Chapter 1 Introduction to Fuzziology
Chapter 2 Bridging the Study of Complexity with Social Fuzziology
Chapter 3 Understanding Fuzziness of Ourselves
Chapter4 Understanding Fuzziness of Sociaty
Chapter1 Introduction to Social Fuzziology
I do not
insist that my argument is right in all other respects, but
I would contend at all costs both in word and deed as far as I could that
we will be better men, braver and less idle, if we believe that one must search for the things
that one does not know, rather than if we believe that it is not possible
to find out what we do not know and that we must not look for it.
1.1 The Basic Postulate of Fuzziology
In a broad sense, fuzziness is the opposite of precision. Everything that cannot be defined precisely (that is, according to some broadly accepted criteria or norms of precision) and everything that has no clearly described boundaries in space or time is considered a bearer of fuzziness. In a narrow sense, fuzziness relates to the definition of fuzzy sets as proposed by Zadeh (Zadeh, 1965): sets, the belongingness to which is measured by a membership function whose values are between 1 (full belongingness) and 0 (non-belongingness).
Mathematics has developed powerful tools for studying and dealing with fuzziness - uncertainty, imprecision, vagueness - that researchers encounter when accumulating facts in different fields of their inquiry. Advanced methods of probability theory and mathematical statistics, probabilistic reasoning and Bayesian networks, rough sets and fuzzy logic help researchers not only describe and explain fuzziness, but also reduce it and, if possible, eliminate from their experimental findings, theoretical statements and practical solutions. Science always strives for precise, valid and reliable results; so does any purposeful action, any reason-based activity.
Fuzziology is not another mathematical study of fuzziness, and social fuzziology is not another field of application of fuzzy logic.
In the focus of fuzziology is fuzziness inherent in what we know about ourselves, about the sources and nature of our experience, of our thoughts and feelings, drives for understanding and urges to create and realise our potential. This kind of fuzziness is at the core of our existence, at the essence of our humanness; therefore, it affects any field of human activity, be it mathematical study of fuzzy equations and fuzzy integrals or engineering design and implementation of fuzzy logic-based methodologies, fuzzy control systems and fuzzy robots.
Fuzziness studied by fuzziology is not 'over there', not in an outer world separated from us, but in the inner world of our own experience, in the 'swarm' of our thoughts and ideas, emotions and feelings, beliefs and dreams. We see and understand as much from the outer world - the world in which we live - as we have already developed inside us while learning how to enrich our experience, hone our awareness, expand our consciousness and strengthen our capacity to sense, think, create and know.
The basic postulate of fuzziology is simple: Our understanding and knowing grow from within us and cannot be implanted or imposed from without. Human understanding and knowing are self-organising processes; and any self-organising process in nature works from inside out. The universe expands due to forces that emerge from inside of its whirling dynamics. Every single seed grows from inside when the outer conditions do not impede but stimulate this growth; so does our understanding. It expands and grows from inside following the inner urge to know when there are conditions in the external world nourishing this urge and facilitating its realization. So, there is a role for human society to play - not to impede our inner drive for wisdom, but to encourage its outward fulfilment.
Our perceptions of reality, our experience of the events of life, our thinking and feeling, understanding and knowing are deeply rooted in the life of society and its development; we are simultaneously creators and products of society. The processes of our understanding and knowing are social in their origin and nature. So is the fuzziness imbedded in them. Therefore we refer to fuzziology as social fuzziology.
1.2 The Approach of Fuzziology
1.2.1 Dynamic Character of Fuzziness
Fuzziness is inherent in our perception of reality and in every kind of activity based on this perception, such as experiencing and making sense of the events of life, feeling and responding emotionally (while involved in communication with one another, with nature and with ourselves), thinking and speaking, learning and understanding, knowing, acting and creating.
When developing its approach to study fuzziness, fuzziology acknowledges its dynamic character and makes an emphasis on the following four points:
* Fuzziness has its sources and supporters, causes and effects, activators that increase it and make it denser and thicker, inhibitors that decrease it and make it rarer and thinner, exposers that make it easily recognisable and obscurer that make it hidden and hard to be disclosed.
* Fuzziness has its own dynamics - forces and energies that make it move, change, evolve and transform, and its own carriers that are either immaterial like thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions, longings, beliefs, dreams, aspirations, energy fields and spaces, or embodied in concrete human actions, in specific non-animated and animated forms, in discernible experiential events, in various kinds of signs and omens, phenomena and processes, human-created products and machines.
* Fuzziness is able to self-organise into dynamic patterns with boundaries that can become rigid and hard-to-surpass or soft and easy-to-permeate, to form attractors or repellers in the experiential or mental space of the individuals, to structure into layers (levels) of fuzziness going deeper into one's thoughts and feelings, or into whirlpools (vortices) of mental, emotional or spiritual energy producing creative forces - powerful individual urges and drives - that enable fuzziness to transcend the boundaries of its dynamic patterns, to move from one level to another, from one attractor to another, from an individual to another.
* Fuzziness can never be fully eliminated from the human perception of reality and experience of life - from our thinking and feeling, from our understanding and knowing.
The fuzziness and uncertainty are identical in their meaning, if the uncertainty is considered as embedded in human perception of reality. If the uncertainty is seen as something outside human ability to perceive, to experience, to understand and know, as something that exists ëover-thereí, in the 'objectiveí world that surrounds us, then uncertainty has another connotation than fuzziness. Fuzziness is a human characteristic, and not a characteristic intrinsic to an external object. Our knowledge about an external object can be fuzzy (vague, uncertain, ambiguous, obscure), but the object by itself has nothing fuzzy in its existence. The object is what the natural or human-created dynamics - forces, energies, substances and forms, which act upon it and express through its current appearance - have made it.
At the moment when we consciously direct our attention towards an external object, the object 'enters' into the realm of our fuzziness - the fuzziness of our perception: experiencing, feeling, thinking, understanding, knowing, acting. We call this operation of including an external object into our fuzziness interiorisation, in analogy with Bakhtin's operation under the same name, proposed to define the process of appropriation a story by people who together create it when involved in a common dialogue (Morson and Emerson, 1989). After the interiorisation, the subject (the perceiver, the 'experiencer', the thinker, the knower, the actor) and the object (of perception, experience, understanding, knowing, acting) stop to be separated; they are linked at-one by the dynamics of the subject's fuzziness.
1.2.2 The Bootstrapping Algorithm
The approach of fuzziology is entirely centred in the self-referential nature of the process of human understanding.
For us to understand an object (a phenomenon, a process, an experiential event, ourselves, society) means to go beyond the limits of our own fuzziness related to what we understand and know about this object. But in order to move beyond the fuzziness of our understanding, the only tool we can use is again our own understanding with the same fuzziness that is embedded in it. So the process of understanding is a kind of realisation of a bootstrapping algorithm in the human mind, that is, seeding or facilitating emergence of conditions which helps one's own fuzziness to pull itself by its own bootstraps and moves to another level. The realisation of such a bootstrapping algorithm becomes possible because the fuzziness is dynamic - it moves: shrinks and expands, accelerates and slows, hardens or softens, transforms and transcends its own dynamic patterns.
By studying our own fuzziness - its dynamic nature, sources, causes and factors which effect its motion, we are able to succeed in the activating of bootstrapping algorithms and help fuzziness transcend itself and move to another level.
The levels of fuzziness correspond to the levels of our capacity for understanding, to the levels of our consciousness. To say that the fuzziness has moved to another level means that the process of our understanding has moved to another level also, and what was fuzzy and incomprehensible for the mind at the level, from where the fuzziness has pulled itself, has become clear and comprehensible. Of course, this does not mean that there is no more fuzziness in our understanding, that we have won the battle with the fuzziness and succeeded to extinguish it once and for all. Not at all!
The fuzziness is 'alive' - full of vigour and potential to become denser and to expand wider, but its dynamics are 'whirling' at another level. One can call the new level 'higher' or 'deeper', it does not matter; what matters is that one's understanding has become deeper, that one's consciousness has been expanded to a higher level, that the limitations, which fuzziness used to impose on one's thinking at the previous level, have been transcended. The inquiring mind will soon encounter the limitations that the fuzziness will bring with at the new level of its evolving dynamics, so that to challenge the mind to explore it further and make it move again.
1.2.3 Paradox of Fuzziology
What is important in applying the approach of fuzziology is that we do not need to fight with the fuzziness of our understanding in order to eliminate it. To eliminate fuzziness would be equivalent to stop developing our ability to perceive, experience, think, feel, understand, know and act, as the fuzziness is inseparable from each and all of these vital processes.
The same motivation and urges, which support the self-organisation of the human consciousness, support the self-organisation of the fuzziness - its ability to expand, shrink or 'pull itself by its own bootstraps'. The dynamics of the fuzziness inherent in one's understanding are, at the same time, dynamics of this very process of understanding, as understanding means nothing but overcoming (going beyond, transcending) the limitations of fuzziness that is embedded in this understanding, in its motion, changes and evolution.
How easy it would be, if it were possible to separate the fuzziness from the process of understanding, to isolate it and then either to eliminate or keep it in captivity, while victoriously moving outside its boundaries. Unfortunately, this is impossible! The fuzziness permeates the whole process of one's understanding and not only it, it permeates one's whole life, experience and consciousness.
The more we try to push fuzziness in one only region in our mental space - the space of our thoughts and ideas, or in our experiential space - the space where the trajectories of our lives unfold, the wider and denser its unexpected emergence in other regions.
When we create (seed, facilitate) conditions to energise and strengthen - broaden and deepen - the process of one's understanding, we simultaneously create conditions to energise the fuzziness dissolved in this process. Here lays the greatest paradox of fuzziology, no matter whether it is focused on studying the fuzziness of a single individual or the fuzziness of the society as a whole.
The higher the impetus to grow and evolve in consciousness, the more vigorous the expression of the fuzziness inherent in this growth and evolvement.
This paradox propels the development and application of the approach of fuzziology ? an approach of:
* exploring the sources, nature, dynamics, causes and effects of the human fuzziness;
* not fighting with the fuzziness, but trying to grasp its self-organising (bootstrapping) dynamics and to 'nudge gently' from within, in an almost unnoticeable manner. Such kind of 'gentleness' and 'secrecy' is necessary in order not to provoke the emergence of undesirable psychological reactions of resistance to changes in the human mind, which are inevitable if there are well-established dynamic patterns of fuzziness in one's understanding and knowing (unfortunately, such patterns are always present in the human minds).
* activating the realisation of bootstrapping algorithms in human understanding by stimulating emergence of conditions that helps fuzziness 'pull itself by its own bootstraps', withdraw its limitations from a certain level of development of oneís capacity to think, feel and experience, and then move to another level.
The above-formulated paradox puts emphasis on the significance of the practical realisation of the approach of fuzziology; each step in expanding its field of realisation has a greater value, as it deals with fuzziness of more potent nature.
At the same time, the paradox acts in favour of increasing the applicative power of the approach of fuzziology: the more 'virile' the fuzziness, the greater its capacity to transcend itself. This is of primal importance for the evolution of the human thinking - for deepening of our understanding and expanding of our consciousness.
The paradox of fuzziology requires a high level of alertness at every stage of development of our consciousness to avoid absolutizing of what is considered known. According to the paradox of fuzziology, one can expect that the higher the level of consciousness (that is, the wiser the individual), the easier the fuzziness can pull itself from that level, and yet it is clear that efforts need to be applied and conscious actions to be undertaken for this to happen. Otherwise the fuzziness cannot be made move, no matter how high is its self-organising potential.
Let us apply the approach of fuzziology to explore the nature and sources of the fuzziness around the motives for the US to initiate a war against Afghanistan in November 2001. Officially, the war was characterised as a 'war against terrorism', with an immediate aim to capture Osama bin Laden and destroy his terrorist organisation al Qaida.
At the first level of the fuzziness around the motives for this war, we were prepared to almost immediately justify the war as an act of revenge (in the spirit of the rule: 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth') against the terrorist attacks that killed more than three thousands people in New York and Washington.
Now, when the war is over and more facts and evidences are accumulated to strengthen the capacity of our understanding, we ask ourselves: what this war really was aiming at? As any, the war caused the death of many people, not only soldiers but innocent people also, in Afghanistan - one of the world's poorest country, where more than 8 millions people have been forced from their homes by draught and civil war. The war put an end of the Taliban regime and a new interim government was formed. Osama bin Laden was not captured and the world terrorism was not destroyed, as the war had absolutely nothing to do with the removal of the deep social and economic roots and sources of the terrorism, nourished by today's monstrous power differential. The huge economic contrasts in society, the unsurpassable gaps of the ever-growing social inequalities and the inability of the poor countries and the marginalised social and ethnic minorities to resist the devastating effects of the global capitalist establishment on their economies and culture, on their urges for self-expression and independence are among the strongest catalysts of the terrorism all around the world - in the South and North America, in the Western Europe and Russia, in the Middle-East and Africa.
It was a 'war on terror' at an entirely superficial level only - war concerned with the effects and not with the causes of the terrorism. The overthrow of the Taliban government did not contribute much for weakening of the global terrorist network or making the world order more democratic. There are many countries with political rulers even worse than the Talibans. The social policy of the government of Saudi Arabia - a country considered a friend of the US - does not differ much from the policy of the Taliban leaders, and yet the US has no intention to overthrow the regime in the Saudi Arabia. The oil of that country has a much greater significance for the US than the suppression of the human rights there, particularly, the rights of the women.
When the fuzziness of our understanding moves and self-organises, based on more real-life material and contemplation, we may recall that in Afghanistan during the 1970s, with the support of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan - countries that could hardly be called democratic - Washington encouraged the creation of Islamic detachments recruited in the Arab-Islamic world and made up of what was called 'freedom fighters' at that time. As it is well known now, that was the environment in which the CIA enlisted and trained Osama Bin Laden, so the latter was prepared as terrorist entirely by the US (Ramonet, 2001).
At the next level of the evolving dynamics of the fuzziness in our understanding of the war in Afghanistan, we may bring into consideration the previous attacks of the US on the Muslim world, such like Clinton's bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext - bombing that destroyed half its pharmaceutical supplies and probably killed tens of thousands of people (no one knows, because any inquiry at the UN into that event was blocked by the US), attacks on Iraq and Libya, which caused the death of innocent people, just to 'give lessons' to the governments of these countries (as they were officially explained). The US is the key military supporter to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory and to the suppression of the Palestinian people's endeavour for freedom and independence. The US embargo against Iraq continues, causing the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians while preserving the regime in power. Before 1989, in the years of the could war, the US was actively involved in a crusade against communism in the Islamic world. Sometimes that resulted in mass extermination: thousands of communists killed in Iran; almost 1m communists killed in Indonesia. So there are certainly reasons for the people of the Islamic world to hold hostile feelings towards the US politics.
The bootstrapping algorithm of the fuzziness in our understanding of the war in Afghanistan is significantly facilitated when one becomes aware of the gigantic appetite of the Texas petrol companies - the most powerful supporters of the President G. W. Bush administration - for the resources of oil located in the Caspian region. The huge oil treasure of that region its extremely high qualities irresistibly keeps attracting the economic interests of the petrol magnates in the US for a long time. The US government cannot but act as an armed militia for the richest corporations in this country, otherwise the US Presidents would have no chance to be 'freely' elected or to make their decisions work (the 2001 election campaign of the president Bush cost 200 millions dollars!). The thirst of the US petrol giants for an ever-greater economic power might have had the ultimate word in the declaration of the first war conflict in the new millennium. Everything else - all that meaningless fuzzy charisma of the official speeches about saving the world from terrorism, bringing the terrorists to justice, defending freedom and democracy, helping the people in the US and the poor countries in the world - was nothing but a brainwash to 'fuzzify' and delude people's understanding.
The war in Afghanistan had almost zero effects on preventing the emergence of new acts of terrorism and new Osmana-Bin-Ladens in the world, but it has perfectly served the insatiable thirst for military and economic power of the producers of advanced military tools for killing and for the petrol giants in the US.
It needs to be noted that the application of the approach of fuzziology for understanding a particular event, phenomenon or process has never an absolute ending; it is ready to take into account consideration of new facts and developments as they appear and unfold.
1.3 The Project of Social Fuzziology
Social fuzziology explores fuzziness in our understanding of society and ourselves as its creators and products at the same time. ëSocietyí is not simply an object out there, to be understood well or badly through theories and categories. Society is a co-constructed object, a collective but not necessarily consensual set of meanings, expectations, roles and duties constraining the actions of self and others, as agents and affected participants, on-goingly created by interactions over time that are mediated through kinds of communication, which always appears to some extent fuzzy to the human mind. ëSocietyí in this sense exists as a network of fuzzy images, sustained by human thought and action. Society itself does not exist outside these processes. A group of human bodies is not a society, and without reference to these processes we cannot understand what any society does, as an entity or as an effect on actions and behaviours of individuals who compose it.
1.3.1 Science and Art of Social Fuzziology
The constant interplay of human dynamics at the three major scales of their manifestation: individual (intrapersonal dynamics), social (interpersonal dynamics) and existential (universal dynamics), results in emergence of spinning webs and whirlpools of social interactions, which constantly reproduce forces and energies to strengthen or weaken the self-propelling capacity of these dynamics. There are so many intricately interwoven factors and conditions engaged in the realisation of this capacity, that it is nonsensical to look for or to apply precise descriptions and definitions when explaining or dealing with their infinite, in number and diversity, embodiments.
Fuzziness has a crucial presence in our knowledge about ourselves and society. It is present or denied to different degrees in different theories of society (sociology, politics, history etc.) so the recognition of the role of fuzziness in any theory becomes a part of the evaluation of its adequacy. It is also present in the minds of social agents - politicians, prophets, advertisers, heads of media organisations, managers of companies and corporations, heads of academic departments, and also in members of the public, concerned citizens and activists, parents, children, lovers, friends. Everyone develops and internalises one or more theories of politics and society to live by. Everyone is a practical social theorist, and the theories they act on are always, to a greater or less extent, devices to deal with the fuzziness of human knowing as it constitutes society and social processes.
ëSocial fuzziologyí is a science concerned with social phenomena, so it can be classified as one of the social sciences. In theory as in practice, this could be a damagingly limited way of treating it, if it means that scientists and engineers come to think that it does not concern their core expertise. Engineering and scientific decisions are always taken in the light of assumptions and understandings, explicit and implicit, well-grounded or not, about the social, natural and constructed world which cannot be isolated from science or engineering problems, and the consequences of particular solutions.
Social fuzziology is also a form of art - the art of coping with fuzziness inherent in human knowing, the art of searching for meaning while stuck to apparently irrational life trajectories - trajectories that inevitably approach death and physical disintegration.
1.3.2 Awareness of Life as It Unfolds
The fuzziness in our understanding of society has roots in the self-referential nature of our awareness of human dynamics. It is an awareness of what happens inside and outside us as a living movement in which we are also included, without fixing it or standing apart from it. It is an awareness of life as it unfolds through each of us, through our society and through the universe, a profound awareness of human dynamics working within us.
Such kind of awareness is something fundamentally different from mere observing, fixing and comprehending social processes as if they are 'over there', that is, outside of the observers' mind. In becoming aware about the social processes, our experience and understanding of them remain inseparably connected with the innermost nature of each of us, and gradually (or suddenly) transform one's individuality while taking hold of it.
Therefore, to grasp the fuzziness of our social experience, of what we know and understand about society, meansto grasp the fuzziness of one's unique individual experience, of one's own knowledge about oneself. This kind of fuzziness changes - moves, evolves, transforms - together with the changes - movement, evolution and transformation of each of us.
When fuzziness moves, transforms and evolves, we have a greater chance to see more of its limitless embodiments and thus to sharpen our awareness about:
* the dynamics of our inner nature
* the webs and whirlpools of our social interactions
* he evolving dynamics of the natural environment and our vital inseparability from them
* the ways in which the life-supporting rhythm manifests through us and the environment
* the creative power of our inspiration and intuition
* the enigma of the spiritual continuity of existence.
