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Andrius Kulikauskas Self Learners Network. Think Through Art with Andrius Kulikauskas. Directory of ways of figuring things out. Chicago Street Artist Blog. Video summary of knowledge of everything. Notes on Gamestorming. Living by Truth working group. Twitter: @selflearners Email: ms @ ms.lt
Edward Cherlin Earth Treasury
Kennedy Owino Nafsi Afrika Acrobats
Ben de Vries
Samwel Kongere Mendenyo
George Christian Jeyaraj
Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz
Christine Ax, Steve Bonzak, James Ferguson, Maria Agnese Giraudo, Marcin Jakubowski, Ed Jonas, Rick Nelson, Hannington Onyango, Linas Plankis, Proscoviour Vunyiwa
Andrius helped with the following websites:
APrimer Of Structure
See also: Introduction, Booklet, Summary, Welcome
I had earlier envisaged writing about the basic structures. But I think it is more likely that I will write up a detailed Overview of the theory and also a Handbook for Investigators. AndriusKulikauskas July 27, 2007 12:56 CET
In what follows I was also looking for connections with Anthony Judge's work.
Learning about structural absolutes is an unfolding process of its own. For now, here are links to some basic structures:
I'm very happy to be delving into Anthony Judge's work and engaging his mind. I will take the opportunity to overview my own understanding of everything and try to relate that to Tony's work. We're corresponding at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/
Tony's website http://www.laetusinpraesens.org has links to about 1100 papers that he's written since the 1960's. His biography is at: http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/bio/cv2002.php He has worked since 1969 at the Union of International Associations as the Director of Communications and Research. http://www.uia.org/ There he has lead work to use computers to organize, visualize and analyze information on 50,000+ associations, but also 50,000 world problems, solutions to address them, human values, human development principles, etc.
His research interests include "the strategic position of international organizations and the organized response to world problems. This currently includes work on organization and community design, transformative conferencing and dialogue, information system design, relevance of metaphor for governance and communication, transdisciplinarity, and concepts of human development. A special interest is in issues common to understanding of problem networks, human development, and the design of appropriate organizations, information systems, and conceptual frameworks. Author of a series of papers on information and knowledge organization, including challenges to comprehension, transdisciplinarity, and related software possibilities. Currently experimenting with generating user-controlled visual representations of the above knowledge networks over the web, with mnemonic use of sound. Other series of papers explore issues relating to governance through metaphor, electronic implications for organization network operation, and the future of dialogue and sustainable community. A special concern in relation to the Encyclopedia programme is the use of metaphor in reframing policy-making dilemmas in response to world problems, notably the possibility of a "marriage" between policy-making and the arts, notably poetry-making, through which more organic, rhythm-based understanding could refresh the sterility of modern policies � especially for musically oriented developing countries. This has involved exploration of many new possibilities of visualization to catalyze new approaches to social organization. In the case of meetings, this has taken the form of an interest in transformative conferencing and new approaches to dialogue (notably as explored with colleagues in a School of Ignorance over a period of 7 years)." [presumed copyright] Here are his papers organized by theme: http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/themes/ and by polarity: http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs00s/writpol.php
My own interest is to "know everything and apply that usefully". I first took this up around 1970 at the age of six (see my "existential conversation"): Since then I self-educated myself for this quest. Then in 1982 at the age of 17 I decided to work from scratch to find the structural absolutes of life. That's when I first observed the "divisions of everything". Finally, in 1996 I started work on practical applications, first with the good will exercises, and then with our Minciu Sodas laboratory http://www.ms.lt, as a social framework where open investigators could make their projects come to life.
I think that what I call "division of everything" is roughly the same as what Tony describes in his paper on "declarations of principles". I observed them in college when our teacher asked "what is happiness?" and I noticed that the answers fell into three groups: - some were about an immediate joy, such as eating ice cream - some were about contentment, such as reflecting on the joy of eating ice cream - some were about assurance, such as knowing that eating ice cream is the right thing to do, or is real, not a dream. So my conclusion was that these are three modes: doing, thinking, being - and that they are internally related (I think therefore I am; I am therefore I do; I do therefore I think)(more precisely: if thinking is significant (unencompassable), then so is being, etc.) and that these modes define each other in terms of each other, with no need for any other concepts. After much work with such structures I realized that (being, doing, thinking) is a representation of a deeper structure: (taking a stand, following through, reflecting). In order to conceive this deeper structure, we need to make use of a particular representation (there are four in all: be/do/think, many/one/all, subject/object/process, necessary/actual/possible). In one sense, these kinds of structures are highly elusive - the least bit of self-reflection distorts them, so you have to be very good at "slow thinking" in order to observe them. But in another sense, they are very tangible: "put your money where your mouth is" (=you take a stand, but do you follow through?) is much more real to us then the chair we sit on.
