receptor-effector conjugate pair, rather than as a dualist central authority commanded collection of component parts and processes, is an acknowledgement of the physical reality seen in relativity and quantum physics, and as an acknowledge of the physical reality understood in non-dualist cultural traditions where the dualism in linguistic idealization has not hijacked our mental models of the world-dynamic.

‘Authority’, insofar as it has some traction and locally jumpstarts the sourcing of organization [collective dynamics] by transmitting ‘what things are to do’ instructions, is ‘dualist’. it removes those that participate in actualizing such point sourced organizing of a collective, from their natural non-dualist inclusion in the continually transforming relational spatial-Plenum.

‘Authoritarianism’ is the belief in putting such linguistic idealization based dualist practice into an unnatural primacy over one’s acceptance of inclusion in non-dualist physical reality. it is ‘the popularly preferred approach of western civilization’.

statements such as the following are ‘confused’;

“The fact that there were and are authoritarians who were also staunch non-dualists. There have been and still are fucking warlords and hierarchical religious figures whose approach is entirely non-dual. They were not closet dualists.”

such a statement is confused in that ‘authoritarianism’ is a dualist approach. ‘authoritarianism’ can only happen when people notionally take themselves out of their physically real, non-dualist inclusion in the continually transforming relational spatial-Plenum [NOTIONALLY take themselves out of the interdependent connectedness; i.e. they cannot take themselves PHYSICALLY out of the interdependent connectedness].

in the dualist ‘authoritarian’ approach, they blindly and obediently listen to the locally-sourced [an absolutist concept] and therefore God-like voice telling them what they must do; e.g. to go forth with military and/or economic weapons to attack those of such and such a nation or race or wearing such and such a ‘uniform’ that the voice of the supreme authority has unilaterally declared to be deserving of crippling punishment and/or elimination. this type of point-sourced authority-directed action is collective ‘schizophrenia’ on the level of ‘community’, that western civilization has re-labelled ‘normal behaviour’.

the ‘non-dualist approach’ restores physical reality to its natural primacy [the understanding that ‘things-considered-in-themselves’ are not ‘things-in-themselves’ that are mutually exclusive of the space they are included in, but are inhabitants that are included in their habitat in the manner described by Mach’s principle; “the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants”].

the ‘non-dualist approach’ does not ‘do away with’ the dualist illusion of reality based on ‘linguistic idealization’ that NOTIONALLY converts ‘things-considered-in-themselves’ to ‘things-in-themselves’ and imputes to them their own locally jumpstarting, internal process driven and directed development and behaviour, ... it only suspends confusing this dualist illusion for reality, recognizing it as a ‘thinking tool’ that has been ‘running away with the workman’ as Emerson says, and that must be put back in its proper place.

currently, however, we live in a society in which the tool-that-is-running-away-with-the-workman has become globally dominant thanks to its institutionalizing in sovereigntist authoritarianism and its authoritarian justice system.

due to the fact that those who are benefitting from this situation, by way of being recipients of augmented power, wealth and privilege that associates with climbing the hierarchical structures of authoritarianism, there is an effective ‘lock-in’. those in the upper echelons of authorianist hierarchical structures, by psychologically buying into the linguistically idealized doer-deed RE-presentation of dynamics, which attributes jumpstart causation of deeds to notional local material systems such as ‘humans’ understood as ‘machines-made-of-meat’, ... see themselves, for example, as the jumpstart source[ror]s of cyclical events [which long preceded them], such as the annual outgrowth of ripened foodcrop plants. the linguistically idealized concept of ‘this human has produced these foodcrops’, even though it ignores the non-dualist physical reality, that the human is included in the web of relations that also include the solar system dynamics, the atmospheric dynamics [season and climate cycles, the water and soil cycles], is nevertheless used as an argument to differentially augment the power, wealth, social status and privileges of the alleged ‘doer’ of such ‘deeds’.

this dualist, linguistic idealization based [illusion or ‘Maya’ based] ‘belief system’ has been institutionalized within authoritarian structures that protect and preserve it along with the hierarchical pyramids of differential empowerment, wealth, status and privilege that follow from it. in the non-dualist physical reality, there is no such thing as a ‘flat playing field’ [euclidian space] in which the players are portrayed as social darwinist competitors whose notional doer-deed achievements spring forth from nowhere else but from the jumpstarting, internal process directed behaviours of ‘machines made of meat’, as these machines cavort and interact within a notional absolute space and absolute time operating theatre.

as nietzsche says, this view is ‘stupidity’ and as poincaré says, this view is ‘nonsense’ and as schrödinger says, this view is ‘schaumkommen’ [‘apparition’] and as those of the non-dualist Vedantic philosophy say, this view is ‘Maya’ [illusion], but who’s listening? ... certainly not most of those already in, or poised to rise into the upper echelons of the hierarchy of differential empowerment, wealth, social status and privilege, to whom the notion that they are fully and solely responsible for ‘their own’ doer-deed achievements that 'get them there', flatters their egos [as in 'Ayn Randism']. reminder: the ‘ego’ or ‘I’ is the essential 'archetype' of dualism. thus, authoritarianism collapses with the collapse of ‘ego’, the belief in the dualist ‘I’. correspondingly, 'authoritarianism' rises with the rejection of non-dualism; i.e. with the rejection of physical reality wherein the I = Not.I [self=other] as physical reality is understood in modern physics using the BOTH/AND logic of the included third.

wow. all those words make one impressive steaming heap of shit!

Never surprised by a lack of understanding by the small minded anarchists populating the comments, philosophy clearly isn't your strong suit.

i enjoy philosophy, yet i don't enjoy tremendous amounts of bullshit. clearly you are superior in your toleration of the bullshit.

I don't have a problem with reading, or comprehension.

...or bullshit.

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