Social fuzziology digs into fuzziness of our understanding of all these phenomena as they cross our inner being while responding to the turbulent dynamics of social life in which no individual, no group or nation or species is ever autonomous, ever able to understand one's own destiny in isolation.
1.4 Socrates' Wisdom at the Origin of Fuzziology
I know that I know not
1.4.1 Meno's Paradox
In Platoís Meno Socrates explores what has been called Meno's paradox of learning:
If we don't know what X is, how can we recognize it?
If we can't recognize X, how can we learn what X is?
Socratesí discussion developed Meno's paradox into a more general paradox of human inquiry:
We know what X is. (Then we are not motivated to inquire into what X is.)
We don't know what X is. (Then we are motivated to inquire, but are frustrated by the paradox, since we cannot recognize instances of X, or what X is in general, to find out what X is.)
Discussions of Menoís paradox typically turn it into a proposition issued by a master (Plato or Socrates). In fact Platoís text describes an incident which dramatises processes of inquiry and proof. This social context is not mere decoration. It provides information for a social form of the paradox, which is crucial for social fuzziology.
The chief character debating with Socrates in the dialogue is Anytus, a historical character of great importance in Socratesí life. He was a leader of the ëdemocraticí party in the Athenian assembly which overthrew ëthe Thirtyí, a tyrannical oligarchy who ruled Athens briefly in the chaotic years at the end of Athensí disastrous war with Sparta which was the death-knell of Athens as an independent state. He was also the leading force in the Assembly who moved and successfully argued against Socrates on the grounds of ëimpietyí, as a result of which Socrates was condemned to death. The context implies:
Menoís paradox is not simply an academic argument, it was seen as a threat to the state. Socratesís ëproofí of his proposition took the form of an interrogation of a slave boy about geometry, in which Socratesí careful questions brought out mathematical knowledge from the boy he did not know he knew, ëout of himselfí.
Anytus, democrat and politician, did not like this argument, which was too democratic (Athenian democracy did not extend to slaves). He successfully accused Socrates of ëcorrupting the youngí by teaching them ënoveltiesí. In this case the ëyoungí was a slave, and the novelty he was taught was that mathematics is comprehensible to someone without formal education.
1.4.2 Socrates' Approach
Socrates' approach to Meno's paradox of learning included four steps: (1) generating hypotheses; (2) testing the hypotheses against examples; (3) philosophic examination of the hypotheses; (4) drawing out implications for learning and inquiring further.
Socratesí approach was a double-edged weapon. While examining what people (important men like Anytus) consider as known, Socrates draws out implications and asks questions that may lead them to contradiction (incoherence), circularity (presupposing what is at issue), infinite regress or other violations of epistemic norms. The same process addressed to the supposedly ignorant, like the slave boy, shows the opposite - that they may implicitly understand far more than they are credited with.
The trial of Socrates was full of paradoxes. Socrates, one of the most virtuous men who has ever lived, was convicted of ëimpietyí and corrupting the young. His accuser was a 'sincere democrat' who found Socratesí freedom of thought and speech intolerable. Socrates contributed to the death penalty by refusing to ask for mercy or mitigation, claiming instead he should be rewarded by being given the freedom of the city, which was true but so angered his potential supporters that they swung to the other side. Nothing happened as it ought to have, according to common logic, but exactly the opposite.
The chaotic situation produced two paradoxes: one of the most unjust legal decisions in recorded history, one of the greatest insights into the paradoxes of human knowing.
The approach used by Socrates made him aware of the following famous paradox: The less we know, the more certain and precise we are in our explanations; the more we know, the more we realise the limitations of being certain and precise.
Although Socratesí wisdom was incomparably deeper and broader than the transitory knowledge of his contemporaries, he used to say with a proverbial humility: "I know that I know not." The awareness that "I know not" made Socrates capable of revealing the gaps in the ëpreciseí and ëcertainí knowledge of his opponents. When the Athenians went to the famous Delphic Oracle to ask who was the wisest man in Athens, the answer of the Oracle was "Socrates". "But how can he be the wisest if he permanently tells us that he knows not," responded the crowd. "That is why he is the wisest among you," was the answer of the Oracle.
The acknowledgment of the fuzziness in human knowledge serves a stimulus for a lifelong inquiry and search for truth and wisdom; and it is this search that makes human life meaningful.
Meno's paradox and the paradox of Socrates are at the conceptual basis of fuzziology.
1.4.3 Maieutic Inquiry
Maieutic inquiry (from the Greek word maieutikos, which means 'midwifery') is a method developed by Socrates; Socrates used to call himself a midwife who would bring about the birth of new ideas in people. The method implies asking people questions so that to draw knowledge out of them - a knowledge that, according to Socrates, they already have (Taylor, 2001).
Maieutic inquiry is based on the famous Socratic axioms that
* unexamined life is not worth living, and
* human knowing is limitless.
The practical realisation of maieutic inquiry is through a dialogue between two sides - one asking questions (the inquirer), and the other (the respondent) trying to answer them based on available pieces of knowledge. Both sides are interested in the process of inquiry: the respondent - to confirm the significance of the available knowledge, the inquirer - to reveal its limits and thus to facilitate emergence of new insights. If such an emergence occurs, the inquirer and the respondent move together beyond the limits of what was considered known by them before initiating the process of inquiry.
Socrates was convinced that one can always generate questions which push the boundaries of what is assumed to be known; so these boundaries are never fixed. Every time when the known is locked into patterns with rigid (non-fuzzy, crisp) boundaries, it tends to become a dogma, and the dogma is not knowledge any more. The fuzziness of the boundaries of any domain of human knowing is a vital condition for its evolution and transformation. This was revealed by the wisdom of Socrates more than 2400 years ago. And not only this.
For Socrates the known appeared as a symbiosis - the Greek word for "co-existing" - of many qualities, the process of understanding of which could be deepened without limits. Such qualities always escape precise definitions, and therefore appear fuzzy to human mind. In maieutic inquiry these are 'individual' and 'social', 'subjective' and 'objective', 'internal' and 'external', 'concrete' and 'abstract', 'rational' and 'intuitive', 'partial' and 'holistic', 'local' and 'global', etc.
It was clear for Socrates, as it was for Pythagoras 150 years before him, that human beings must strive, at any cost, to understand the enigma of spiritual continuity of existence. What does this mean?
First of all, the great thinkers of the Ancient Greece believed that human life does not finish with death. People can be fully aware of real-life events, the experience of which proves that there are qualities in human nature that survive body's disintegration. If one cannot succeed in reaching such a degree of awareness, life appears entirely meaningless - we come to life in order to die after a while, or create offspring destined to die also.
"Life which moves towards death, how can it be called life?" asked the ancient thinkers and answered: "Life that implies death is a hidden death, not life." It must have been hard for Socrates's wisdom to accept that nature could approve such a meaningless life for humans endowed with a gigantic capacity to explore and understand both themselves and the universe. He must have been convinced that humans are exponents of a much greater Life extended beyond its physical manifestation only. But it must have been clear for him also that human awareness of spiritual continuity of life does not come automatically. Its awakening needs efforts - genuine and persistent efforts on behalf of the whole triad of one's body, mind and soul supported by devotion and determination to reveal the immortal essence of Life before the moment of death of the physical body.
Fuzzy as it might appear from the standpoint of our science today, the exploration of spiritual continuity of life was at the core of Socrates' self-inquiry into this greatest enigma of human existence, and his famous: "I know that I know not" reflects the soundless mystery of this enigma. Maybe it was Socrates' understanding of spiritual continuity of life that made him categorically reject the suggestion to ask for mercy when unjustly accused by the society in Athens - a society full of envy, hatred, stupidity and ignorance. How far was (and continues to be) any society from understanding individuals whose thinking is miles ahead the average 'they-say' fuzziness of thinking of the colourless majority in society and its senseless rulers or leaders!
Being a method for exploring fuzziness of human knowledge and thus facilitating, trough the skill of maieuticos, the 'birth' of new insights, the maieutic inquiry of Socrates is used in the research practice of Social Fuzziology.
184.108.40.206 Conditions Enhancing Maieutic Inquiry
Maieutic inquiry depends essentially on the active interaction of the inquirer and respondent. This kind of inquiry does not represent a problem-solving process; the both sides do not search how to eliminate fuzziness from what they label as 'known' and 'unknown' about the issue(s) of their concern. Fuzziness is an intrinsic characteristic of human knowing and cannot be eliminated from any stage of its evolving. It is rather a kind of dialogue which helps the sides dissolve the impediments on the way to their understanding of the discussed issue(s) and thus loosening the knots into which they might have entangled themselves consciously or unconsciously by their prejudices, fix ideas, borrowed solutions and delusions.
The interactions of sides involved in maieutic inquiry aim at liberating their creative potential from the pull of forces born out of human egocentricity and egotism, blind attachments and addictions, social brainwash or power-based manipulations - forces able to convert fuzziness of knowing into hard-to-surpass ignorance.
The dialogue of maieutic inquiry unites rather than separates the dialoguing sides, and makes them act at-one when dealing with the limits of known.
Among the conditions that facilitate emergence of creative insights in an open maieutic dialogue are:
* thirst for understanding and knowing;
* authenticity, that is, dropping from the mind any bias, prejudice, false pretentiousness, dogmas and ultimate 'truths';
* holistic questioning, that is, asking questions that allow the process of knowing to go deeper and broader.
The first condition - thirst for understanding and knowing - relates to the proverbial ability of Socrates to inflame his students, to fire them with such a great passion to know that nothing seemed more important for them than the search for truth, a lifelong search undertaken together with their Master.
The second condition - authenticity - relates to Socrates' humble expression that 'the only thing he knows is that he knows not', and points again to the organic connection of maieutic inquiry with social fuzziology. Socrates' expression is not only an indicator of his humility and modesty. In the ability to prevent mind from formation of rigid patterns of knowledge, and thus to keep the process of knowing in a receptive and open state of changing its fuzziness, lies the secret of a wise person. Wisdom is authentic and the words of wisdom are never precise. But what they express does not appear fuzzy for those who can understand it. On the contrary, its message is illuminating; it can 'move' minds, hearts and souls of different people, evoke meaning in different situations and stimulate people's urge to know more about themselves and reality.
The third condition - holistic questioning helps not only reveal the fuzziness in what is accepted as 'known for sure', but also make the process of knowing deeper and further, and not let it crystallise in frozen patterns in our mind. "Never stop questioning!" is the message of Socrates. Answers live only for a short time, the questioning goes forever.
220.127.116.11 Maieutic Way: From Knowledge to Wisdom
Some questions require yes-no answers (ëAre you male?í). Others are catechistic, questions to which the person asking it already knows the answer and is testing the other (ëWhat is the name of the Greek philosopher who taught Plato?'). Such questions, which are common in most education systems, are a form of training in Aristotelian logic.
Often we know the answers of the questions we ask and yet continue to put them; these are questions which imply efforts - physical, mental, emotional or spiritual - in order to fulfill what their answers require. By asking such questions ever and ever again, we try either to hide our lack of will power for realization of what they urge us to do or to deceive ourselves that we are doing something while thinking about them.
Holistic questions - the questions asked by Socrates and social fuzziology - are entirely different. They are open, dynamic and inextricably linked ultimately to the fuzziness of the whole fabric of human experience and knowledge. They are questions endowed with power to transform the fuzziness of knowledge into the illuminating - enlightening, inspiring and soul-elevating - 'preciseness' of wisdom.
Maieutic inquiry of social fuzziology can be seen as an inquiry into conditions under which knowledge can be transformed into wisdom. There are crucial differences between knowledge and wisdom.
While wisdom needs the vibrant fuzziness of human thoughts, words and actions in order to inspire and evoke their creative understanding, knowledge constantly tries to reduce the fuzziness, substitute it with precise definitions or simply get rid of it.
Knowledge can be transferred, borrowed from books and experts, imparted and taught; wisdom is non-transferable, it is a unique individual treasure accumulated while riding on the tides and ebbs of life.
Knowledge is inevitably partial, it sets boundaries, hangs labels, separates and tries to generate precision - precision that always turns out to be meaningless when dealing with spontaneity of one's life unfolding. Wisdom is holistic; it accepts the unlimited - the timeless and the infinite - and sees clearly that the precise formulas and definitions never work in life.
Below are examples of some holistic maieutic questions:
Why do we exist on this planet?
What is the purpose to be born and then die?
Is it possible to escape the death sentence that each of us was born with? How?
What is the meaning of one's life?
Where do our thoughts and feelings come from, our emotions and longings, aspirations and dreams?
What propels the life-sustaining rhythm of each person's heart?
What makes the cells and organs in the body not stray away but function in accordance?
From where come the waves of inspiration?
How do we intuit?
What does enlightenment mean?
The above questions directly zoom into the fathomless depth of our essence as creatures endowed with potential to comprehend reality.
Attempts to answer a maieutic question may lead to other questions, and their answers may fire another inquiry. The maieutic way of exploring fuzziness of human knowledge - its nature, sources and dynamics - never ends. Nor is there an end to the emergence of new insights about the truth of existence to those who, like Socrates, see the mission of their lives in revealing it.
While using the technique of maieutic inquiry, social fuzziology continues to explore the same process to which Socrates devoted his life - the process of transforming fuzziness imbedded in human knowledge into insights that springs out of human wisdom.
1.5 Principles of Fuzziology: A Social Perspective
1.5.1 Principle of Incompatibility
As the complexity of a system increases, human ability to make precise and relevant (meaningful) statements about its behaviour diminishes until a threshold is reached beyond which the precision and the relevance become mutually exclusive characteristics (Zadeh, 1973). It is then that fuzzy statements are the only bearers of meaning and relevance.
This principle was used by Zadeh for extending the applicability of his fuzzy sets theory and fuzzy logic to the analysis of complex systems. Given the high degree of complexity of all known human societies, this principle applied to social fuzziology states:
The more precise the language that sustains and describes human societies, the less socially effective (able to maintain the integrity of social relations) and the more distorting (unable to describe adequately the meaning of social forms, processes and actions). The more complex and dynamic the context of explanation, the more essential will fuzziness appear to the human understanding which constitutes and explains it.
1.5.2 Principle of Connectivity-in-Dynamics
No thing and no being can exist in itself or for itself but only in a dynamic relationship with other things and beings.
This principle relates to the integrity of existence vitally supported by universal dynamics, whose creative, sustaining or destructive powers are constantly demonstrated at different scales of the manifested world. It is through these dynamics that everything that exists, from an elementary particle to a gigantic galaxy, becomes connected in an all-embracing web of relationships.
The application of this principle to society in social fuzziology is:
Social meanings, social relations, social identities and social actions exist irreducibly in open, dynamic networks of relations.
1.5.3 Principle of Fractality
The geometry of nature is fractal and reveals itself as self-similar structures at different scales of manifestation.
This principle is at the basis of Mandelbrotís theory (Mandelbrot, 1982) of fractals and demonstrates the way self-organisation works while unfolding the complex dynamics of nature. Self-similarity is a kind of fuzzy repetition; each scale has common features with every other, and yet there are noticeable differences.
Fractals are inherent in the holistic unfolding of individual, social and existential dynamics: the macrocosm is a projection of the microcosm, onto which it projects itself; the external world of individuals is a projection of the inner world of their experience, which fractally repeats that outer world; each level of development of consciousness has similarity both with the previous (less developed) and the next (more advanced) levels and yet has its own distinguishable characteristics, its own strength and weakness.
The principle of fractality applies directly to social phenomena:
ëSocietyí has equivalent significance and complexity at every level, from the biota over billions of years to individual nations, groups, classes, down to ëindividualsí.
From a 'fractal' point of view an ëindividualí therefore is always a social form, intrinsically connected to social forms and patterns at higher levels, containing social forms and patterns within.
Ethical decisions at local levels - eg project-based, work-place based decisions - will be similar to ethical issues at higher levels, up to the scale of planet, involving humanity and all other species.
1.6 Impossibility Theorems
1.6.1 First Impossibility Theorem
It is impossible to eliminate fuzziness from any explanation that tends to make sense of
* the wholeness of the existential dynamics
* the infinity of their manifested activities.
* the immensity of their potentiality to create.
The validity of this statement follows from the first two principles of social fuzziology. According to the Principle of Connectivity, the wholeness of existence, its manifested activities and its creative potential are results of an all-embracing connectivity of everything that exists, that moves, changes and transforms in a gigantic self-organised Web of Interdependent Dynamics. According to the Principle of Incompatibility, it is impossible to offer precise and yet meaningful explanations related to the overwhelming complexity of this web. Hence, any possible explanation that makes sense of the integrity of existential dynamics, their unlimited actual or virtual appearance (as "manifested activities" or "potentiality to create") inevitably contains fuzziness.
The First Impossibility Theorem prevents fuzziology from looking for and from designing techniques to eliminate the fuzziness of our knowledge of social complexity; such techniques are hardly to be found. The fuzziness of social complexity has its deep roots in the very essence of existence - an essence whose self-propelled unfolding makes the universe "incomprehensible" to our "frail and feeble minds" - expressions used by Einstein when describing his religion.
"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe, forms my idea of God" (quoted in his New York Times obituary of April 19, 1955).
Human "frail and feeble minds" are products of the unfolding of the mysterious essence of existence. Therefore, its fuzziness is not something ëover thereí that can be objectified, rationally defined and then studied and modelled; it is deeply inside each of us and, therefore, escapes the grasp of our reasoning. It can be felt, experienced and eventually realised in life. Being out of the realm of logical formulations (no matter what kind of logic we decide to use, be it inductive, deductive, abductive, binary, multi-valued or fuzzy), the journey into the existential mystery needs ëpreparationí, in which the reasoning power of the human mind plays an important role, to co-ordinate sense impressions, perceptions, sensations, feelings and emotions into a meaningful whole.
Fuzziology acknowledges the irreducible fuzziness of human knowledge about the essence of the existential dynamics. The awareness of this fuzziness activates the potential of fuzziology in construing reality where the conscious revelation of our deep, inner experience plays the paramount role in making sense of existence, not the intellectual speculations about the outward, ëobjectiveí world as perceived through our senses. The information from our senses inevitably passes through mental and emotional filters, consciously or unconsciously established in the process of socially informed interactions. Some of these filters can irreversibly distort the sensory information to such a degree (as the result of bias and prejudice, brainwashing or propaganda, attachments and delusions) that it entirely ceases to help people navigate the social complexity of their lives.
All of these considerations apply equally to the irreducible fuzziness of human sociality. There is one important consequence for social fuzziology in its relations to the current set of disciplines which purport to describe and explain social life:
The disciplines of the social sciences as subdivided from each other and separated from the totality of the field of human knowing are inherently incapable of understanding the essence of social life, or activating creative processes of interaction. The main models, terms and categories of the social sciences, where they aspire to precision and crispness, will inevitably provide a distorted and diminished understanding of social life. They need to be 'fuzzified', that is, enrich with rooted-in-life approaches aimed not so much to explain social reality in scientific terms but rather activate creative insights for understanding and dealing with its paradoxes and enigmas.
1.6.2 Second Impossibility Theorem
It is impossible to understand and deal with fuzziness related to a higher (more developed, expanded) level of consciousness from the point of view of a less developed level.
The validity of this statement follows from the Principle of Fractality when applied to the unfolding of existential dynamics. From their manifestation at the scale of non-animated nature, described by the ancient thinkers as being built by fire, light, air, water and earth, dynamics unfold to express themselves at various scales (levels) of animated nature, at the scales of plants, animals and humans. The unfolding of these dynamics runs parallel with a self-propelled expansion and growth of complexity at each scale of manifestation. There is a stunning diversity at the level of minerals, and also at the levels of plants and animals.
The complexity at each level of existential dynamics' unfolding cannot be reduced to the complexity of the previous level: animalsí lives are of a higher order of complexity than the life of the plants, which are themselves much richer and diverse than the 'life' of minerals. When dynamics enter the human scale, it is human consciousness (as a holistic experience and awareness and knowing of our own nature and the nature of reality in which we exist and evolve) that expands and grows.