What is the value of the "divisions of everything"? The divisions are very helpful in understanding disagreements and keeping us from trying to "win" them. For example, at the bottom of many philosophical disputes, often under many layers of complexity, there is a battle between "free will" and "fate". One person sides with "free will", the other with "fate". But we can say: Look, this is the division of everything into two perspectives: opposites coexist (free will) and all things are the same (fate). Our minds are not supposed to give up one or the other perspective. So let's just note that and move on.
Another value of divisions is that they help us be alert to missing perspectives. For example, the division of everything into four perspectives is: whether, what, how, why. We think of these either as questions whether? what? how? why? (from the point of view of the observer) or as answers whether! what! how! why! (from the point of view of the thing/situation). (These are the two representations of this "foursome"). Well, idealists think in terms of the observer, and like to disregard "whether?" as a "null" concept. And materialists think in terms of the situation, and like to disregard "why!" as a "null" concept. So they tend to acknowledge only the three levels they care about (for example, a straddler like Peirce talks of symbols, indexes, icons but forgets the "thing in itself" even while he works with things rather than observers). The end result is that we run into enormous troubles unless we're careful to include all concepts in our minds, not only those that we take to be "real".
Another value of divisions is that they identify the topic at hand. The division of everything into two perspectives comes up precisely when we talk about matters of "existence". For a chair to exist, there has to be one perspective where we can raise the question, does it exist or does it not? (opposites coexist), but there has to be another perspective where the answer is definite: it exists, thus it exists (all things are the same). Similarly, the threesome is for matters of participation, the foursome is for matters of knowledge, the fivesome for decision making, the sixsome for principles. This lets us realize that questions of the "existence of God" are suspect in that existence is not as basic as God, but rather presupposes the division of everything into two perspectives.
Most importantly, the divisions of everything are absolutes. This is because "everything" itself is an absolute - THE absolute. It is the concept with the following four properties: no external context, no internal structure, the simplest algorithm - accepts all things, and a required concept. (These are the representations of the division of everything into one perspective). As absolutes, they make it possible for us to be able to communicate, and are building blocks for more advanced structures.
My understanding is that Tony has come to these same structures (and more) through an empirical route. His paper "Patterns of Conceptual Integration" (1984) overviews his work based on his experience with international organizations. His paper "Distinguishing Levels of Declarations of Principles" (1980) http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs/level20.php actually lists twenty such divisions (!). And he has another paper "Varieties of Dialogue by Number" (1998) which considers their role in dialogue. http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs/logtab.php Tony writes: "This collection of papers arises from an investigation into the manner in which sets of concepts are ordered and interrelated. The focus is on why phenomena, and especially psycho-social phenomena, tend to be comprehended using concept sets of a particular size range (e.g. 2 to 6 elements). The concern is whether this tendency is taken into account in efforts to order existing psycho-social processes or to design better ones. A special concern is the consequence of using "incomplete" or inadequately diverse sets to order comprehension of any environment or of action in it." [...] "the third paper describes an exercise in designing a multi-set concept scheme in the light of the diversity inherent in the examples given in Annexes 0-20. The intention was to "internalize" the maximum amount of disagreement within the scheme as a guarantee of its relevance to a society in which disagreement is rife, whether constructive or destructive. The exercise resulted in an ordered series of 210 mutually-incompatible, transformation-oriented statements (given in Annex 21). It may be considered as an initial step towards more realistic organization of psycho-social development, cured of the tendency to "disagreement phobia" and of the desperate compensatory pursuit of agreement-promoting processes."
What I find exciting is that he has, I think, helped show the relationship between each division N and the following N+1. It seems that each division is a recasting of the perspectives of the previous division. This is a result that I have worked on this year. I have done this trying to imagine God's own thinking. God divides everything as a way to create something out of nothing, as a ground for definitions. (These are the "days", the events, of creation). Through them he is able to differentiate different perspectives. He does this by going beyond himself, from the unbounded into the bounded, from spirit into structure.