The fuzziness of knowing at each level of development of human consciousness can hardly be grasped from a lower level of consciousness. What may appear as a ëfuzzy messí for individuals with a certain level of development of their consciousness can be seen as saturated with meaning, if they exert effort and succeed in developing a higher level of awareness and intelligence, or/and in sharpening their capacity to think, feel and experience holistically, rather than solely from a more narrowly established point of view (ëworldviewí).
As the example of Platoís Meno illustrates, a mere accumulation of knowledge or degrees in education does not mean wisdom or higher levels of consciousness. The 'well educated' Anytus believed he was superior to Socrates, and far above the level of the slave boy. Yet as Socrates demonstrated, the slave boyís eager and open mind could discover a mathematical proof, when properly led by the wisdom of Socrates, while Anytusís arrogance meant he was unable to understand either the slave boy or Socrates.
Far from social elitism being an illustration of this theorem, it serves to reinforce the distinction between knowledge as an accumulation of facts, theoretical explanations and practical skill and wisdom as holistic insights into existence born while living and experiencing existential dynamics in their all-embracing integrity and infinity.
What the wisdom of Socrates could grasp was far beyond the understanding of his contemporaries. And the enigmas of life which appeared fuzzy to Socrates and kept the passion of his inquiry alive till the day he was unjustly accused and killed, quite possibly never bothered most of the Athenians at that time.
The fuzziness inherent in the deepest spiritual wisdom of the ancient Vedas, considered the oldest written text on our planet (coming to us in written form between 4000 to 6000 years ago) is almost impossible to grasp with the level of consciousness of our generations - consciousness deeply immersed in a constant pursuit of materialistic acquisitions, selfish accomplishments and anti-human manifestations of ego-centred power.
One practical message of the Second Impossibility Theorem is that the life-threatening fuzziness of all the serious ecological, economical and social problems, which todayís humanity creates, and by which more and more people are tormented, can hardly be solved using the present level of consciousness typical for the rulers of the developed capitalist 'democracies', driven by an insatiable thirst for money and pleasures, competitive advantages and power.
1.7 Social Nature of Fuzziness
1.7.1 The Double Face of Fuzziness
In writing this book we were strongly drawn to social fuzziology for ethical motives, by a desire to help the world to be a better place. We believe the current tendency to separate science and ethics has proven a dangerous mistake, an experiment which has sufficiently proven that the planet cannot survive a science and technology, a politics and economics without an ethical and spiritual dimension. In this context, recognition and use of fuzziness is an ethical act, an ethical imperative.
Yet it is also the case that fuzziness is not always good or bad, and non-fuzziness always bad or good. Ethics is not only a matter of mind, but involves soul and other strengths of human nature. Qualities of mind cannot provide the sole criteria for judgements of good and evil. At the same time, ethical systems themselves are products of human minds and judgements. They can be more or less fuzzy, more or less adequate to the complexity of other kinds of understanding of inner and outer experience. But human values like beauty, justice and love come from other sources as well. Fuzziness must be judged by ethical values outside itself, even though we may use our experience of fuzziness in our continual attempts to refine these values.
There are three principles describing the variable ethical value of fuzziness:
* there is no absolute fuzziness: it exists only in contexts and relationships to human experience and knowledge, thinking and speaking, feeling and acting, etc. at a particular moment;
* fuzziness is always in a dynamic state, and finds value in its direction and momentum not just in its particular position;
* fuzzily expressed contexts, relations and tendencies have ethical value that grows out of the totality of life.
Fuzziness is a treasure, and the fuzziness of our thinking is inseparable from our joy in creativity. Attempts to crush this fuzziness in individuals or in whole populations are tantamount to killing life itself, and killing life is surely wrong. Yet it is also the case that to attempt to understand a situation or problem that is experienced as too complex, by generating less fuzzy solutions can be immensely creative. The opposite response, to simply accept an amorphous fuzzy understanding, can be passive and lacking insight.
We can capture this doubleness in the form of two contrary propositions
* creativity and insight can be powerfully released by trusting fuzziness of mind;
* creativity and understanding can be unleashed by an energetic journey of understanding from greater to less fuzziness, especially through journeys that go forwards, into transcendence of fuzziness, not backwards, to its denial.
To illustrate the complementarity of these two propositions in relation to fuzzy logic as developed in engineering contexts: applying principles of fuzziology to fuzzy logic can restore its creativity and explanatory potential, while applying fuzzy logic to social complexity without renouncing that complexity could be stimulating and productive.
1.7.2 Fuzziness and Power
Human social relations are characterised by effects of power - acts of domination and resistance in complex forms. Social fuzziology needs to be always alert to effects on ethics and truth of interrelations between power and fuzziness. In general there is an inverse relation between power and the value of fuzziness: where social relations are strongly determined by power, fuzziness becomes delusive fuzziness, and non-fuzziness becomes dogmatism.
There are many examples of this proposition. For instance in the first year of his Presidency, George Bush promoted two proposals, one which seemed to welcome fuzziness too much, the other to respect it too little. He opposed the Kyoto Protocol to control greenhouse gas emissions, then close to finalisation, on the grounds that there were some ëdoubtsí about the exact extent of global warming and the contribution of human-produced greenhouse gases.
The Bush administration proposed to wait for further research to resolve these doubts. In response to this position, a group of science academyís issued a consensus statement urging the Protocol be adopted. They noted the existence of uncertainty (ëThere will always be some uncertainty surrounding the prediction of changes in such a complex system as the worldís climateí) but after careful deliberation they accepted a figure of ëat least 90% certainí that temperatures will rise between a predicted range (Editorial, 2001).
Bush reacted in the opposite direction to criticism of his proposal for an anti-ballistic system to replace the previous Arms Treaty. Faced with criticisms that the technology did not yet exist to make such a scheme feasible, he responded with faith that it was possible, and that buckets of money should be devoted to this dream.
In the first case, the relative fuzziness and uncertainty of the arguments in favour of the Kyoto Protocol became his reason to ignore them completely, in spite of the consensus of the scientific community that the fuzziness and uncertainty existed within manageable limits, known, understood and accepted. In the second case, the fuzziness and uncertainty of the arguments in favour of his anti-ballistic system became a reason to back the creativity of his scientists to tackle and solve the problems.
The Bush administration used more than fuzziness. In July 2001, the Pentagon publicised a ëtestí of the feasibility of the available missile technology, in which two out of four missiles struck their ballistic target. ëThey hit a bullet with a bullet, and it does work!í proclaimed Republican Senator Trott. But then it was revealed that the target missiles all carried beacons to allow them to be tracked from space, prior to the radar system cutting in. Pentagon officials admitted the beacons were ëa big helpí, and that enemy missiles would not have come equipped with them. (Riley, 2001).
If this report had been prepared by a scientific institute it would be declared a fraud. It is no surprise to find such things occur with the amounts of money and vested interests at stake. The public has grown cynical about the cynicism of politicians. But the case makes a less obvious point about fuzziness and its interactions with power. The technology Bush promoted on relies on precision, and therefore produces either its opposite - uncertainty, or fraud. Fraud in a double guise - manipulative fuzziness about what technology might do, concealing the actual conditions of the test - is a consequence of the interaction of fuzziness and power. Non-experts do not know the exact details of what fraud was perpetrated, but the general public know this principle of social fuzziology, that when power and fuzziness are related, truth is the first casualty.
1.8 Human-Centred Sources of Fuzziness
1.8.1 Mind as A Source of Fuzziness
The greatest source of fuzziness is our mind. This powerful rational thinker never ceases to divide the whole of reality into fragments in order to analyse, classify and label them, and then to toss or scrap together to piece out a world, which has very little to do with the unbreakable wholeness of reality, a wholeness we inseparably belong to.
The world we piece together from fragments made out of perceptions - sensations and thoughts, serves to provide partial and therefore distorted models of reality. These models represent a world as-perceived, a human-made world, and not a world whose natural evolution has brought us to existence and with which we are linked through an umbilical chord of vital and impossible-to-separate connections. All our models deal with parts of something that we perceive as over-there, as surroundings considered to be used for what our ego-centred minds label as meaningful.
An army of scientists, engineers, economists, politicians and philosophers are involved in adapting many distorted models for predicting and exercising power over the unfolding dynamics of reality. Although we know that complex dynamics of reality are beyond our ability to predict and control, we 'do our best' to mutilate reality so that it could be pushed into Procrustean beds of reductionist models. The applications of this kind of models have made both nature and society vulnerable; this is clearly demonstrated by today's ecological disasters and continual worsening of socio-economical conditions for the largest and ever-increasing part of society.
The rational mind can never move beyond duality. It either selects something while rejecting its opposite (as in black-and-white thinking when using binary logic) or accepts both the opposites up to some degree (as in fuzzy thinking when using fuzzy or probabilistic reasoning). The dualistic nature of the rational mind is so strong that it is unable to transcend it alone. The best it can do is to reconcile the opposites by eliminating one, or blurring them both.
Following the black-and-white approach in thinking ('either A or not-A'), we can be easily entrapped in routines, stereotypes, prejudices and habits that become a source of fuzziness which eventually makes us incapable of authentic experience. All our 'understanding' is constantly filtered through already established mental patterns.
Following the fuzzy logic-based approach in thinking ('both A and not-A' up to some degree), we may agree too much to everything the others say, and this can push us towards compliance and indecisiveness. When everybody is right, the uncritical acceptance of the fuzziness accompanying other people's thoughts makes it hard for us to generate our own creative ideas. It is the polarity of opposites, contradictions and clashes of opinions, that provides human mind with dynamics (forces and energies) necessary for transcending the opposites. These dynamics manifest in mind as an urge to search beyond the plane where the opposites clash. Without such an urge, the mind can be entrapped into stasis, stuck in repetition or mesmerised by illusory thoughts and dreams.
"Do not reject anything! But do not remain with anything either! Go beyond!" is written in the Vedic scriptures. In our context these words of wisdom say: "When searching for understanding, be ready to go beyond logical rules and restrictions, no matter how soft (fuzzy, probabilistic) or hard (binary, deterministic) they are!"
1.8.2 Ever-Emerging Desires
Another powerful source of fuzziness is rooted in our ever-emerging desires of various kind - from simple physicaldesires which we share with other animals to much more complicated desires specific for human nature. Every desire agitates the mind and distracts the process of concentration indispensable for an act of understanding to be productive. The stronger an emergent desire, the higher the degree of agitation it stirs up, the less the degree of concentration of mind; the less the degree of concentration, the fuzzier the process of thinking, the lower the degree of understanding.
Most of the desires self-propel their intensity - the more we try to satisfy them, the higher become their demands. The way of moderation, the 'middle way' in terms of the Buddhist thinkers, is hard to follow when the fire of desires is burning inside us and making our minds restless, turbulent, obstinate.
The restlessness and turbulence of minds are permanently intensified by the stress in which we live due to the competitiveness inherent in today's society and the helplessness of the majority of us to get out of the social boxes and cages, in which we have been pushed by economic forces too strong to withstand.
Although the strength of passion with which we pursue truth and understanding is a powerful stimulator and energizer of thinking, understanding also needs 'peace of mind', a mind which is calm and cool, composed and collected.
Paradoxically, while being sources of fuzziness, mind and desires are, at the same time, key factors for overcoming (transcending) it, especially if it relates to problems deeply rooted in human experience.
1.8.3 'Golden Rules' of Fuzziology
However concrete and precise human actions might appear, in the context of social complexity their effects are 'fuzzified' through a multitude of consequences, both known and unknown, open or hidden, erupting immediately or after a hard-to-predict interval of time. Therefore, almost every action within social complexity is fuzzy. We can hardly be certain about the consequences they lead to.
The way to cope with the fuzziness of understanding consequences of social actions is to be aware of it, not pretend that it does not exist or hurry to substitute it with straightforward cause-and-effect explanations. Our haste to offer such kind of explanations when justifying the application of any economic, technological or political decision, is responsible for the most serious maladies of today's society: environmental destruction, disconnection of economy from society, extreme inequality in the distribution of wealth, degradation of work, etc. Awareness of fuzziness when dealing (working, acting) with social complexity goes hand by hand with our drive to understand the nature and dynamics of every incarnation of this complexity as it appears in our lives, both individual and social.
In the context of the inseparability of human understanding and social complexity, an inseparability which is at the very core of social fuzziology, one can visualised the subject of social fuzziology through the wings of the famous butterfly attractor of Lorenz - one of the creators of chaos theory. From the wing of understanding complexity we move towards the wing of working with it, and from there again to understanding, and then again to working, and so on, in a never-ending attempt to realize the uniqueness and infinity of our potential to think and act.
In order to keep Lorenz butterfly moving, so that each flap of its wings might be able to bring forth not only a "hurricane" or "tornado" (metaphors used by Lorenz when describing the butterfly effect in chaos theory) but also real fruits of human creativity, social fuzziology offers three 'golden rules', not to follow blindly but to consider consciously as practical tools for strengthening individual awareness:
* Avoid neglecting the unknown, denying it, turning away from it or trying to make ourselves and others believe that it is really known and then to organize, dichotomize and impose rules on it. The unknown manifests through spontaneity of any novel expression of human creativity
* Avoid clinging to a need for certainty, definiteness and order or to ideas and practices that are familiar, commonsensical or accepted as true by an assumed majority. Remaining attached to what is certain and familiar suppresses idiosyncrasy of the human potential for self-realization
* Avoid fighting with the complexity of life dynamics, no matter where they manifest - in our inner nature or in the world around. The way to avoid being a slave or a victim of these dynamics is through a constant pursuit of understanding how they work and how to apply their infinite energy for growth in intelligence and spirit.
1.8.4 Danger of Dogmatising Fuzziness
Fuzziology warns us against the danger of dogmatising the fuzziness inherent in human understanding. When making dogmas out of fuzziness, we can easily kill its capacity to move - to change, evolve and transform together with the changes, evolution and transformation of the process of one's knowing; when keeping alive its dynamics, we never stop strengthening our capacity to learn and know.
There is almost no danger of following strictly a precisely described instruction - manual, algorithm - that helps one run a dynamic technological process (or a sophisticated engineering system). Enormous danger is involved in choosing or being forced to choose to follow dogmatic interpretations related to somebody else's understanding of life complexity. The manuals and algorithms helping to run an engineering system deal with the limited sphere of an artificial (human-made) reality, the logic of the statements about which can be tested and verified in an objective way. The fuzzy knowledge how to deal with complexity of one's every day existence, while living in this complexity, inevitably covers a much larger space of possible interactions and interpretations. The truth of any piece of fuzzy knowledge about the living reality can be tested and verified subjectively, while experiencing individually and socially the immediacy of its limitless variety of dynamic manifestations, and not pushing this variety into precise manuals and algorithm, formulas and equations, rigid rules and dogmas.
As far as each individual life unfolds in a unique unpredictable way, any voluntary or externally imposed choice to live following precise recipes impedes the possible emergence (discovery, creation) of a multitude of other (different) ways of dealing with the life complexity. The suppression of human creativity causes misery and anguish, blocks the natural flows of individual and social energy (be it physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), takes all the joy and gladness from human life and eventually destroys it.
It is impossible for an individual to be other than oneself - to live with one's own fuzziness of understanding and struggle with it every time when trying to grasp its bottomless sources. One suffers when fuzziness leads to delusion and pain, and feels happy when it triggers new insights and inspiration. Who knows, maybe this is the most efficient way of learning how to understand and cope with the enigmatic fuzziness inherent in the meaning and mission of one's life.
The proverbial expression of Nietzsche: "Follow not me, but you" has a deep existential meaning. One cannot be transplanted into the inner space of another person. If we follow others, instead of being ourselves, we lose the creative sparkles born out of our own struggles to understand the fuzziness of ourselves and make the light of our own unique individuality shine. Without this light, there is no self-awareness, no wisdom.
It is a grievous mistake to imitate someone else's fuzziness in experiencing the events of life. This mistake may result in fatal conflicts between the inner nature and mind of an individual (confusion in thinking), the inner nature and heart (confusion in feelings), and the inner nature and soul (confusion in experience and search for meaning and light in life). When imitating others' ways of living, thinking and acting, we are losing the most precious gift we have - the freedom to be ourselves, to express ourselves and realize our potential.
1.8.5 The 'Drowning-Man' Paradox
Any act of understanding is an act of emergence of meaning(s) out of the fuzzy thoughts constantly 'swarming' in one's mind. In the moment when a meaning emerges, we try to use it in making sense of what we experience - what we see and hear, touch and smell, read and contemplate, create and discover. Of course, this meaning is fuzzy, as it has emerged out of the fuzziness of our interactive thoughts. Once emerged, the fuzzy meaning immediately reflects the way we think. And as far as thinking is always coloured with feelings, the fuzzy meaning affects our emotional life too.
By influencing the ways we think and feel, the fuzzy meanings we create self-propel their growth - they act as magnets attracting more and more thoughts and emotions, which support them, and thus make them more definite, more categorical, more stable. For example, after Mandelbrot presented his idea of fractals, those who work in fields of research different than mathematics or computer science constructed their fuzzy meanings of fractals and actively started to generate ideas and accumulate information confirming these meanings, so the latter gradually became more definite and stable.
In the overall fuzziness of human understanding of social complexity, the tendency of any emergent fuzzy meaning towards stability reflects humans' own gravitation to stability, to something that is considered familiar, secure, habitual and known. In its extreme, this tendency leads to a paradox, which we call the drowning-man paradox:
The fuzzier one's understanding, the stronger one's attachment to what seems non-fuzzy in it.
Social life shows many instances of this paradox. For example, the denser the fuzziness of understanding dynamic complexity of a social situation by some governing body (managers, leaders, governors), the higher its willingness to implement stringent, that is, non-fuzzy methods of control. Unfortunately, the use of these methods only aggravates the existing problems and makes their fuzziness incomprehensible.
If the increase of economic and social turbulence in a state is beyond government's ability to understand its nature and sources, the government sticks to bureaucratic methods of control. When an organisation is in a process or restructuring, again the bureaucrats in it become extremely active: the number of rules, restrictions and regulations they produce dramatically increases. Although the rules, regulations and control actions appear crisp - black-and-white, categorical, rigid - they often lead to vicious circles, blockages on the innovative ways of thinking and thus result in a further increase of the overall fuzziness in understanding and coping with the organizational complexity.
Before the collapse of the soviet model, Andropov's regime desperately tried to put into practice non-fuzzy (KGB-like) methods of dealing with socio-economic complexity, and this turned the life of the ordinary people into a hell.
Routines, prejudices and biases in human thinking also illustrate the spread of the 'drowning-man' paradox in society. We cling to rigid patterns of thinking because we lack will and courage to openly explore the sources emitting fuzziness in our own understanding of life. Every time when we cling to what others preach and teach, taking blindly the fuzziness of their understanding as a 'precise' recipe and ignoring our own lessons in understanding complexity, we are captives of the 'drowning-man' paradox.
To avoid this paradox does not mean to use only unstable, easily changeable, superficial and open-to-manipulations meanings; this kind of meanings can hardly trigger any earnest process of contemplation.
In order to 'move' our understanding towards a deeper and broader grasp of social complexity, the emergent meanings need to be beyond duality of labelling them 'stable' or 'unstable'; they can be used for generating hypotheses, concepts and emotional attitudes, without hardening or transforming these concepts and attitudes into dogmas. In other words, meanings need to freely emerge and dissolve in response to the changes occurring in reality of our experience.
1.9 Transcending Duality and Non-duality
When studying fuzziness of human understanding, social fuzziology looks for ways of transcending both duality and non-duality inherent in thinking.
With duality the mind constantly asserts
A is true and (therefore) not-A is not true, or
A is not true and (therefore) not-A is true.
Fuzzy logic based non-dualism accepts that
both A and not-A are true (up to some degree).
Spiritually enhanced non-dualism rejects the existence of dualism itself, maintaining that reality is an illusion (samsara in Buddhist terminology):
neither A nor not-A are true
Both duality and non-duality keeps the mind entrapped in logical speculations, and may lead to confrontation, one-sidedness and error (in the case of dualistic thinking) or to compliance, confusion and passivity (in the case of non-dualistic thinking).