I'm interested to be able to converse regarding these structures. Therefore I add my own comments and speculations. Later this week I hope to summarize my own current work and outlook. Meanwhile, here are some of my thoughts:
- Tony notes the importance of an outlook where "all things are true". I completely agree. This is the outlook of God (or everything as the structure of God) in that his mind entertains all things at once. It is also the outlook of the state of contradiction (as when a math proof collapses). This might be called a state of omnidiction. - In this sense, I think it is important to consider a "division of everything into no perspectives", what I call the "nullsome". This would be the spirit prior to structure (I think what Tony calls "original intent"). This is also how structure is able to collapse. (Note: the nullsome has four representations - true, direct, constant, significant - which play important roles as triggers for "mind games" that generate the representations of the threesome (and their member perspectives, which are the topologies) - also as negations of the four perspectives of the foursome (such as constant = no change = no how). - In my opinion, the largest structure that the human mind (or any bounded mind) can introspect is the "sixsome". (This matches with Tony's focus on structure of size 2 to 6. - The larger divisions are quite impressive, and I should be careful not to be dismissive, my prejudice, and my first impression, is that they are formalistic, "structure for structure's sake" (or perhaps I should say they have ulterior motives, in that they are "Not structure for structure's sake".) - I think that the division of everything into eight perspectives collapses into the nullsome, and in that sense there fundamentally aren't any genuine structures that are larger. Tony includes in his eighth level as the eight perspective: "8.8 After a change initiative has been terminated, care is required in evaluating the activities and the achievements in the light of the original intent in order to avoid subsequent dependence on them." My feeling is that in the broadest system (God's outlook) this original intent (or spirit) was simply "to go beyond myself" into structure, into God's self (everything). So any such reference to the original intent reminds us that everything subsequent is actually empty and void. This is because the original intent has no greater context. At this point any truly genuine structure collapses. Now, it's interesting that it's possible for their to be weaker systems where the original intent is not so potent. But this shows that those are degenerate systems and not the heart of life. Another way I think about this collapse is as the perspective where "all things are good and all things are bad" in which case for the statement to be true, the system must be empty, and it must collapse into emptiness. (So that we have "all" of none). (Again, if the eightsome is about "constraints on change", then the final constraint - the original intent - is that "there are no constraints"). (Yet again, the fact that participants of dialogue can reference back to the original intent suggests a move like that from structure back out into its spirit. So the eightsome is the sufficient structure for that self-extrication from structure.) - I think of vital importance is the division of everything into seven perspectives, it is I suppose the "general structure" that relates the others. I will write more about this. Basically it is the right size for describing our "intuition" that we live within. I hope to be able to show how the human perspective (the sixsome) can go beyond itself (as God does) into the sevensome (and live as a person in general). And the sevensome is closely related to the eightsome in which it is embedded. I also think the idea that the sevensome expresses "modes of change" makes good sense.
Tony, I appreciate your thoughts. But most vital for my understanding of your work is, I think, to understand what you mean by your most basic levels: the second, the third, and the fourth. For me they are:
Twosome: 1) I am therefore I am (all things are the same) 2) I am not, yet even so I am (opposites coexist)
Threesome: 1) I understand myself (taking a stand) 2) I am figuring myself out (following through) 3) I am understood by myself (reflecting)
Foursome: 1) I am separated from myself by everything (why) 2) I am separated from myself by anything (how) 3) I am separated from myself by something (what) 4) I am separated from myself by nothing (whether)
Here I've listed each perspective in terms of how God thinks it (as one perspective in parallel with others, all thought in unity), and in parentheses how people think it (as one perspective thought separately from others). Note also that God distinguishes between his "I" and his "self", which is to say, between his spirit and his structure (everything). Whereas people conflate the two, and don't distinguish between their "I" and their "self".
You seem to be working in a broader sense, allowing for less than genuine intents (or perhaps allowing for intents that are not without motive). Even more so, these have the outlook of God the gamemaster rather than human the player. These are the outlooks of those who set the rules for the game.
Here is my attempt at relating your work to mine (I include your definitions at the bottom of my letter):
Level 2: God asks, "What else should I be doing?" - he takes up the challenge of whether he is even if he is not? 2.1) Spirit goes beyond itself: hence structure is declared in opposition to spirit. (I am therefore I am) 2.2) Engenderment of denial. (I am not, yet even so I am).
Level 3: God asks, "Would it make any difference?" - he recognizes himself when he arises from nonbeing. He is in the recognizer (Father), the recognizing (Son), and the recognized (Spirit). 3.1) There is a clear and unbroken affirmation of being God. (I understand) 3.2) Outside of that, there is an arisal of being God, which thus creates an opposing tension. (I am understanding) 3.3) But they both have God within them, which is what integrates them. (I am understood).
Level 4: God asks, "What do I have control over?" - he realizes that somebody else might be in his situation, yet not be God. This would happen if that person didn't distinguish his "I" from his "self" (this is related to the "knowledge of good and evil"). So God considers what separates his "I" from his "self": everything, anything, something or nothing. 4.1) Understanding everything - the unbounded knowledge - a dominant "I". (God is separated from himself by everything)(why). 4.2) Understanding anything - the bounded knowledge - a sub-dominant "I". (God is separated from himself by anthing)(how) 4.3) Understanding something - the bounded ignorance - bounded inadequacy of "I". (God is separated from himself by something)(what) 4.4) Understanding nothing - the unbounded ignorance - unbounded inadequacy of "I". (God is separated from himself by nothing = doesn't realize he is God, doesn't distinguish his "I" and his "self")(whether).