Any insightful act of understanding vitally needs the energy of polarities expressed in dualistic thinking, as well as serenity accompanying their reconciliation in the framework of non-dualistic thinking. The way to take advantage of dualistic and non-dualistic thinking simultaneously is through expanding our consciousness so that we can flexibly switch from one to another mode of thinking, without being attached to either.
Paradoxically, it is common to find the greatest polarisation in situations where the two parties seem to have much in common, and strong motives for reconciliation. In these situations, which are as common and dangerous in differences between lovers, partners or dear friends as between enemies or warring groups, the signature is the intense passion and pain that seems to accompany key moments of the discussion, as though disagreement and difference are not intellectual matters but acts of betrayal. The two parties tend to occupy extreme positions, seemingly in antagonism to the other, often expressed in extreme language.
Superficially this may seem to be a case of the danger of non-fuzzy positions, expressed in non-fuzzy language. But on closer inspection the respective positions reveal themselves to be not precise, only extreme. In fact they are normally full of internal contradictions, and wildly imprecise in their extremism. Polarisation is a kind of bifurcation, not precision. Fanaticism is an extreme manifestation of this kind of dense fuzziness in thinking, when human ability to move beyond an established dogma is entirely blocked.
One indicator of this state is that the points of difference do not remain fixed, able to be argued against one by one in search of a compromise or resolution. If one point is agreed on, it quickly does not matter, as each participant finds another reason to fight the other to the death. The principle of polarisation is highly creative to a destructive end, producing a constant stream of reasons for the struggle to continue, but never to find a common way out of it.
Another indicator that this polarisation is very different from ordinary non-fuzziness can be seen in the fact that sincere attempts by outsiders or mediators to be conciliatory and fuzzy, to look for common ground between the two positions, to seek a consensus, will often be greeted with equal anger, generating a new position equally opposed. So ëfuzziness of thinking' as conventionally understood is not a road to consensus, at least in conditions of intensity and polarisation.
In states of relationships where the emotional intensity is high and issues are confused, (ëfar from equilibriumí states of relationships, feelings) then bifurcations may occur, taking the form of cascades of oppositions and polarisations. These polarisations are not logical structures (such that from a basic difference in premises, many other differences are logically entailed) but generative, able to produce new elements of difference out of any random phenomenon, still charged with much of the intensity of the original difference and able to act in its stead.
When the process of polarisation reaches this stage it is no longer possible to identify a premise that can be made fuzzy and brought into consensus (eg ësome Jews are good peopleí for an Arab, ësome Arabs love their childrení for a Jew), because the differences are like the Hydraís heads, which Hercules tried to cut off, but when he cut one off, two more grew in its place.
In such a situation, mediators (someone trying to achieve a ëfuzzy consensus') will fail, and may be at risk to their life as well, as has been the fate of many people in Northern Ireland who tried to cross the boundary between Catholic and Protestant. Socrates was another such victim.
1.9.2 'Transcendent' Logic of Social Fuzziology
The situations described above are so common, and so dangerous that social fuzziology needs to theorise them in a way that is true to them, and leads somehow to good outcomes (greater health, greater beauty, greater love, greater wisdom) if that is possible. The ideas of social fuzziology must be useful: able to help a world that constantly collapses into bloody wars of brother against brother, oppressor against oppressed. What kind of thinking, what kind of logic can help?
Part of the answer may be found in a kind of logic we call 'transcendent' - a logic where even the duality between fuzziness (both A and not-A are true up to some degree) and its negation - the lack of fuzziness (either A or not-A is true) ceases to exist, and researchers find themselves in a state of creative nescience or creative emptiness, characterised by extreme openness and responsiveness. In such a state we are ready to experience new dimensions of reality or discover new possibilities and meanings.
This form of logic is similar to what Kauffman calls 'virtual' logic: "Virtual logic is not logic, nor is it the actual subject matter of the mathematics, physics or cybernetics in which it may appear to be embedded... It is the pivot that allows us to move from one world of ideas to another" (Kauffman, 1997).
Vedic maxim "Do not reject anything! But do not remain with anything either! Go beyond!" encapsulates virtuality of the transcendent logic and points to its possible use in social fuzziology as a mind-energiser, as a stimulator of human creativity and catalyst for seeking mutual understanding and social harmony.
In the endeavour of fuzziology to transcend duality between fuzziness and non-fuzziness lies an essential difference between fuzziology and pyrrhonism - a radical skepticism initiated by the ancient philosopher Pyrrho of Elos, 4th century BC. Pyrrhonism postulates that certainty of knowledge is unattainable, so there are no ways to go beyond its inherent fuzziness. For fuzziology such ways exist and social fuzziology aims at exploring them in the context of individual and social realisations of human dynamics.
1.10 Consciousness Resonance
1.10.1 The Possibility Theorem
We CAN understand as much of the world as we have developed and realised within ourselves.
The validity of this proposition follows from the Principle of Fractality and from the Second Impossibility Theorem. The Principle of Fractality makes us understand why the macrocosm mirrors the microcosm and the world outside reflects the world inside us, through a self-similarity that is never identity. The inner world is made not only of our senses, feelings and thoughts shaped into images, ideas, aspirations, expectations, hopes, dreams, but also of our deep spiritual attitudes and beliefs. We perceive the world around us through all of them. The power of our will is also in the inner world, together with our infinite potential to create and realise ourselves in innumerable activities. We never cease to modify the external world through actions emerging from our inner worlds.
The external world also affects the world inside us. The lower the level of consciousness, the stronger the influence of the external world, the more silent the voice of the inner world and the weaker our spiritual drives for self-realisation.
From the Second Impossibility Theorem follows that when we grow in consciousness, we are able to see more of its projections onto the world around us, to develop and realise outwardly more of our inner potential to create. It is then that another type of fuzziness, inaccessible from the previous levels of consciousness, starts to irritate and challenge our minds and souls.
1.10.2 Journey Beyond Limitations of Fuzziness
In one of his book B. Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, writes: "Although we are technologically bound to the earth and its immediate neighbors in the solar system, through the power of thought and experiment we have probed the far reaches of both inner and outer space. During the last hundred years in particular, the collective effort of numerous physicists has revealed some of nature's best-kept secrets. And once revealed, these explanatory gems have opened vistas on a world we thought we knew, but whose splendor we had not even come close to imagining." (Greene, 2000)
As far as the process of revealing "nature's best secrets" never stops, what "we think we knew" yesterday inevitably changes today, and new vistas "whose splendor we had not even come close to imagining" constantly open to those who are thirsty for knowing.
The fuzziness of knowing never ceases to exist. And this is a paramount characteristic of human knowing, which challenges humanity and constantly propels its search for truth and understanding the secrets of reality.
Fuzziness has its own dynamics and potential to 'pull itself by its own bootstraps''. When our understanding deepens, the dynamics of the fuzziness tend to shrink; when our consciousness expands and our minds 'jump' into a higher level of reasoning, the fuzziness pulls itself also at the new level. So, it keeps accompanying the process of our understanding.
While exploring fuzziness, fuzziology reveals also ways of transcending it and thus expanding the field of the human inquiry. The fuzziness of understanding problems emerging out of complexity of life as it unfolds cannot be resolved at the same level of knowledge that we have when these problems appear. (One can see here an analogy with the Gödelian problems in mathematics and other fields of knowing - they cannot be resolved using the same assumptions under which they have appeared). Only when our consciousness is expanded or 'raised to a higher level' of reasoning and understanding, then the tension fades and the problems, being seen in a new light, are no longer problems. When problems dissolve, we say that the fuzziness related to them has been transcended.
1.10.3 Activating Consciousness Resonance
The qualitative jump in consciousness to a higher level results in transcending fuzziness accumulated in one's experience and knowing related to lower levels of consciousness. As far as consciousness is a holistic characteristic of human dynamics and not only a product of mind, the growth of consciousness is possible when the factors responsible for the integrity of all three inseparable constituents of human individuality - body, mind and soul, become simultaneously activated. We shall refer to this simultaneous activation as a consciousness resonance.
Consciousness resonance involves all factors responsible for human integrity. What are these factors? First of all,factors which contributes in keeping human body healthy and human mind capable to think and decide, no matter what kind of logic it prefers - fuzzy, binary, inductive, deductive, abductive, etc. But these factors are not enough!
Consciousness resonance cannot occur when neglecting the soul factors: among them sensitivity and responsiveness, awareness and ability to stay awake, passionate desire to get out of the 'attractor' of egocentric thoughts and desires, compassion and love, willingness to explore more subtle dimensions of reality and to share with others skill, knowledge and wisdom.
Consciousness resonance does not eliminate fuzziness. Fuzziness is an eternal companion to any process of knowing. At the same time, when conscious resonance helps us go beyond the limitations of the fuzziness or succeed in making some problem dissolves, it opens space for new problems to emerge bringing with them new types of fuzziness to puzzle our thoughts and feelings. At any level of consciousness there are many phenomena and processes challenging the 'swarm' of our perceptions, our beliefs and hopes, views and attitudes, aspirations and dreams.
What the consciousness resonance does is firing the bootstrapping algorithm of the fuzziness present at a certainlevel of the individual consciousness.
The consciousness resonance is a creative instant of a illumination, a flash of intuition, a sudden understanding of the truth of the phenomenon (process, event, actor) on which one's thinking and feeling has been focused. The initial impression is that the fuzziness has disappeared entirely, that one has succeeded in experiencing the truth of the studied phenomenon as it is, without using any mental or emotional filter, any borrowed-from-outside knowledge. Yes, the fuzziness has withdrawn itself - has 'pulled itself with its own bootstraps' - from a certain level of one's thinking, experiencing, understanding and knowing - from a certain level of development of one's consciousness; but it has not disappeared forever. It is 'ready to explode' and spread again at the new level of understanding and hence at the new level of development of one's consciousness.
1.10.4 The 'Bootstrapping' Theorem
Consciousness resonance provides both the necessary and sufficient conditions for the fulfilment of the bootstrapping algorithm.
The proof of this proposition lies in the holistic character of the human consciousness - it determines our humanness, it is both the cause and the effect of our human nature; without consciousness we are just animals. The three constituents of the human individuality - body, mind and soul - are three pillars, three powers supporting the individual consciousness and its ability to evolve and grow without limits. The body epitomises the human power to act in the physical world, the mind expresses the power of our thoughts and feelings (and includes the power of the human heart as a source of our deepest emotions, longings and love), and the soul connects us with the infinity of the human spirit. The resonance between the three human powers represents an apotheosis - the highest peak in the realisation of the creative potential of the human consciousness (at the level of development reached by the individual). Moreover, the resonance triggers also a further growth of the individual consciousness,as there are no other powers in the human nature to support this growth, beside those of the human body, of the human mind and heart, soul and the spirit.
The growth of our consciousness is at the same time a growth of our capacity to understand (experience, learn and know), and therefore it inevitably affects the fuzziness inherent in this capacity. When our capacity to understand increases, the fuzziness becomes 'thinner' and 'weaker' and folds its dynamics; when there are obstacles on the way of our understanding, the fuzziness becomes 'denser', 'stronger' and expands its dynamics. When the fuzziness 'jumps' from one level of understanding to another, it 'pulls itself by its own bootstraps'. By bringing the mind power to the top of its realisation, the consciousness resonance makes it possible for the individual to 'jump' from one level of understanding to another; in this sense, the consciousness resonance 'provides' fuzziness with the necessary conditions to initiate its bootstrapping. And vice versa, when the fuzziness completes the 'bootstrapping algorithm', it disappears from one level of understanding and appears at another, possible deeper, level (the fuzziness can never be eliminated in an absolute way). The disappearance and re-appearance of the fuzziness represent jumps in the human understanding and hence demonstrate spontaneous occurrences of consciousness resonance. So, the consciousness resonance provides also sufficient conditions for the fulfilment of the bootstrapping algorithm of the fuzziness in the individual understanding.
Consciousness resonance is like a spontaneous coherence occurring with a swarm of 'agents' (insects, birds, ants, neurones, thoughts, feelings, and even people when acting under critical conditions) - all the apparent fuzziness of the swarming behaviour suddenly disappears in a magic way. ëAgents' become able to act in sync and harmony, as if they are at-one - one multi-agent entity, one multi-facetted unity, one inseparable whole - a flash of understanding whose light is able to penetrate though any layer of fuzziness.
1.10.5 Resonance at Social Level
The term resonance has a clear meaning in physics - it is a process of initiating a vibratory response in a receiverthat is attuned to an emitter. The emitter is considered as a source of vibrations - they can be periodic, aperiodic or chaotic. In the process of resonance these vibrations 'fire' sympathetic vibrations in the receiver, the magnitude of which is often greater than the magnitude of the vibrations generated by the emitter.
We know about the existence of mechanical, acoustical, electromagnetic, quantum and superstring resonance. The Adaptive Resonance Theory developed by Grossberg (Grossberg, 1988) and widely applied for modelling human cognitive processes by artificial neural networks, uses resonance between two major neuron fields to explain how these networks can learn to recognize, classify and predict patterns and events of the environment both in supervised and unsupervised (without teacher) modes of learning.
Human life crucially depends on the process of resonance. Lehar (Lehar, 1999) argues that the muscle of the heart demonstrates a kind of chaotic resonance, for "the individual cells of the cardiac muscle are each independent oscillators that pulse at their own rhythm when separated from the rest of the tissue in vitro. However when connected to other cells they synchronise with each other to define a single coupled oscillator". In the quoted paper Lehar sees the whole brain as a kind of resonator "whose natural frequency of oscillation as a whole is observed in the global oscillations detected in the electro-encephalogram. This fundamental oscillation sweeping across the whole brain establishes a reference frame or coordinate system in the form of a spatial standing wave, and the higher harmonics on this standing wave represent the spatial percepts of objects perceived in the world, with the phase of those harmonics relative to the fundamental determining the location of the percept in the perceived world".
Resonance is widely used in descriptions of dynamic interactions at a personal or interpersonal level that are unusually effective, spontaneous, and complete.
"We say that we 'resonate' with an idea or another person when we share an unusually rich set of perceptions that implies to us that we are 'on the same wavelength' - another form of the metaphoric link to physical models. It is a common experience that often is striking in the strength and complexity of shared understanding, and it is associated with successful interactions in pairs and groups of people, and with universally recognized shared experiences. Productivity and creativity are evidently enhanced, and cooperative responses to emergencies and catastrophes seem to be facilitated" (Nelson, 1999).
The world wide web and Internet communication, by making possible instantaneous sharing of people's thoughts, skills and feelings serve as powerful catalyzers for the resonance to occur at the level of society.
The idea of resonance occurring at the level of society closely relates to the concept of noosphere - a term coinedin 1944 by the Russian academic Vladimir Vernadsky (1863-1945) to describe a new emerging "sphere of intelligence, wherein humanity could employ its evolutionary gifts as a creative collaborative agent of evolution - and where the widening conflict between technosphere and biosphere could be transformed into synergy" (Allen and Nelson, 1986).
The same term noosphere was used in the book "The Future of Man" of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (published after his death in 1955). He suggested that the Earth in its evolutionary unfolding is growing a new organ of consciousness, called the noosphere. The noosphere is analogous on a planetary level to the evolution of the cerebral cortex in humans. The noosphere is a "planetary thinking network" -- an interlinked system of consciousness and information, a global net of self-awareness, instantaneous feedback, and planetary communication.
In order to plug in the noosphere, the individual needs to discover the 'password'; the role of the password is the level of development of one's own consciousness. Without this password, the noosphere is only a gigantic pile of facts and ideas, pictures and graphics, hypotheses and theories, descriptions and explanations of findings in different branches of human knowing. It is the individual who needs to transform the pile into an integrated whole - a whole which has meaning for this individual, if and only if s/he has succeeded in discovering the 'password'.
How to discover the password? By concentrating one's physical, mental and spiritual efforts and igniting the consciousness resonance. So, it is the consciousness resonance - the bootstrapping of the fuzziness of one's individual understanding - that can give the individual access and key for understanding the exciting secrets of the noosphere.
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Chapter 2 Bridging the Study of Complexity with Social Fuzziology
Social fuzziology is inseparable from the new awareness of nonlinear dynamics in every area of human and social life, of living and non-living processes in the universe. The fuzziness of human thoughts, which is at the centre of fuzziology, is humanityís most precious resource in understanding the new world of dynamics waiting to be explored and incorporated into science. It is also the key to the creativity that humanity will need in ever greater abundance to achieve profound and respectful resolutions of the otherwise intractable problems that are building up, and to discover new unsuspected opportunities in surprising and paradoxical places.
At the same time fuzziology does not directly explore complexity as a "non-linear behaviour of systems at the edge of chaos"; the study of this kind of behaviour is the focus of complexity science. So fuzziology is not merely a part of the research in complexity, and nor is complexity reducible to fuzziology. Zadeh's principle of incompatibility makes the connection explicitly: as the complexity of a system increases, human ability to make precise and significant statements about its behaviour diminishes until a threshold is reached beyond which precision and significance (or relevance) become mutually exclusive characteristics.
This principle locates fuzziness in human capacity to make or find meaning in statements (or in the thinking that leads up to and flows from statements), not in the objects themselves. This situates the centre of fuzziology outside the complex systems and the complex world these statements are about. Fuzziology is not a substantive science making truth claims about the world. It is a kind of meta-science concerned with the human capacity to make sense of the world. Yet the fuzziness of human experience and thinking is inseparable from the nature of theworld.
The study of fuzziness is of interest not only because of its role, as was thought in traditional science, in obscuring the clarity of crisp truths, but also because of its crucial importance in enabling ways of experiencing - thinking, feeling and acting - that are more powerful in understanding and dealing creatively with the most intractably complex aspects of reality. In social fuzziology there is no dualistic separation of a thinking mind from an unrelated world. The nature of the world considered as an inseparable unity-in-dynamics of the outward world - the world around us - and the inward world - the world of each individual soul - is the engine of social fuzziology, in general and in every instance. At the same time, it is the engine of our creativity.
2.1 Complementarity and Mutual Enrichment
Zadeh's principle of incompatibility uses the notion of system - a natural or artificial concatenation of elements, which function as a whole. There are of course many phenomena which are not ordered by any 'systematicity' that has yet been discovered, which therefore exist outside the scope of this principle, the world of chaotic phenomena that for many centuries has remained outside science itself. Fuzziology does not propose order in this surrounding chaos, but on the contrary, it recognises the presence of chaos in what had been previously supposed to be the world of order and system. A kind of fuzzy threshold is assumed to exist somewhere at the boundaries of the domain of systems thinking, beyond which its rules and assumptions would cease to apply.
The threshold mentioned in Zadeh's incompatibility principle can be connected with the idea of the ëedge of chaosí of Chris Langton (Langton, 1987). For Langton and before him Prigogine (Prigogine and Stengers, 1984) the zone between order and chaos was highly productive. For Prigogine it was where new more complex forms of order were born, order out of chaos. Zadehís major contribution to this thinking was to realise that as this boundary or threshold is approached, the old rules of thinking become inapplicable and break down.
Chris Langton described the experience he had which led to his concept ëedge of chaosí. He was scuba diving off the coast of Puerto Rico, and at one point his instructor took him to the edge of the continental shelf, at about 2000 feet:
"It made you realise that all the diving you had been doing, which had certainly seemed adventurous and daring, was really just playing around on the beach. The continental shelves are like puddles compared to ëthe Oceaní. Well, life emerged in the oceans, so there you are at the edge, alive and appreciating that enormous fluid nursery. And thatís why ëthe edge of chaosí carries for me a very similar feeling: because I believe that life also originated at the edge of chaos. So here we are at the edge, alive and appreciating the fact that physics itself should yield up such a nursery" (Waldrop, 1992).
We make three observations arising from this statement.
(1) The concept ëedge of chaosí appeared fuzzy to our mind, and needed to be so. It is ëpoeticí rather than ëscientificí, though it was created as a result of computer experimentation with cellular automata. It connects with sensuous physical experience at the same time as it makes links between physics and biology.
(2) The concept is therefore simultaneously a major concept in complexity and also a significant example of the creative and productive use of fuzzy thinking to put into the laboratory of social fuzziology.
(3) Thus, fuzziology and the theory of complexity and chaos are not adjacent but related fields of thought, and are more like complementary traditions that flow into the same broad stream of thought. Complexity and chaos theory has so far been exciting and productive as an invisible and unacknowledged branch of fuzziology, renovating the resources of scientific thinking, rather than directly contributing to the stock of scientific knowledge.
Social fuzziology needs the ideas of people who work in the field of complexity and chaos because these ideas are such wonderful examples of holistic thinking at work in the sciences. Complexity and chaos need fuzziology as a framework for them to recognise what it is and what it needs to do so that it can do it more and better, and be understood and valued for what it is.
The danger complexity and chaos face is that they may be dismissed as only a popular fashion, a trendy set of metaphors easy to replace by another set in the minds of the fickle public. This is the essence of a critique by the science writer John Horgan of what he christens ëchaoplexityí:
"So far, chaoplexologists have created some potent metaphors: the butterfly effect, fractals, artificial life, the edge of chaos, self-organizied criticality. But they have not told us anything about the world that is both concrete and truly surprising, either in a negative or in a positive sense. They have slightly extended the borders of knowledge in certain areas, and they have more sharply delineated the boundaries of knowledge elsewhere." (Horgan, 1996)
Horgan is right to note that chaos and complexity theories have not yet produced new and startling knowledge about the world. However, he does not note that this was true of Newton also, whose great achievement was to make new sense of what was known. Science has never been merely a set of facts. Even more it has been a productive way of thinking. Fuzziology is a laboratory in which a new way of thinking about the universe is being explored, freed of some key assumptions about good (scientific) thinking that have been dominant for 400 years. Theorists of chaos and complexity are workers in that laboratory, collaborators in a single enterprise so large it is invisible to someone like Horgan.
2.2 'Three Body Problem' in Fuzziology
2.2.1 KAM Theorem
The theorists of chaos and complexity acknowledge significance of the theorem of Kolmagorov-Arnold-Moser (1978) - so called 'KAM theorem' - that deals with the unresolved 3-body problem of Laplacean-Newtonian celestial mechanics - a problem firstly approached by the French mathematician Henri Poincaré (1890). The problem consists in describing mathematically trajectory of an object, the motion of which is influenced simultaneously by the gravitational forces of three bodies. Facing an insurmountable computational difficulty when trying to solve this problem, Poincaré saw possibility of existence of a non-wandering - dynamically stable nonlinear solution of extreme complexity, and thus did the first step into the new mathematical theory of chaos.
KAM theorem asserts that the trajectories studied in classical mechanics are neither completely regular nor completely irregular, but they depend very sensitively on the chosen initial states: tiny fluctuations can make them chaotic.
What has to do the above result with fuzziology?
The dynamics of nature are universal. Its energies and forces act everywhere - in the macrocosm and microcosm, in the so-called non-animated world and in the world of the living organisms, in the human body as well as in the human mind - only the scales of manifestation of nature's dynamics are different.
2.2.2 Dynamics of Fuzziness
We do not know much about the nature and sources of human dynamics, but we know that it is because of them that we exist as thinking and feeling creatures. Our urge to know is a force that can rich great magnitude. While centred in this force, the fuzziness of knowledge is not a static 'object' either; it moves - expands and shrinks, bifurcates or ëexplodesí into many streams. It can become dense and almost impenetrable, but it can become also transparent and transpicuous; it can whirl in a vortex together with our turbulent thoughts and emotions, or become quiet when our mind is still.
In this sense, we can speak of dynamics of fuzziness of human knowing, no matter that we can not see and map their phase portrait on the screen of the computer. Our awareness of fuzziness - our ability to see and feel it expanding and amplifying, when we are in captivity of ignorance, or shrinking and almost dissolving, when we transcend its limitations, is the proof that its dynamics exist. The dynamics of fuzziness includes the energies, forces, sources and attractors that produce and sustain it, condense and dilute it, make it move and transform.
However strong the human urge to know, it is oriented towards three main 'bodies' of attraction:
(1) natural environment
While experiencing the 'forces of gravitation' of the above three bodies operating in parallel, the dynamics of fuzziness ingrained in each of the three streams of knowing may easily become chaotic: extremely sensitive to perturbations in the pulling forces, unpredictable and hard to be controlled. One cannot say whether fuzziness is going to expand or shrink, strengthen or weaken, evolve or transform.
When moving - stretching, folding, increasing, decreasing, 'bifurcating' and reproducing - in unpredictable ways, fuzziness helps us make meaning of our thoughts and feelings, of the thoughts and feelings which others share with us.
2.3 Chaotic Attractors of Meaning
The attractors emerging out of chaotic dynamics of fuzziness of the thoughts and feelings, which 'swarm' in the mental space of an individual, can be interpreted as emergent meanings.
Mathematically, a chaotic or strange attractor is defined as an attracting set with zero measure (that is, a set capable to be enclosed in intervals with arbitrarily small total length) in an embedding n-dimensional space (called phase space) and has a fractal structure (that is, a structure, which displays self-similarity on all scales of its manifestation). Every attractor has a basin - a limited area in the phase space, where the pulling force of the attractor acts; if an object enters the basin of a chaotic attractor, it starts to skip randomly - in an apparently chaotic way. No matter how chaotic the trajectory of the objects appears for an observer, it stays attached to the attractor.
The cause for a meaning to emerge can be any sign - object of senses, experiential event, word, text, idea, story, etc. - projected on one's mental space. As far as such a projection is only an energy pattern - a kind of whirlpool in the overall fuzziness of the flow of one's thoughts and emotions - it can neither be seen nor touch but only abstractly expressed in an arbitrary small 'attracting set' of mental perception. In this sense, its 'measure' is zero.
Once a certain sign makes sense to an individual, this individual has a capacity to 'zoom' deeper and deeper into the meaning of the sign. Although each level (scale) of the meaning differs from any other level, there is similarity between the levels, as they all relate to the nature of one and the same sign interpreted by one and the same individual. In this sense, the structure of an emergent meaning can be characterised as fractal.
The 'phase space' where meanings emerge is provided by the human mind; we refer to it as a mental space. Human brain is the material embodiment of the mental space.
The mental space is a space of our thoughts and feelings; the meanings that emerge in the mental space of an individual encapsulate the fuzziness of his or her understanding.
Every meaning has its own 'basin' - a zone of relevance (significance, validity, value) - an area in one's mental space that includes the thoughts and feelings supporting one's fuzzy understanding of this meaning. If a thought (or a feeling) is in the basin of an emergent meaning, it serves to convey this meaning. The 'trajectory' of the thought may appear chaotic to an observer, as the thought can 'live' and 'move' in difficult-to-predict and sensitive-to-perturbation verbal or non-verbal contexts. No matter how chaotic this trajectory appears, if it is located in the basin of an emergent meaning, it conveys this meaning.
For example, if an emergent meaning is egoistic, that is, its basin is imbued with excessively selfish thoughts and exaggerated feelings of self-importance, whatever the contexts in which these thoughts and feelings become expressed, they covey the egoistic meaning.
Now we are ready to justify the application of the notion of a chaotic attractor to the meaning that emerges out of the dynamics of fuzziness in one's mental space: each meaning is a specific kind of an attracting set with 'zero measure' and fractal structure. Therefore it resembles a chaotic attractor. But this is not enough. The proof of existence of an emergent chaotic attractor consists in showing the effects that this attractor is able to produce. Is an emergent meaning able to produce effects?
To make meaning of a sign implies an ability to respond to this meaning, to react to it, to undertake corresponding actions. It is the meaning that informs human actions. If there is no meaning behind one's action, the latter is meaningless; it is just a waste of energy. So the 'mission' of an emergent meaning is to produce effects, that is, to transform the fuzziness, which it encapsulates, into action(s).
2.3.1 Emergence of New Meanings
New meanings correspond to new chaotic attractors brought to life out of fuzziness in the mental space of an individual (a group, an organisation, society). According to complexity theory, emergent phenomena are likely to occur in critical zones of the phase space, that is, in zones where some characteristic parameters of their dynamics reach critical values.
In such zones of criticality, chaotic attractors may undergo four types of crises:
* two (or more) chaotic attractors can simultaneously lose their dynamic stability and merge to form a new attractor - a phenomenon known as attractor-merging crisis
* one chaotic attractor can become suddenly destroyed - a phenomenon called boundary crisis
* one chaotic attractor can dramatically decrease or increase its size - phenomena called folding interior crisis or expanding interior crisis, respectively
* one chaotic attractor can split into two or more attractors - a phenomenon called attractor-splitting crisis.
Similar crisis phenomena may occur with the chaotic attractors of meaning (CAM). The role of the main characteristic parameter for the dynamics of CAM is played by the degree of fuzziness in understanding of its meaning - understanding expressed by an individual or a group of individuals. Example of activities that strongly affect this degree of fuzziness in one's understanding can be various forms of learning, of strengthening individual or group awareness, honing one's intelligence, training the intuitive components of thinking, etc. These kinds of activities 'push' CAM into critical zones where some of the crises described above occur.
From experience one knows that one and the same sign - text, formula, event of life, hyperlink, piece of music, dance, ritual - can be meaningless for some and full of meaning for others. And even for one and the same person, signs perceived initially as meaningless can be transformed into meaningful ones later, and vice versa. This kind of transformation requires again conditions of criticality to arise in the mental space of people; without people's efforts to learn and grow in knowledge, in awareness, intelligence and wisdom, these conditions can hardly come to existence.
The 'crises' which facilitate the emergence of new meanings or destruction of old ones are:
* attractor-merging crisis
* attractor-splitting crisis
* boundary crisis.
The folded form of an interior crisis is non-productive; this type of crisis results in gradual lost of an already attributed meaning - the attractor shrinks in time and disappears without being able to stimulate emergence of any other CAM.
The attractor-merging and attractor-splitting crises directly lead to emergence of new CAM; the boundary crisis brings energy back to the mental space - the energy liberated when the attractor subject to this type of crisis has been destroyed - and thus increases the capacity of one's mental space to conceive with a new CAM.
There are signs, which can trigger so-called 'chain reactions' bringing to life more than one emergent meanings. Often these signs represent words and expressions able to simultaneously 'fire' several creative crises in one's mental space.
In Zen Buddhism, words and expressions used by advanced Zen-masters can trigger "satori" (a state of spiritual climax, enlightenment) in their disciples. The release of this kind of orgasmic power hidden in certain words and expressions resembles a sudden jump of all CAM existing in one's mental space directly into a 'boiling' zone of criticality. Such a jump can be accompanied with emergence of new CAM associated with a higher level of understanding (expansion of consciousness). The new meanings may appear clear (non-fuzzy) from a standpoint of a disciple who has succeeded to go beyond the fuzziness related to the previous (lower) level of understanding; yet, the emergent meanings are bearers of 'new' fuzziness ready to be explored at the new (higher) level of understanding.
2.3.2 Meanings of Dominance and Suppression
In the light of complexity theory, the process of formation of a dominant meaning can be explained through the expanded form of the interior crisis of CAM: a certain meaning attractor expands up to such a degree that it starts to dominate every other meaning emerging in one's mental space. A 'classical' example is the ego-centred meaning attractor that 'dwells' in the mental space of each of us and often dominates this space with one's high opinion about oneself and inflated feeling of pride and superiority to others.
When the egoism is embraced as a doctrine that dominates one's behaviour, it tends to influence any other emergent meaning. In other words, the ego-centred meaning attractor can expend and become influential up to such degree that any other CAM emerges already in the basin of the swollen ego-centred attractor and therefore conveys the same meaning of swelled-headedness and self-conceit.
Similar to the meanings centred in the human egotism are the meaning attractors implanted in one's mental space through propaganda, social brainwash, suppression, violence and other direct or subtle, rough or gentle, simple or sophisticated methods of mind control. This kind of attractors also acts as an activator for the expanding interior crises to burst out in the mental space of many individuals at the same time, and thus to impede the emergence of new creative attractors of meaning.
The implanted attractors are even worse than the egoistic ones. The latter are created by us and express the selfishness that is present in human thinking, although the degree of its manifestation differs from an individual to another. The former are created by others, imposed upon us or made us voluntarily accept them as expressions of much stronger ego-centred intentions, ambitions and cravings for power. Why they are much stronger than the selfish desires of an individual only? Because they pursue a gigantic selfish effect while spreading their ego-centred intents simultaneously through the brains of millions of people. Today we are witnessing of such kind of effect harvested by the largest financial corporations in the world franticly involved in the establishment of global economic order.
The folded form of an interior crisis is considered non-productive; this type of crisis results in gradual lost of an already attributed meaning - an existing attractor of meaning shrinks in time and disappears without being able to stimulate emergence of any other CAM.
2.3.3 'Optimal' Degree of Fuzziness
While precision thrives on fixed and locked meanings, fuzziness implies flexibility in interpretation, openness for evolution and potential for transformation of the existing meanings. The characteristic parameter of CAM - the degree of fuzziness in one's understanding of the emergent meanings - needs to be neither too low (as in the case of a precisely defined or imposed meaning) nor too high (as in the case of a watery, wishy-washy meaning that lacks character and substance).
The 'optimal' degree of fuzziness is one that keeps people's urge to know alive and stimulates their further interestin exploring the roots and sources of the fuzziness in their understanding. The 'best' human fuzziness seeks to comprehend itself in the mental space of those who do not lack for determination to reach beyond its limitations.
The criterion for the 'best' fuzziness of an emergent meaning might well be the size and diversity of the spectrum of all insightful opportunities, ideas or/and actions that individuals are able to see, generate or/and undertake in response to this meaning (Dimitrov and Kunchev, 1977). And vice versa, the chance for failure while trying to grasp the fuzziness of an emergent meaning is directly proportional to the number and variety of opportunities, ideas or/and actions, missed to be seen, generated or/and undertaken in response to this meaning.
2.3.4 Symmetry Breaking and 'Trunsduction'
Although CAM can potentially energise and inform actions, the transition from one's mental space, where CAM abides, to the physical world, where one acts, is not easy - often it requires an extra effort, be it physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.
For example, theoretically we can understand quite well what kind of life style helps us to have a better health, and yet we do not act according to this understanding. Many addicts know 'clearly' that the addiction can be fatal for them, that 'tomorrow' they will change the dangerous habit in much healthier one, and yet they continue to be trapped in the old CAM.
In the mental space, CAM can function in harmony with the flow of our thoughts and feelings; we can perceive emergent 'virtual' meanings of great plans, dreams and scenarios and to shape them in a perfect symmetry with our current thinking. But at the moment we start to move towards their realisation, the mental symmetry of CAM suddenly breaks.
Spontaneous symmetry breaking occurs every time when the virtual becomes real. The energy, which propels CAM in the virtual reality of one's thoughts and feelings need to be 'transduced' into energy which propels one' actions.
What are the conditions, which stimulates or impede the transformation of one's fuzzy meanings into concrete actions? We come back to this question in the chapter "Understanding Fuzziness of Ourselves".
2.4 Key Propositions in Social Fuzziology: A Complexity Perspective
Given that social life consists of highly complex dynamic entities which are prone to chaotic development, there are a number of propositions to be drawn from general investigations of complex phenomena that are fundamental in social fuzziology as the field concerned with the fuzziness of thinking, behaving and acting in sociallife.
2.4.1 Interwovenness and Unpredictability
We cannot predict the long-term behaviour of complex dynamic entities even if we were able to construct their precise mathematical descriptions.
This proposition brings to an end the ambitious dreams of social planners and prophets who have looked to models from science and technology to justify their faith in the omnipotent power of human reason to solve all the complex problems of this world. This naïve arrogance has caused a remarkable amount of damage and distortion to the lives of many people over many years.
Social fuzziology has the task to replace the fallacious crisp predictions of planners, based on input as crisp as they are able to achieve, with a fuzzy wisdom, based on fuzzy insights into the dynamic nature of social complexity and a fuzzy sense of possible goals.
The reason we cannot be precise about the social processes over any length of time is because of the complex dynamic interplay of many 'known' and unknown, internal and external, strong and weak human factors, which constantly influence the unfolding complexity of these processes. The degree of interwovenness of a social process' dynamics - forces, energies, substances and forms - is so high that the whole process becomes extremely sensitive to minute perturbations. Even an infinitely small change in the initial conditions under which the social process unfolds (note that every single moment of this complex and dynamic unfolding brings in its own "initial conditions") may result in drastically different future development. The pioneer of the deterministic chaos - Edward Lorentz called this phenomenon "butterfly effect" (Lorentz, 1993).
The butterfly effect has no place in linear systems: in those systems the changes of output variables are proportional to the changes of input variables. Science prefers to work with linear systems - they are easily predictable. For example, we put a bit more sugar in the tea, and the tea become sweeter; if then we add a bit of hot water, the sweetness decreases in an exact proportion to the added water.
Social life is mostly non-linear. By analogy with our cup of tea, a political party might offer a ëtax-sweetenerí to the public just before an election. If this were a linear system, politicians should know precisely how many votes will be won by each percentage of tax hand out. In practice, no politician knows this. Sometimes a small amount works. At other times, a larger amount can cause a voter backlash.
The variables, which we use to describe social complexity, have their critical (or threshold) values. If we ëpushí a complex system beyond these values, even slightly, huge changes may occur with the system as a whole. In complex situations non-linearity usually leads to unpredictable behaviour. Weather, political as well as meteorological, the stock-market, human and environmental health, national economies, large business or socio-political formations are all examples of unpredictable non-linear systems which need to be understood using fuzzy categories.
2.4.2 Dealing with Complex Causality
Strict linear causality does not apply to social complexity.
Every social process is embedded in the universe, connected in small or large ways with everything else. When the entire universe contributes to the existence of even a ësmallestí thing, how could we precisely distinguish any specific cause-and-effect relationship in this universe? Where everything relates to everything else in a tangled dynamic web of interdependent relationship, how can we trust any linear analysis of this web?
Having pointed this negative truth out to a reluctant world of people who seek to control events for various reasons, good or bad, social fuzziology is then left with the positive task of stirring-up human creativity, helping individuals move beyond the social stereotypes and discover their own ways for navigating the ocean of complexity, instead of dreaming of an exact, safe and tidy linear haven that does not exist.
This discovery gives us a key for understanding the crucial difference between the "classics" of crisp forms of systems science and positivistic sociology and the "heresy" of social fuzziology, the "fuzzy" new science of complexity and chaos. According to the "classics", an effective description of a system can always be built from the descriptions of its separately analysable parts. What is needed is to identify the forces which help keep the parts of that system in a balanced relationship, and to remove the perturbations pushing the system out of equilibrium. Although this approach never works in reality, practitioners continue to use it in pursuit of illusory states of equilibrium of the systems underlying human and social behaviour. As such states never exist, they waste time and resources pursuing mirages.
According to the "heresy", separately analysed components can never create an adequate description of the whole. Positive and negative feedback loops permanently drive the overall behaviour out of equilibrium, towards the edge of chaos, a critical zone between disorder and order, where emergence of new qualitative states takes place, and transformation of the system as a whole occurs.
When we deal with complex social issues, we cannot rely upon the long-term predictions of the experts. Tiny changes in the conditions under which their predictions have been made alter the prediction significantly. We only waste time and energy when trying to force complex system developments in a pre-planned, non-negotiable direction. It is much wiser to learn how to nudge from within the system, how to manage and guide from inside its chaotic dynamics (Goerner, 1994).
Unpredictability of complex behaviour is not an obstacle on the way to grasp this behaviour. On the contrary, by exploring the unpredictable dynamics of non-linear processes, we can gain insights with enormous explanatory power. For instance, it helps us to understand that there are no negligible actions: even randomly chosen and seemingly insignificant actions can lock-in, accelerate and amplify, beyond our ability to control their future directions; because of this effect, complex systems are permanently driven out of equilibrium. In this situation it is better to have open minds and hearts to see and feel the subtleties of the system as a whole, subtleties which could be crucial for understanding changes in its interwoven dynamics.