In summary, in order to understand you, I think I need to consider the division of everything as a framework that a spirit (such as God) takes up and lives through dynamically.
Tony and all, I appreciate your thoughts.
Anthony Judge - presumed copyright http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs/level20.php#06
Level #02 : Opposition/Disagreement (index)
2.1 New initiatives, including this one, are formulated by taking and establishing a particular position in opposition to whatever is conceived as potentially denying it. The nature of the initiative is partly determined by the way in which the challenge or initial absence of any opposing position is perceived and the possible nature of the response. It is the immediacy with which the challenge is perceived that empowers the initiative.
2.2 The taking of a position as a result of a new initiative engenders or activates a formulation which is its denial. Every formulation is therefore necessarily matched by an initiative which is incompatible with it, or opposed to it, or takes an essentially different direction from it. This opposition is fundamentally unmediated and as such cannot be observed or described. It can only be comprehended through identification with one of the opposed positions.
Level #03 : Dialectic synthesis (index)
3.1 A form, through the affirmation of its existence, exerts pressure in response to its context which acts as an impulse for the continual transformation of the latter. As antecedent of any such transformation, it subjects any outcome to constraints. Tothe extent that the nature of the pressure on its context is unrecognized, any action initiated is distorted or unregulated in its impact on the context.
3.2 A form existing in the present stands in opposition to other pre-existing forms within the same context. As a result it is constrained by them to be of the necessary scale and proportion to oppose the pre-existing forms most dynamically. Within a given context, however, an opposing form of a particular type may be engendered which has been superseded in other co-present contexts. Forms corresponding to different stages of development may thus re-emerge and co-exist if the communication between contexts is obstructed in any way. To the extent that ignorance concerning this obstruction prevails, contexts become progressively more restricted, such that the dynamism of the opposition of the forms engendered within them diminished with a corresponding increase in the inertia or resistance associated with the least developed forms.
3.3 Opposition between two forms tends to give rise to a new form which has properties characteristic of both of them as well as new mediating properties unique to itself. The new form interrelates or harmonizes the original opposing forms. It reconciles them at a new level of expression of unity, whether or not they then disappear. The potential existence of the new form is therefore partially implicit (although incomplete) in each of the opposing forms prior to its generation. It thus functions as a stimulus or attractant by providing a pattern for their interaction and the organization of its outcome. Once created, the form will in its own turn prove inadequate and be opposed and superseded by more adequate forms whose nature it partially defines. The attraction of a particular form may however prevent the energetic development of this process.
Level #04 : Developmental interaction (index)
4.1 In a set of forms, one form acquires a dominant status at any one time. As such it establishes the formal pattern of relationships between other forms by observing and distinguishing their elements, and interpreting their significance. Any infringement of this monopoly of power is met by a conscious reaction on the part of those associated with it who strive for position within the framework it supplies. (Compare with Absolute perspective and Understanding)
4.2 In a set of forms, one or more forms acquire a recessive or sub-dominant status at any one time. As such they are characterized by both minimal inherent organization and high inertial resistance to transformation. Any attempt to change those associated with such forms is met by unconscious reaction. (Compare with Relative perspective and Self-understanding)
4.3 In a set containing a dominant and a dominated form, the pattern of relationships governed by the dominant form proves progressively more inadequate as a framework for handling the accumulation of new information and experience. Inconsistencies, contradictions and incompleteness gradually accumulate and become increasingly apparent as conditions change. The dominant form alone does not contain the variety to encompass and control thecomplex conditions to which it is exposed. The value of the recessive or inferior form becomes correspondingly apparent by contrast. The unconscious or impulsive actions of those associated with both forms serve merely to aggravate the condition and to highlight the absence of a form providing any adequate sense of direction or functional orientation for the whole. (Compare with Shared perspective and SharedUnderstanding)
4.4 In a set containing a dominant and an inferior form, and characterized by contradictions, adequate control is usually maintained through the momentum of working processes governed by the dominant form. Any deviation is corrected by a conscious integrative action on the part of those associated with that form. As the contradictions cease to be held in restraint in this way, the source of control is effectively transferred from the dominant form to the inferior form which thus emerges to take its place. To the extent that this transfer of control is resisted, the change is likely to be violent rather than smooth. (Compare with Subordinate perspective and GoodUnderstanding)
Andrius: My impression here is that we're considering a perverted situation where a perspective has exalted itself as dominant - and this causes problems - but reproduces a structure that arises naturally if we start with a truly dominant perspective, God's - whereas this here is a description of a perverted dynamic that apparently arises from social systems.