2.4.3 'Fractality' and Wholeness
Reducing does not simplify: interaction of dynamics is important and interaction means integrity and inseparability.
Theorists of chaos and complexity dispense with the idea, foundational in the crisp logic of mainstream science, that the world and what it contains can be analysed into separated parts. If parts simply do not exist as such distinct from the Whole (to the emergence and dynamic integrity of which they have organically contributed) and the Whole at any scale level of presentation consists only of wholes representing it at lower scale levels, then the distinction between whole and part in any relatively crisp form has been dissolved. If we can never understand how a specific stream of system dynamics works without looking at it as a manifestation of the activity of the whole system, then we have to regard each such stream as both fully a part and fully a whole: a contradiction according to crisp logics, a strain even for many forms of fuzzy logic, since this is not just a matter of being a part up to a degree, (say 0.8) and a whole to a degree, (say 0.2) but being fully a part and fully a whole.
Fractals, discovered by Mandelbrot (Mandelbrot, 1982) are similar patterns repeating themselves at higher orders of dimension. If you magnify a fine area of fractal structure, you get increased information in proportion to the new scale. Thus, the world not only looks different to the observers at different scales, it also measures differently. In every day language, this powerful mathematical insight means that the deeper one's understanding of a complex picture, the more meaningful nuances one can notice in it.
In biology we can see that every cell of the organism bears the unique genetic code of the whole organism, otherwise it would not be able to interact with other cells. Conversely, it is also understood that it is because of the interactive nature of cells that cells have elaborated this code. The cells make the organism function, and at the same time the organism as a whole supports the functioning of each cell.
There is a property of cells discovered by biology that is both a compelling metaphor for the unbroken wholeness of life and at the same time a challenge to fuzzy thinking, to provide appropriately fuzzy categories for biological and social life. Apoptosis is an essential property of all living entities, in terms of which cells are genetically programmed to kill themselves, if not the constant interaction with their neighbours - interaction that keep them alive. No one cell is capable of living in isolation. No one human being either! This phenomenon seems strange to a crisp logic that sees life as life, the inherent and defining property of all living things, striven for and sometimes lost, but belonging to the living entity and to nothing else. Yet each cell strives for death, not life, unless it is sustained by other cells which would also strive for death unless sustained by others, in a larger living organism whose life is therefore dependent not on the simple ëlifeí of each component cell, but on a complex mixture of life and death, life as the temporary absence of death.
This unbroken wholeness in which, and through which, we exist is another manifestation of self-reflexivity, which was brillantly captured by Gödel in the proof of his celebrated theorem: it is possible to make true statements within a particular system that cannot be proved by use of the elements and logic of that system. This is because the system under consideration is organically interconnected with some larger system, which by itself is dissolved into another greater than it, and so on.
2.4.4 Far-from-Equilibrium Criticality
In social life - life under far-from-equilibrium conditions - criticality is a typical state.
Everyone who works in a complex social organization, whether in a management or other capacity, needs to leave aside any dreams for ëblissfulí steady states of equilibrium in organisational dynamics and learn how to deal with critical states: states which are subject to bifurcations, sharp changes or transitions in a field, which may be single or may form cascades of bifurcations. Although there are periods of relative stability ('punctuated equilibrium'), there will always be critical states and it is these where the practical ability of the practitioner is tested, and not in the steady state of affairs.
Chaotic dynamics are ëruledí by strange attractors - emerging phenomena with whimsically strange forms (seen when mapped on the 'phase space' - a mathematical space containing all possible states of dynamical systems). Anything off the strange attractor is ëfoldedí towards it, but anything on it is ëstretchedí in an unpredictable way ? except that one thing is predictable: it always stays on the attractor.
When dealing with complexity of an individual or an organization or a society as a whole, we need to understand what kind of strange attractors are propelling the complex dynamics of this individual, organisation or society. What fields of social activity attract, inspire and concentrate the energy of people and what are the regions where this energy dissipates? Are there any hidden forces responsible for bringing forth specific organisational dynamics? If it happens that the present strange attractors are detrimental for human survival, how can the emergence of new attractors be catalysed which are in favour of personal (or/and organisational) growth?
Chaos is ubiquitous: a chaotic orbit can come arbitrarily close to any point in the phase space. Since chaos can occur on all size scales of human activity, people could use instabilities in order to manipulate the motion of energy in the society on a very large scale. This becomes possible due to the butterfly effect: little changes bring forth significant results. The butterfly effect gives an incredible power to the hands, brains and hearts of practitioners working in various fields of social activity, and in particular in the field of human and environmental health.
Life escapes both the order and the attractors and constantly moves towards the edge of chaos where avalanches of changes never cease to occur. In any ëfrození region of order or at any strange attractor the dynamics of life would not be able to sufficiently adapt. It is just on the frontier between order and chaos - at the edge of chaos, - where a delicate dynamic balance emerges, impregnated with seeds of innovative transformations. While we cannot be masters of transformation at the edge of chaos, we are not slaves to it. We co-create it! This is an entirely new challenging way of perceiving the role of those who seek to be practitioners of fuzziology - agents of change in the Global Age of Complexity and Chaos.
"In a recursive, complexly interwoven world, whatever one does propagates outward, returns, recycles and comes back in a completely unpredictable form. We can never fully know to what results our action leads. We take action, the action can have a very potent shaping effect. Then we relax the drive to control and allow the process to unfold - the process learns, shapes and changes itself through all its inseparable components, not under the direction of one of them only. Together with overall changes in the process, we also change, almost unnoticeably, without any strain..." (Goerner, 1994)
2.4.5 Self-Organization and Vorticity
Complex social dynamics give birth to forces of self-organization, which seem to arise spontaneously from ëdisorderedí conditions, not as simple products of known physical laws.
How can entirely new structures emerge from the multitude of dynamic interactions within a complex system? The concept of vorticity sheds some light on this stunning phenomenon.
Vorticity is a characteristic of whirling energy and vortex is a material embodiment of such kind of energy. Examples of vortices are whirlpools, maelstroms, tornadoes, whirlwinds. The larger the vorticity, the stronger the self-organizing force that a vortex produces - a 'sucking force' along the vertical axis of the vortex. Where this force is coming from? It does nor come from outside the vortex; it comes from within it, as a result of suddenly intensified dynamic interactions of masses (of water or air) with different characteristics (say, density, temperature, velocity). The swirling masses are driving the self-organizing force, and vice versa: the self-organizing force sustains the wholeness of the vortex and centers its vorticity. So the emergent vortical structure and the force, which supports it, are inseparably connected.
Similar emergence occurs in our innermost 'space', where the integrity of one's body, mind and soul expresses itslimitless power. Is is the space of our thoughts and feelings, ideas and emotions, longings and aspirations, spiritual beliefs and dreams. The whirling motion of these 'immaterial' emanations of our brains and hearts can generate forces of a magnitude comparable with the magnitude of those forces which tornadoes and whirlpools can produce. Only the 'state space' is different; the forces emergent out of tornadoes and whirlpools are in the space outside us (at the visible macro scales of existence), while the forces emergent out of our brains and hearts are in the space inside us (at the hidden micro scales of existence). Same dynamics of nature, different scales of their manifestation!
Heisenberg once said: "The same regulating forces that have created nature in all its forms are responsible for the structure of our psyche and also for our capacity to think" (Heisenberg, 2000). Nature does not select a special kind of dynamics for humans and another kind for the rest of the universe; the dynamics of nature - its energies, forces, substances and forms - are ubiquitous. Of course, the ways these dynamics operate at the scale of the macrocosm differ from the ways they act at the scale of the meso- or microcosm. Quite specific is their manifestation at the physical level of the human organism, at the level of our emotions or at the level of our mental activity.
What stimulates the whirling motion of our thoughts and feelings? What injects vorticity in the space of our emotions and ideas, aspirations and dreams? The answer is surprisingly simple: our urge to know, our thirst to explore the world and ourselves, our motivation to go beyond the limits, which the fuzziness inherent in our experience and knowledge puts on our understanding of reality, both outer and inner at the same time.
The wisdom of Vedas considers the outer reality a projection, an imperfect reflection or a symbol of the inner experience. "Dive into the centre of your own being, into the depth of your consciousness, in which the whole infinite world is contained!" say repeatedly the sacred writings.
Layers of fuzziness cover the way that leads to the depth of our consciousness. While exploring the nature, sources and dynamics of fuzziness, fuzziology assists us in our endeavour to decrease the denseness of these layers and learn how to transcend them. The impetus for transcending the layers of fuzziness may well emerge out of the vortices of our inner experience.
In the ancient Sanskrit books of yoga, seven major spinal chakras of human body are described, each chakra representing a dormant vortex of vital life energy. Meditation practices and yoga exercises can make the vortices swirl and thus awake forces of tremendous power able not only to invigorate the whole organism, but also to inspire and stimulate the intuitive component of human thinking.
Vortices of immense energy are hidden in human group dynamics. It is a noble challenge for those who seek to facilitate change in any area of social activity to wake them to life. The ability to inspire and ignite imagination, warm hearts and awake hopes and aspirations, radiate joy and stimulate new thoughts and vision, this is what brings forth self-organizing forces out of whirling dynamics in organizations. If this is done with honesty and humility, good will and sincere desire to help and support, the organizational vortices can contribute in liberating peopleís potential for creativity and growth.
2.4.6 Harmonious Co-evolution
The fuzziness inherent in human experience and knowledge is the only route to a deeper insight into ways of living- thinking and acting creatively - in harmony with the evolving universe.
When aware about the fuzziness imbedded in our understanding and making meaning out of our experience, we are prepared to tolerate the opposites that mind generates, and harmoniously balance them to such a degree that they cease to cancel each other out, and become complementary.
Up to a large degree, social applications of fuzzy logic are oriented towards a search of resilient frameworks - frameworks that are easy to re-shape and modify, - in which the "either/or" approach to contradictory alternatives or concepts can be replaced by a "both/and" relationship of their parallel acceptance. Fuzzy logic has been applied to facilitate this acceptance by assuming that under condition of fuzziness seemingly contradictory concepts can simultaneously be true and false up to a certain degree, so that they can merge into social satisfactory "both/and" statements. Such application of fuzzy logic is crucial for avoiding the paradox of Arrow related to social choice and group decision making (Dimitrov, 1976; Dimitrov, 1983) and also in negotiation where the participating sides are willing to seek consensus (Dimitrov, 1997).
The paradoxical and chaotic nature of social reality causes a great deal of uncertainty and vagueness in the emergence and creation of human decisions. Under conditions of uncertainty and vagueness, when no ultimate answers or best solutions exist, dialogue and search for understanding and consensus between people (at interpersonal level), as well as between the thoughts, emotions, beliefs and aspirations that constantly emerge inside an individual (at intrapersonal level) are vital for managing social complexity.
Fuzzy logic has done a worthwhile job in society by opening the eyes of leaders, and managers to the futility of black-and-white dreams of universality, 'unique solutions' and 'best answers'. It has done a worthwhile job in society by stimulating tolerance to different and contradictory viewpoints and facilitating a switch from contradictory to complementary value-differences.
Fuzziology goes further than fuzzy logic in the search for complementarity and harmony in people's communication and relationships. By exploring the sources, nature and dynamics of fuzziness imbedded in any set of contradictory concepts, fuzziology looks for new, previously unknown possibilities and decisions.
As we already mentioned above, the maxim of fuzziology is: "Do not reject, but do not accept either. Go beyond". It is the fuzziness in our knowledge and experience - its sources, nature and dynamics - that constantly challenges us to 'go beyond' what we consider as known.
The 'known' is inevitably partial and fragmentary; it separates us, it makes us compete and fight. The unknown is a bridge to the all-embracing existential wholeness; it unites us, it makes the fuzziness inherent in our endeavours, aspirations, beliefs and dreams resonate with the mysterious fuzziness of the self-propelling drive ofour evolving universe. Moreover, it stimulates our urge to explore the harmony of nature and understand how to live according to its eternal laws. Without such an understanding, our every day social and individual behaviour appears animalistic, senseless and destructive.
2.5 Fuzzy Logic and Fuzziology
In this section we explore a paradox about the role of fuzzy logic and its successes in the context of fuzziology. On the one hand fuzzy logic has been a spectacular success story, especially in fields of engineering and applied science, which has put the concept of fuzziness on the map. Its success in these areas of application has contributed to its prestige, leading to a flow of funding to support conferences, research and publications. Yet these successes at the same time have limited the development of the study of fuzziness by itself, as successes lead only to more successes of the same kind, not to new and deeper understandings of the mysteries of fuzziness itself. Unless something happens to reverse this process, fuzzy logic in turn will suffer, shrinking from a paradigm that could change the world of thought into a box of tricks for engineers, alongside other tricks. Over time those tricks will inevitably seem obsolete, replaced by new, more fashionable terms and tricks.
These two tendencies coexist in the present, and they need from social fuzziology a capacity to entertain both parts of the contradiction. On the one hand we need to celebrate fuzzy logic for the work it has done over the past four decades, in an area of intellectual life that was previously thought to be most hostile to its core principles: engineering and applied sciences based on crisp logic and linear models. There must be something fundamentally wrong with the assumptions of traditional science and technology if fuzzy logic works so well. Fuzzy logic has already proved its strong applicative potential.
On the other hand, fuzziness as an essential characteristic of human inquiry did not come from science and engineering. On the contrary it has developed over many thousands of years of human experience and thinking about social, material and spiritual existence. It is not likely that fuzziology has taken all it can and all it needs from this rich tradition in the one scoop, made by Zadeh thirty years ago. Fuzzy logic ought to be an inspiration to fuzziology, if it is taken as a crucial first step into deepening the understanding of fuzziness in all its forms. In its dogmatic or unthinking forms it will be a block to further development. As such, it must be critiqued and resisted.
2.5.1 Fuzziness and 'Softness'
The development of fuzzy systems took place alongside a set of similar tendencies in adjacent fields of inquiry, organised around the concept of ësoftnessí. Zadeh himself has seen the affinity between fuzzy logic and ësoftí computing, noting that ëthe role model for computing with words is the human mindí (Zadeh, 1999). At much the same time when fuzzy logic was introduced, ësoft systemsí methods were developed by Checkland and others (Checkland, 1981) out of systems theory because they saw the methods of the previous ëhardí systems approach as unable to deal with complex recursive processes that are common in human systems.
The developments of fuzzy logic and soft systems methods are built around a common discovery that understanding of complex processes and systems can be deeper and more effective by incorporating an organic fuzziness or softness into the basic tools and models of thought. At the same time they have been taken up by powerful and wealthy interests concerned with fuzziness and softness only as means to their own greater profit and control, not because of the insights they hold into the nature and well-being of humanity and the universe. In such a context, the underlying logics of softness and fuzziness are compromised and constrained. It is a primary task of social fuzziology to understand this tendency and provide conceptual means to remedy it.
In the table below, we set out the following differences between FL and possible forms of fuzziology.
Fuzzy Logic Fuzziology
Studies classes in which there are no sharp boundaries from membership to non-membership and their applications mainly in the engineering practice. Studies fuzziness inherent in human experience and knowing, its sources, nature and dynamics, and the ways people deal with it.
Explores a specific type of imprecision associated with the definition of a fuzzy set. Explores fuzziness as a universal characteristic of human experience and knowing.
Converts human perception into precise symbols for further computer-based processing. Deals with human perceptions as they are - impregnated with an irreducible fuzziness.
Serves the purposes of control - control over technological processes and machines, engineering systems and robots, natural environment, people, economy and society as a whole. Serves to sharpen human awareness about the fuzziness of what is considered known, and by exploring its sources, nature and dynamics helps to transcend the limitations it puts on human understanding.
"Accept or reject up to a degree among a given set of possibilities!" "Don't reject, but don't stay with it either; go beyond the known!"
Uses fuzzy sets, probabilistic reasoning and soft computing. Uses insights from the ancient wisdom and nonlinear science.
2.5.2 Role of Fuzziology in Engineering Practice
Engineering for many centuries has been seen as the domain of crisp thinking, in which specific projects are framed with the utmost possible precision according to explicit criteria and exact measurements. Engineering has also always been a practical activity which has required engineers to take account of many other 'fuzzy' factors, if they were to be successful over-all in projects embedded in complex social and material circumstances. So education for engineers consisted of a crisp formal curriculum, and a broad unacknowledged implicit informal curriculum learnt in experience-rooted ways. One of the achievements of fuzzy logic has been to incorporate some of that fuzziness into the formal and conscious thinking of the profession. Yet the scope of this fuzziness is still constrained and relatively unconscious. There is a need for fuzziology to provide some guidance to help engineers become more conscious of the fuzziness inherent in many of their key professional decisions.
Here are three practical ways for acknowledging this kind of fuzziness:
(1) By using a rule similar to the simple advice of the ancient wisdom for expanding our consciousness: expand the set of variables used in the engineering project, to include as many as possible aspects of the human factors related to this project, and not only technical and economical considerations about the practical efficiency of the project's realization.
Today's advanced techniques of soft computing modelling makes it possible to enrich the engineering models with fuzzy variables more adequately expressing their human (social, ethical, psychological, moral, etc.) dimensions. By experimenting with different ways of expressing fuzziness of what the engineers know (and do not know) about these dimensions, they can test the behaviour of the created models in virtual environments much broader than only technological or economic.
(2) Another way of 'humanizing' an engineering project is by focusing the designers' attention on what remains unknown about the nature of the project and its use in practice. For example, when mutating a gene that is considered responsible for some human disease, one needs to investigate also the relationships of this gene with other ones and how strong these relationships are? Maybe by slightly mutating one gene only, we can crucially influence the behaviour of other closely related genes, and this could have consequences much more severe than the disease that one wants to cure? Similar questions can be asked when introducing a new 'efficient' medical drug. What is our knowledge about the side effects of this drug? How fuzzy it is?
(3) The third way could be by taking an opposite position about the efficiency of the project under development. Instead of collecting only evidences how good is this project and how much money it will bring when realized into practice, one can try to collect evidence about the potential negative features of the project, particularly, if the latter relates to human and ecological issues of crucial importance.
For example, instead of just repeating how useful will be the new anti-rocket 'defense' system for sustaining the world wide military power o the USA, one can explore social consequences of the realization of this project in a broader human context expanding beyond the amitions for power and dominance. Similar approach can be used when revealing the fuzziness of our knowledge related to all kind of global economic projects 'generously' supported by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Federal Reserve Bank and other financial corporations which, beside their profit-centred interests, have very little else in mind.
2.6 Fuzziology and Creativity
Creativity is an essential quality in science as in all other fields of human endeavour. All the great scientists have been highly creative, though the roots and sources of that creativity have not always been well understood. Fuzziology is deeply interested in the conditions of creativity and the kinds and roles of fuzziness for the release of its magic.
What is creativity? When exploring the secrets of creativity in art, Rudolf Steiner wrote: "We do not create by merely imitating a model; we create by immersing ourselves in the force used by nature to form and create the human being. We shape things as nature does" (Steiner, 1998).
Translated to terms of fuzziology, this statement identifies the act of creativity with a dynamic and necessarily fuzzy act of fusing inner and outer, subject and object, observer and observed, in an experience of the universal self-organizing force of nature and the way this force works through us and 'shapes' our bodies, our minds, our souls. Such creativity does not attempt to deny or mute the profoundly chaotic and complex nature of human and universal dynamics, but instead learns its profound truths by accepting its affinities.
Another way of putting this is to suppose that creativity is based on a recognition that each human being is a microcosm - a 'fractal', in the terms of chaos theory, which mirrors the microcosm - the universe; of course, not in the same sense as in the pictures of Mandelbrot's fractals. The shape of the 'human fractal' quite possibly differs from the shape of the 'cosmic fractal'. The similarity is in the ways in which the dynamics that are responsible for the creation, sustenance and destruction of everything that exists, express at the scale of the humans and at the scale of the universe.
2.6.1 Einstein's View on Creativity
One of the most creative scientists of the modern era is undoubtedly Albert Einstein, whose modes of thought have been scrutinised by many in order to understand better what is involved in a high degree of scientific creativity. His own comments suggest the importance of the role of fuzziness in his thought processes:
1. Role of imagination in creating multiple realities in virtual space.
"When I examine myself and my methods of thought I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge" (Gardner, 1993).
2. Direct use of fuzzy thoughts, rather than crisp words or concepts.
"The words of the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychic entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be "voluntarily" reproduced and combinedÖ The elements are, in my case, of visual and some of muscular type" (ibid., p.105).
Note that this characteristic, which may seem like 'defuzzification', is in practice the opposite, since Einsteinís aim is not to reduce his insights to one simpler form, but to represent it in a variety of ëdifferent modes of thoughtí, each of them irreducibly fuzzy in ways that were ënaturalí to people inured to those modes of thought, but together adding up to a multi-facetted irreducible fuzziness at the intersection of the different versions.
ëInspirationí is one of the qualities most closely associated with creativity. We can understand ëinspirationí in fuzzy terms taken from theories of chaos and complexity, representing it as the injection of enormous energy into human experiential space ? enough energy to facilitate the emergence of new 'strange attractors' in the 'phase space' of the human dynamics in the form of new dynamic clusters of thoughts, feelings and activities, or to evoke changes from one existing attractor to another (Dimitrov and Ebsary, 2000). In the same manner as the resonance between the mind, heart and spirit spontaneously occurs, so does the rapture of inspiration. 'Trying to be inspired' or 'to impose inspiration' is like 'trying to be spontaneous' - it does not work! On the contrary, it creates obstacles for the flash of inspiration to be ignited.
There are many powerful catalysts of inspiration - external (like beautiful scenery, personality, picture, music, poetry) or internal (related to one's individual achievements, self-realization, will power, experience of love, faith, hope). Different catalysts can have different inspiring effects on different individuals. Rarely, a piece of borrowed knowledge can trigger an inspirational sparkle; in most of the situations it remains locked in the field of the mind's activity, as it is used mainly for pursuing goals which are pre-set by one's mind. And everyone knows well that it is impossible to set goals to the heart and the spirit - they hardly obey any instruction coming from the mind.
Only if the knowledge, which we 'borrow' from others, succeeds in moving our soul, only if it dissolves its boundaries and integrates not only with want we know but also with what we experience, with what we feel, with what we live with and dream for, it could ignite a sparkle of inspiration.
Any genuine spiritual endeavour needs the rupture of inspiration, otherwise it loses sincerity and wilts quickly. Inspiration is needed not only to energize the inner human drive for self-realization and enlightenment, but also to serve as a motivating factor for many people to oppose the injustice and oppression in society.
Inspiration is not a 'logocentric' phenomenon, that is, it is not based on a 'logically consistent system of thought that claims legitimacy by reference to external and universally truthful propositions'. Being the greatest stimulator of human creativity, inspiration requires intermittence (discontinuity) of causality - a quality inherent on the chaotic dynamics; any logical chain of cause-effect melts under lucidity of inspiration. In any rupture of inspiration, both the power of the spirit and the warmth of the heart have a greater weight than the logic of the brain. A posteriori analyses of how inspiration works can possibly reveal some relations of topological similarity of the experiential trajectories of those who have been exposed to the flash of inspiration, rather than similarity of physical causes. Therefore, geometrical mechanisms appear to be suitable for 'mapping' events of inspiration into chaotic experiential dynamics (McNeil and Dimitrov, 1998).
Inspiration evokes forces of creativity; their creative power can grow tremendously, if the synergy between the heart, mind and spirit vibrates with the rhythm of nature. This rare phenomenon can be called a 'double harmonious resonance' (Dimitrrov and Næss, 2001): the heart, mind and spirit resonate not only with one another, but also with the life-supporting rhythm of nature. The level of fuzziness required to understand this goes beyond the fuzziness normally inherent in words, as Einstein noted. For this reason it has become a commonplace to say it is impossible to describe in words the experience which such a creative impetus can bring forth. The greatest artists, poets, scientists and philosophers of humanity were overwhelmed by such kind of deeply spiritual resonance when creating their master pieces; their works are eternal because they reflect the eternal dimension of life - its never-ending rhythm. Therefore, the flow of time cannot diminish their splendour, their beauty and the waves of inspiration they evoke and will continue to evoke.
2.6.3 The Zen of Creativity
The Zen of creativity pulls fuzziology towards the boundaries of its Logos - the reason that in ancient Greek philosophy was the controlling principle in the whole universe. In the books of Zen, any act of creativity is compared to a leap into a bottomless abyss, with a letting go of all familiar ideas and prejudices. The precipice is the unfathomable depth of our own consciousness, which yawns beyond the narrow circle of our egocentric world of illusions.
The Zen of creativity requires from fuzziology to become conscious of the mysterious working of the creative power of nature trough each of us, through each single entity in the universe, be it animated or non-animated.
With the Zen of creativity we can reveal the mesmerizing fuzziness of our 'progress' in the fields of science and technology - a progress that we make with our brains neglecting the power of our heart and spirit. We cheat ourselves with plans, aims and strategies. We do not hear the whispering voices of our souls because of the noise of our own words. Our restless life takes away our breath, our insatiable desires make our hearts arrhythmic and cause our blood to race through the veins carrying substances that destroy our health. Thus we do not hear the 'sounds of other spheres', do not see the visions described in the ancient scriptures, do not feel the mystery of life... And the eternal creative stream flows past us into the infinite from whence it came.
The Zen of creativity advises us: "In order to hear, you must be silent. In order to see you must close your eyes to the external forms. In order to feel the cosmic rhythm, you must quiet your breath and master your heart. And in order to be carried by the eternal creative stream, you must give up your selfish desires.... Then you could be creative!"
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Chapter 3 Understanding Fuzziness of Ourselves
Dive into the centre of your own being, unto the depth of your consciousness,
in which the whole infinite world is contained!
3.1 Paradox of Mind
In the previous chapter we discussed the ubiquity of nature's dynamics and underlined that there is no reason for nature to select one 'special' engine to support human dynamics and another to support the dynamics of the rest of the world. Neither is there any reason for nature to separate the forces and energies sustaining our physical body from those responsible for emergence of our emotions, thoughts or flashes of inspiration and intuition. It is one and the same engine, which works at all visible and invisible scales of the universe, although the ways in which this engine works at each scale level differ.
It seems paradoxical that the mind, being the 'nearest' to one's innermost nature, constantly strives to externalise - to explore all kinds of external phenomena while neglecting the secrets of its own dynamics. Are the 'offers and demands' of senses so powerful that the mind can not resist their pulls towards what is outside us, towards various objects of external attraction? Or maybe, being a 'Chief Coordinator' of the senses and therefore involved in processing heaps of information, the mind has simply neither time nor will to concentrate upon its own inward dynamics.
Processes like concentration, contemplation and meditation, used in the practice of self-knowing, are self-referential processes: the consciousness relies upon itself to understand itself and uses its own tools to go deeper in exploring its nature and possibly find that unique source and centre of inner serenity, integrity and enlightenment, about which people never stop talking, writing and preaching since time immemorial. Because of their self-referentiality, the processes mentioned above are difficult to grasp and realise at the level of mind only; at that level, self-referentiality often leads to paradoxes, blind alleys, double binds, conundrums. The transcendence or dissolution of these hard-to-digest phenomena needs a special type of awareness - a dynamic awareness developed at a level of consciousness that is different than (and yet vitally connected with) the level of mind. The roots of that level lay in human capacity to experience the living reality holistically and not only through the filters of mind able to produce only series of distorted partial images. The partial mental images serve to aggravate the fuzziness in our understanding of reality rather than to help us transcend the limits that the fuzziness puts on this understanding.
Large is the number of factors, which detract the human mind from achievement of that profound dynamic awareness required for dealing with the self-referential loops of the human thinking. So large and so strong are these factors in their influential power that the mind alone can hardly resist them. Mind is just a 'fractal' of one's consciousness and the consciousness is a fractal of something much greater, something that is impossible to describe with the tools of thinking like thoughts, words, feelings, emotions, beliefs, dreams. Therefore, the application of these tools and their expressions through ever-generated ideas and realisations, decisions and actions, theories and practices appear fuzzy and obscure.
3.2 Journey towards Understanding Ourselves
The fuzziness of our mind's creations does not stop our journey into ourselves. This journey is not an escape from the world or from the human society. On the contrary, with a deeper understanding of ourselves (and the more we discover in us, the more we discover in others and in the world around!), the motivating factors for our resistance against the injustice and oppression in today's world change. They are no more hatred and vengeance, but love of truth and justice, and a genuine concern about the people in society and the creatures in nature that need help.
The journey into ourselves shows how difficult it is for each of us to change those behavioural patterns that one does not like and sincerely wants to abolish, how much will power and effort, persistence and devotion needs the realisation of even a slightest inner change. Patience, sympathy, tolerance and respect to others are qualities, which the inner journey brings up into our relations in society; these qualities are crucial when confronting our views with other fundamentally opposite viewpoints.
The most significant factor for "going beyond" (as socially fuzziology suggests) the destructive friction of confrontation is one's genuine endeavour to understand the reason for it and give examples, through one's own behaviour and actions, of other ways to relate to one another which are much more efficient than confrontation.
The influential strength of the examples that each of us can share with the others, through one's own way of being - living and behaving in society, depends on the depth of our knowledge about ourselves. One can differentiate between three streams of self-knowing (Dimitrov and Ebsary, 2000):
Knowing About the Ideal (KAI). This type of fuzzy knowing may emerge while contemplating on the following maieutic question: What kind of identity (personality, inner self) I want to nourish - grow, realize, reveal - in myself?
Knowing About the Obstacles (KAO) on the way to the ideal. This type of knowing may reward our fuzzy thoughts related to another maieutic question: What are the obstacles, both external and internal, that prevent me from realization of myself in harmony with my ideal?
Knowing About the Energy (KAE) supporting one's journey towards understanding oneself. This type of fuzzy knowing may reveal itself while trying to find answers of the third maieutic question: How can I increase and use, as full as possible, my energy potential, strength, willpower, and determination to deal with - surmount, dissolve, transcend - the obstacles on the way to my ideal?
Like the three 'gunas' - a Sanskrit name for the three fundamental qualities of human nature, described in the ancient yoga philosophy of Patanjali (Feuerstein, 1990) - the above three streams of knowing are never in equilibrium - they always move so that in each moment a specific fuzzy stream prevails.
If KAI prevails, we often are in a contemplative or merely dreaming mood - either generating ideas, plans, visions and scenarios about our future realisations, or passively imagining fuzzy pictures of ourselves in some desirable ideal states and conditions.
If KAO prevails, we could feel depressed: we might be aware of how difficult it would be to achieve the ideal seen in our fuzzy dreams, plans and visions, and what a large amount of effort, knowledge and vigilance this requires.
If KAE prevails, we are usually in an active and creative mood - we act in order to go beyond the fuzziness of merely contemplating, dreaming or feeling depressed, plus we are keen to undertake actions in order to realize our ideas, plans and dreams about the ideal.
The above three streams interact with one another through various positive and negative feedback loops.
The negative feedback loops between KAE and KAO seems to act against individual self-realization and growth: the less active we are, the more obstacles are accumulated on the way to our ideal; the more obstacles emerge, the less efficient is our activity and this influences negatively our drive to act. There are always thresholds in the number and magnitude of the accumulated and emergent obstacles after which one's motivation for undertaking actions goes to zero.
Most promising for one's realisation in harmony with the ideal's image is the positive feedback between KAI and KAE. Keeping the qualities of the ideal alive in one's mind, heart and spirit stimulates actions towards development of these qualities; the actions sharpen the initial fuzziness of the image and make it appear more real, more close and achievable. When the ideal is felt and experienced as an actually present reality, it can become an effective and irresistible force that stimulates and inspires one's fulfilment in life.
3.3 Human Experiential Space
It is not only in the 'space' of mind where the self-knowledge emerges; the whole life-experience of an individual, with its self-organising fuzziness, participates in the dynamics of the three streams of self-knowing and their interactions. We can imagine the interactive dynamics of these streams as moving (whirling, pulsating, evolving) in a space that is much larger than the space of mind - a space reflected by the whole spectrum of our experience and the ways we live it. This space includes the mental space; we call it "human experiential space" (Dimitrov and Ebsary, 2000).
3.3.1 Characteristics of Human Experiential Space
Human Experiential Space (HES) can be characterised as:
An almost infinite number of external and internal interrelated factors affect - stimulate, sustain, impede, or destroy - the interactive dynamics of the streams of human knowing. Although these dynamics results in events and actions that occur in the three-dimensional physical world, in which we move and organize our living, it has not only physical dimensions but also dimensions characterising the wholeness of one's experience - mental, emotional, spiritual. In this sense, HES is a multidimensional space of dynamics specific for each individual's fuzziness of experiencing life.
One can never exactly describe or predict how the dynamics in HES work and unfold. Events, factors and behaviours that mind considers as insignificant can suddenly bring forth insights of great importance for the process of understanding of oneself (and the world); seemingly simple and routine modes of behaviour can lead to complicated experiential patterns with substantial effects on the fuzziness inherent in this process.
Free from linearity of time:
An hour in the life of a child is an infinitely longer time measure than in the life of an aged person, because the life-rhythm of a child goes at a much faster pace than that of an adult. The less we move, the more we are aware of time. The more actively we are engaged in exploring our inner dynamics through processes like concentration and meditation, the less we notice the passage of time. So, the time span of an event which we experience is essentially fuzzy - not fixed, not linear, and might not be irreversible (as the arrow of time requires) either (Price, 1996).
The streams of fuzzy knowledge in HES have evolutionary trajectories that mirror an almost infinite and diverse spectrum of ever-occurring experiential events and activities, while affected by the growth of one's individual consciousness - a growth to which these streams of knowledge directly contribute. Human urge for realisation of the inner creative potential - a potential that is in every one of us - is a force behind the growth of our consciousness and the evolution of our knowledge.
3.3.2 Comparison between Experiential Fuzziness and
Fuzziness of Thinking
The fuzziness of HES has different character than the fuzziness of thinking; the latter reflects our ability to understand reality, the former depends on our ability to experience it directly.
Apparently, the factor that strongly influences fuzziness of understanding is our ability for concentration. The higher our ability for mental concentration, that is, the less disturbed the process of our thinking by emergent desires, established attachments or by the diktat of imposed mental patterns, the higher our ability for understanding reality.
One's concentrated mind is at the top of its sharpness and discriminative power when one contemplates events that have already past or ponders future results and decisions. The concentrated mind works perfectly with precisely formulated problems and like to search such problems in the future. What is difficult to remain in the focus of a concentrated mind is one's present experience; the latter is not function of the process of thinking. The thoughts slide upon the surface of the present while trying to make analogies and comparisons with what has already past or plans and scenarios about what has not yet come to realisation.
The higher our ability for direct experience of life, that is, an experience which is free of comparisons, analogies, classifications, judgements, scenarios, predictions, goals and other 'mindful' operations, the less fuzzy our perception of this experience.
When directly experiencing reality, the mind seems to be switched off, but not our awareness. On the contrary, when the past and future stop pulling us apart, then we can grasp what occurs in the immediacy of the present and be aware of even the slightest motion in our experience. It is like being in an extremely dangerous situation when there is a direct threat for our life; in such a situation the alertness reaches its highest peak and we are conscious about every single detail of reality. There is no time for mindful analyses, conclusions, hypotheses, theories; the person who experiences, the process of experiencing and the experiential events become an inseparable whole. Such a state of maximum alertness (awareness, vigilance) characterises one's direct experience of reality. It seems that the fuzziness transcends in this experience; reality is seen as it is, without any speculations by the reason.
One is able to experience reality directly not only when being in a life-threatening situation, but also in a state of deep communion with nature or in a company with persons whom one really loves, respects and values or when immersed in a genuine spiritual practice, in mediation, etc.
While experiencing reality directly, time seems to disappear.
When there is no time, there is no fuzziness. The feeling of time always implies incompleteness.
After an event happens, one can never repeat again the same experience of it. So unique is each individual's experience that if the message it carries is not understood, one cannot revive it again; the experience moves into the past while leaving behind the fuzziness it has induced in one's mind.
If an event is expected to happen later or tomorrow, it keeps spreading fuzziness in the thoughts and feelings of those involved in its expectation. The proverb says that 'later and tomorrow never happen', but the fuzziness about 'later and tomorrow' constantly reproduces in the mind of the planners, dreamers and prophets.
In the direct experience of now, when one becomes at-one with what one undergoes the fuzziness dissolves.
Thinking needs time and therefore the fuzziness is its companion - it increases or decreases when our knowing expands and shrinks in the rhythm of time.
Every act of direct experience resembles the flash of intuition; the latter needs no time - the fuzziness annuls in its illumination, in order to get re-born again in the consequent thoughts and explanations.
3.3.3 'Strange' Attractions in Human Experience
Usually, the ideals about ourselves that we portray in the streams of KAI - Knowing About the Ideal - have common characteristics which point towards the fuzzy perception of images of an almost god-like ideal creature that is:
* radiating and attracting love
* immortal and healthy
As we all have similar ideas about the qualities of the ideal and aspire to see these qualities realised in ourselves, the mostly spread spiritual traditions of humanity suggest that we are already the ideal ('God') but in a potential - virtual, implicit, seed-like - form. Otherwise, we would not be able to construct, share and pursue fulfilment of the ideal's qualities.
The qualities of the ideal act as dynamic attractors in HES. No matter how diverse one's everyday activity might appear, it is pulled, consciously or unconsciously, towards:
* accumulating and exercising power in various forms, e.g., by acquiring possessions, money, higher social status, influence, prestige, etc.,
* experience of happiness and different kinds of pleasures,
* freedom for opening new possibilities to express one's skill, creativity, intellectual and artistic abilities, talents, dreams, etc.,
* experience of love,
* longevity and health,
* expanding one's knowledge through learning and education, cultural and spiritual enrichment, contemplation, etc.
Power, Pleasure, Freedom, Love, Longevity and Knowledge represent six relatively stable dynamic patters - 'strange attractors' in the chaotic space of HES. It is impossible to know exactly how these six attractors manifest in one's experience, behaviour and actions, or to predict precisely the changes they can produce in one's life; in this sense they are fuzzy and even chaotic - unpredictable and sensitive to perturbations occurring in HES. However fuzzy and unpredictable the manifestations of the attractors are, one can easily recognise (just by watching one's actions and behaviour) in the 'basin' of which attractor(s) this behaviour or activity is placed.
The attractors need energy in order to exercise their pulling drives; the energy is supplied by the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual urges and motivating forces of the individuals involved in the creation and experience of these attractors. When the energy supplied to an attractor stops, it shrinks and dissolves into HES.
The attractors in HES remind Jungian archetypes - dynamic structures of thought shared by all humans and imprinted in the human mind like predispositions and habits. Forces similar to various conscious and unconscious urges, which Jung assumed to sustain the archetypes, are responsible for the chaotic dynamics of the attractors in HES (Van Eenwyk, 1997).
3.3.4 Understanding The Thinker
There are substantial differences between the qualities of one's ideal and the ways these qualities actually manifest in one's behaviour. As Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti, 1974) explained, together with the process of living - thinking, feeling, acting, behaving, there is another process going in parallel at the inner 'scale' of each of us. This is the process of formation and hardening of the thinker - the person who creates the thoughts and assigns the filters - values, worldviews, opinions, judgements, attitudes, feelings, obsessions, biases, doctrines, theories, philosophies, etc. - through which to see and analyse the events of life.
When the thinker persistently rationalises one's experience - separates, selects, interprets, compares, weighs, evaluates, reshapes, adjusts, adapts, modifies, etc., the experience loses its freshness, its directness, its immediacy. The fuzziness inherent in the thinking process constantly projects on the experience and obstructs its direct perception.
The primary goal of the thinker is to protect its most important creation - the individual's ego: to support the realisation of the ego's urges for survival, for influence and control, recognition and respect. Therefore the root thought for the thinker is always about "I" and "mine".
The deeper the thinker immerses in egotism, the denser the fuzziness that it injects into one's capacity to perceive - experience and understand - reality.
The proof of the above statement lies in the insatiable nature of the egotism. The thinker constantly tries to satisfy the appetite of the ego and hence looks at reality as a place where its main preoccupation is with how to better serve the ego and grab as much as possible from the world in order to respond to the ego's desires and ambitions. While everything is seen through such a narrow egoistic perspective, the reality appears partial and distorted in one's mind, and the chance for seeing the large and rich picture of reality in its vibrant wholeness diminishes abruptly. This sustains a particular kind of fuzziness in one's perceptions - fuzziness whose seal is the egotism of the thinker.
Under the influence of an immersed-in-egotism thinker, the attractors in HES transform into egoistic, that is, into attractors, which drag one's mind and body towards realisation of ego-centred behaviours. In the aftermath of this, irresistible feelings of competitiveness and hatred, pride and arrogance, anger and fear, lust and jealousy, anxiety and sorrow spread their dense fuzziness into the individual experience. They pollute our ability to understand, decide and know with ever so heavy, compact and hard-to-mentally-digest fuzziness. Under the veil of this fuzziness, the relations between us cannot but obey the demands of the ego: 'tit for tat' and 'an eye for an eye'.
Life centred entirely in one's ego, where the ego is nothing but a mental creation destined to perish with the death of the individualís body, seems meaningless. Death, even the most heroic, can hardly be impetus for one's life.
Life of the individual has meaning if its impetus is centred in something which is not transitory, something which does not decay and die together with the individual's mind and ego. Otherwise the life is just a day-by-day survival with a death sentence proclaimed for each individual (in an absolute manner!) at the moment of his or her birth.
Let us involved the thinker in an inquiry initiated by fuzziology - a maieutic inquiry into the essence of the human dynamics - with intent to help the thinker transcend the limitations of the ego.
3.4 Maieutic Inquiry into the Essence of Human Dynamics
3.4.1 Existential Whirlpool: The Approach of Fuzziology
(1) What could be that which does not perish with one's physical death?
The answer of this question - a question that, together with the other questions considered further in this chapter, relates to the maieutic inquiry of Socrates (and of social fuzziology as well) - is very simple in the framework of the key propositions of fuzziology: what does not perish with one's death must be connected with the focal point, the centre, of the ever-present dynamics of existence.
In the wholeness of the existential dynamics, where everything constantly moves - emerges, sustains, disappears and re-emerges again, it must be a centre - an essence - that holds all the whirling dynamics in an unbreakable unity (Bohm, 1980)
The unity is sine qua non for the existential dynamics; they change, adapt, evolve and transform from one material embodiment to another only in integrity - interconnection, interrelationship and interdependence. This is also what one of the three main principles of fuzziology - the Principle of Connectivity-in-Dynamics ? stands for. The roots of this principle are in the famous panta rei ? ëeverything is in fluxí ? of Heraclitus. More than 2500 years ago, he said: "Upon those who step into the same river different and ever different waters flow down." And it does not matter how different the waters are and how much they change ? the flow of the river, the ëfluxí ? persists in its unity.
As the existential dynamics have always been and will always be, their uniting centre or essence is timeless - non-temporal, permanent, eternal.
However fuzzy the human knowledge about the nature of the all-pervading existential continuum, today' science dare assume that the whirling wholeness of the universe, at its macro level, represents a gigantic galactic spiral or whirlpool (vortex). The centre that holds together all the swirling dynamics of this whirlpool must be on its centralaxis. (The infinity of the existential continuum consists of countless number of galactic whirlpools; the centre of each whirlpool mirrors and relates to the centre of a larger one, in a similar way as the centre of our solar system mirrors and relates to the centre of our galaxy, and the centre of our galaxy - to the centre of a larger 'mega-galaxy', and so on ad infinitum.)
The study of nonlinear vortical dynamics of the whirlpools and tornadoes have shown that at the central axis of any highly energised whirlpool a kind of 'hollowness' forms and sustains - a cavity, an emptiness - with no material filling in it. Such hollowness is theoretically expected along the central axis of the all-embracing existential whirlpool. As the cental axis is without a material substratum, it is free from the effect of time: the emptiness persists along the axis without birth and death, without growth and decay. While empty from material substrata, the centre is impregnated with an immense creative potential, similarly to the potential of the hollowness located along the axis of a whirling black hole - a hollowness full of enormous sucking power.
Being simultaneously voidness (void of substance) and plenitude (full of inner energy) AND neither voidness nor plenitude (therefore something else, which transcends duality of the logical explanations), the hollowness of the centre of the existential whirlpool can stand for something that is not transient and ephemeral, something that is eternal and essential in the whole existence. We shall refer to it as the timeless essence of the all-embracing existential infinitum. The description of the timeless essence both as a logical conjunction (voidness and plenitude) AND a logical negation (neither voidness nor plenitude) is acceptable in the context of the transcendent logic applied by fuzziology.
All embodied-in-matter motions, dynamics and interactions, all animated and non-animated emanations of existence gravitate to the voidness in order to release their energy when undergoing destruction, and to the plenitude in order to be filled with energy and emerge again as manifestations of different forms of matter. This makes the whirlpool pulsate in a unique existential rhythm - a rhythm reflected in the pulsations and cycles of the naturals forms.
The key proposition of social fuzziology about the wholeness and fractality of social complexity is applicable to complexity of the existential whirlpool. While keeping the integrity of the existential dynamics, the impregnated-with-energy hollowness along the central axis of the univresal whirlpool endows these dynamics with ability to self-organize into various levels or scales; one can distinguish between the levels of non-animated and animated dynamics, between the levels of plantsí, animalsí and human dynamics. Each level of dynamics reveals sub-levels of self-organisation that share similar features with one another, in analogy with the fractal structures of Mandelbrot that reveal geometrical similarity between their levels (scales), when zooming into them. Each level of dynamics has its own rhythm - a rhythm that reflects the universal rhythm of the whole existential whirlpool.
One can hardly imagine how incredibly great must be the magnitude of the overall self-organizing drive in the universe that serves to support all the levels of the existential dynamics. This drive must act as an omnipotent self-propelling engine (similar to the 'engine' sustaining a gigantic tornado) that feeds with energy the whole universe with its astonishing variety of ever-moving, evolving and transforming phenomena and processes at the innumerable levels of their manifestation.
One can recognise the work of this engine in the blossom of a flower as well as in the waves of the ocean, in the pulsation of a simple cell as well as in the beats of our hearts, in the rhythm of our breathing as well as in the rhythm of the cycles of the solar activity.
(2) What holds together the integrity of the life dynamics?
The answer of this question is straightforward: the same self-organising forces that support the unity of the universal existential dynamics are responsible for the unity of the life dynamics. Only the scale where the life forces act is different; they act at the scale of the living species. By zooming into this scale one can unveil the forces, energies and forms that support the unity of the human dynamics.
3.4.2 Timeless Essence: The Vedic Approach
(3) Can we connect our own dynamics with the timeless essence of the dynamics of the universe?
They are already connected; the human dynamics form a specific level in the vortical structure of the universal existential dynamics. The challenge is to be aware of this connection and make it work in the span of oneís physical life; the earlier in life this happens, the better.
(4) How to make the connection with the timeless essence work for the individual growth in consciousness?
To give answer to this question is beyond the capacity of the science of our days. Thousands of years ago the answer was found by the creators of the ancient Vedas ('Veda' is the Sanskrit word for ëknowingí), and the validity of this answer was tested through the life experience of the Indian yogis.
In the wisdom of the Vedas, the whirling energies and forces of the human body form also a whirlpool - a vortex - with an inner hollowness along its cental axis called 'sushumna' in Sanskrit. The axis coincides with the line of the spine column and supports a number of smaller vortices (ëchakrasí in Sanskrit) centred on it (Judith, 1987). At the low part of the axis is a vortex out of which the urge for self-reproduction emerges; this is the vortex that sustains oneís sexual drive - the drive responsible for the continuity of the human kind. The upper part of the axis supports the vortical dynamics of the human mind, which bring impetus to our capacity to know and intuit. Between the lowest and the highest part of the axis, a number of other vortices are centred; they energise oneís physical activity, feelings and emotions, as well as the urge to communicate with the others. Just above the middle point of the axis, at the area of the human heart, is the vortex (called ëanahata chakraí in Sanskrit) that brings vigour to our urge for love ? the urge to emit feelings of love towards the other human beings and nature, and to feel it when directed to us.
At the basis of the cental axis is located a dormant vortex of enormous potential energy (called ëkundalinií in Sanskrit); this vortex can be activated only if one is able to consciously direct towards it the flow of life-supporting energy (ëpranaí in Sanskrit) generously supplied by nature. The energy of nature enters the organism mainly by means of breathing, the rhythm of which is consciously controlled and adjusted, so that to increase its efficiency and suit different purposes in the process of activating the inner dynamics. Simple and healthy food, sunshine, yoga exercises, etc. also serve to bring energy to the basic vortex.
Once awaken, the basic vortex starts to pulsate (vibrate) in a rhythm reflecting the rhythm of nature and to release waves of energy upwards, thus ëfiringí one after another all the vortices along the central axis. The basic vortex serves as an intermediate link between the inner dynamics of the activated human vortices and the outer dynamics of nature, through which the universal existential vortex expresses its infinite power. Under constant guidance of the individual consciousness and vital support of natural energy, the excited vortices increase their level of energy and tend to synchronise their rhythms.
The higher the energy levels of the vortices, the greater the magnitude of the creative forces they are able to produce. The produced forces have a triple function in the life of the individual; they stimulate the individual efforts:
* to grow in consciousness;
* to search for harmonious relationship with nature and with the others;
* to stay consciously connected with the pulse of the existential vortex and its timeless essence.
So, the answer of the maieutic question "How to make the connection with the
timeless essence work for the individual growth in consciousness?" in the context
of the ancient Vedas is simple and laconic: by mastering the vortices - the chakras
- of one's inner individual dynamics.
Although the activation of all the vortices is required for the individual to stay connected with the timeless existential essence, the Vedas emphasise on the importance of the heart chakra responsible for oneís expression and experience of love, and the mind chakras, responsible for oneís understanding and knowing. The creative forces released by these chakras are the most powerful catalysts for the individual enlightenment.
3.4.3 On Practical Realisation of the Vedic Approach
The Vedas describe highly efficient ancient methods and practices of various types of yoga, designed to help the practitioners stay connected with the ëengine of the universeí by mastering the vortices of their inner dynamics.
Three ancient methods - relaxation, concentration and mediation - play crucial role for the practical realisation of the Vedic approach
In a state of deep relaxation, when not only the physical bodies of the practitioners are free of stress and tension but also their minds and hearts are calm and peaceful, they can experience the energising effect of the 'emptiness' at the centre of their inner dynamics. After such an experience, one feels like being born anew, charged with natural energy, the effect of which is similar to the effect of inspiration. Because of this re-vitalising effect, today's science agrees that the relaxation positively influences the health of the human bodies, brings peace and calmness to the otherwise stressful and turbulent human minds and fills the hearts with warm feelings of kindness and good will.
It is in the state of relaxation, when the thinker stops serving the ego and becomes silent; then the obstacles, which the ego unconsciously or consciously creates on the flow of the natural energy, gradually dissolve. When there are no obstacles, the flow of energy is ready to activate the inner dynamics; what is needed is concentration of the mind attention on the vortices - chakras - that these dynamics form.
The concentration seems to be opposite to the relaxation. The energy, which freely move through every single cell of the human body, is now focused on each chakra, starting with the basic one and moving upwards along the spine column. The concentrated energy activates the chakras and makes them release forces of large magnitude. The climax is reached when the heart and the mind chakras are fully awaken; their creative forces strengthen and amplify the overall effect of the mind concentration of the practitioner.
Now it is turn for the mediation to help practitioners 'listen' to the rhythm of the all-pervading existential vortex, adjust the pulsations of the chakras to this rhythm, and make the practitioners experience that blissful oceanic feeling of union ('yoga' in Sanskrit means union) with the timeless essence. The meditation combines the effect of relaxation (peace, calmness and tranquillity) with the effect of concentration (sharpening the flow of energy and its 'firing' effects). In Vedas the stage of mediation is considered deeply spiritual; the life-supporting rhythm of the universe is often characterised as divine.
Here is a typical text from the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - the first ever written book to explain the principles, methods and practices of yoga:
"I am not this body, not these senses, not this mind and not even this intellect. No, I am none of these things! These things are ever changing and impermanent. These things have a beginning and an end. I am not bound by these things, and I am not deceived by them. I am the essence of existence, which has no birth, no growth, no decay, no disease, no death. Therefore, the sword cannot cut me asunder! The spear cannot pierce me through! The wind cannot dry me! The water cannot wet me. The fire cannot burn me! The sun cannot scorch me! I am unborn, immortal, immovable, unchangeable, all pervading and infinite. I am the spiritual power of the essence, which is ever by itself, one without a second!"
3.4.4 Compatibility between the Vedic Approach and the Approach of Fuzziology
The Vedic approach for exploring human dynamics is consistent with the approach of fuzziology. The practical realisations of the both approaches aims at strengthening (energising, amplifying) our ability to grow in wisdom: to understand and know, to search and practise ways for developing and honing the intuitive component of our thinking. For the approach of fuzziology, the emphasis is on firing the bootstrapping algorithm in human understanding, which makes fuzziness withdraws itself from the levels of an ever-deepening process of understanding and expanding the consciousness. For the Vedic approach, the emphasis is on firing the chakras at each level of the human vortex. The ascending journey of one's consciousness through the activated chakra at each level of the human vortex is, at the same time, a process of deepening of one's understanding, expanding the individual consciousness and therefore, self-withdrawal of fuzziness. In this sense, the practical realisation of the Vedic approach represents an efficient realisation of the bootrsrapping algorithm of fuzziology.
The both approaches are essentially dynamic. The key proposition of social fuzziology about the wholeness of the human dynamics, about their ability to self-organise into multi-layered 'fractal' structures, about the vorticity of these structures - all these propositions are valid in the Vedic model as well.
The vortical structure of the Vedic model can be characterised as fractal; the whole vortex of the human body is nested in (and mirrors) the gigantic existential vortex of the universe, the body's chakras are self-organised into a holistic multi-level structure. The chakras are inseparably connected with each other, and yet the chakras are nested into one another: every activated chakra can fully affect the functioning of the chakras at the levels below, and have only a partial influence on the upper-level chakras. The highest chakra - the vortex of the mind dynamics,which is responsible for the development of our intuition, direct experience and knowing, can affect all the other chakras. The 'firing' of each chakra cannot occur before the activation of the chakras at the levels below.
The body-mind-soul resonance considered in fuzziology as a stimulator of the bootstrapping pull of the fuzziness demonstrates its practical realisation in the Vedic mediation that synchronises (brings in resonance) the rhythm of the activated chakras. Although in the process of mediation the thoughts and feelings seems to float fuzzy in the mental space of the individual, that is, without any crisp content or direction, their fuzziness is impregnated with enormous creative energy - the same energy that permeates the vortex of the inner individual dynamics. And it is this energy that makes the fuzziness related to one's ego (with all its degrading aspects rooted in ignorance, doubt, hatred, fear, pride, envy, lust, jealousy, etc.) to shrink and withdraw itself. The consciousness of an advanced meditator is described in the Vedic texts as crystal clear - a kind of consciousness that almost perfectly mirrors the all-embracing consciousness of the universe: eternal, omniscient and omnipotent.
3.4.5 The Most Difficult Maieutic Question
By combining the two approaches - the Vedic approach and the approach of fuzziology - we are ready to answer the most difficult and 'intimate' maieutic question:
(5) When the body dies, and hence the mind and the heart stop functioning, what happens with the individual dynamics?
The similar to what happens with the leaves of a tree: the leaves fall and die but the dynamics supporting the life of the tree become stronger, because of the vital help that the leaves have provided for the growth of the tree when they were alive. After the leaves release their energy into the ëhollownessí passing through the centre of the tree level of the plant scale of the vortex of the universal existential dynamics, the 'hollowness' become richer in energy, and increases its creative potential.
The body, the heart and the brain die but the human level of the existential vortex grows in its creative potential, because every human helps, up to the degree of development of his or her consciousness, for the growth of this potential during oneís life. And we know that there are not only physical dimensions of the human level of the universal dynamics; there are subtle dimensions beyond the grasp of the thoughts born out of our mortal minds and of the feelings born out of our mortal hearts. The timeless essence that passes through the human scale of the existential vortex becomes richer in its creative potential after the death of the individual; so do the subtle dimensions of that scale. If we are aware about these subtle dimensions when alive and contribute consciously to their development and strengthening (say, by mastering the vortices of our inner dynamics, as the wisdom of the ancient Vedas suggests), the physical death would be powerless to destroy our connection with them. So, the individual dynamics may continue exercise forever their self-organising power along the subtle dimensions of the human scale in the eternal vortex of the existential dynamics.
According to the Vedic approach, the question is not whether we are finite or infinite, mortal or immortal, but whether we identify ourselves with the infinite and imperishable or with the finite and ephemeral. The ego is finite and ephemeral, the timeless essence is infinite and imperishable.
Does it not seem ërationalí for the thinker to try to identify itself with the infinite and imperishable essence of existence and not with the ego that is destined to die? The thinker encapsulates the power of the individual to inquire - explore, understand and know, so why not to apply this power to inquire into possibilities for going beyond the limits of the physical life before the source of this power dry up?
3.5 Empowering The Thinker
If the thinker undertakes the first necessary step: to see the individual dynamics as exponents of something much more important than the ego, something which is beyond decay and death, then there is a chance for its thinking ability to be involved in a 'bootstrapping algorithm' that may result in its transformation from a slave to a master of the ego. Otherwise the thinker will continue to 'know more and more about less and less', that is, to do what the most part of us is doing - wasting our precious time and energy in activities aimed only at ephemeral achievements.
As every bootstrapping algorithm needs to be run from within the process dynamics, a change in the orientation of the thinker's reasoning power is required. Instead of directing this power outwards in order to show the world how clever the individual is - how rich, great, influential, brave, proud, good, spiritual, wise, polite, intelligent, etc - the thinker needs to orientate it inwards, and thus to support the bootstrapping of its own fuzziness. So, the second step necessary for the growth of the thinker's inner capacity to understand, learn and know consists in interiorisation of the thinker.
Interiorisaton does not mean turning off thinker's attention from the world around, from the vital web of relationships with the natural environment and the other individuals; on the contrary, interiorisaton means honing thinker's awareness of what happens in the outer reality. But now the events occurring in the outer world are projected inwards and each event from the outside reality is seen as revealing something essential about the inner nature of the individual, about the purpose for which this individual has come into a physical life. Each event starts to be a lesson that offers experiential knowledge for the growth of the individual's ability to understand and know.
(6) Why the outer events - phenomena, processes, encounters with people, various activities in which we are involved - are bearers of features of our inner nature, of the purpose of each individual's life? This is again a typical maieutic question from the Socrates' treasury of fuzziology.
Once the thinker accepts the connectivity-in-dynamics principle of fuzziology, everything that happens in our outer world relates to our inner one, but whether one can see or not this relation depends on the level of development of one's consciousness. This is also the message contained in the possibility theorem of fuzziology. So, when the bootstrapping of the fuzziness in the thinker's reasoning is activated, that is, when the self-propelled ('autocatalytic') development of one's thinking capacity advances, one can better see the connection between the outer and the inner, between the universal and the individual. Eventually the thinker understands that the outer and the inner are two scales of manifestation of one and the same existential dynamics. Now a new challenge arises - to make this understanding work in the every day life of the individual.
(7) What does it mean to make the understanding of the unity between the inner and the outer dynamics work in the every day life of the individual?
The answer of this question - the seventh maieutic question in this chapter - contains seven points. To make the unity of the inner and outer dynamics work means to succeed in:
* transcending the limitations of the ego;
* centring one's life in the timeless essence of existence;
* understanding the meaning and the purpose of one's life;
* living in a healthy way - in harmony with the laws of nature, with the inner urge for self-realisation, with the meaning and the purpose of one's life;
* growing in wisdom;
* helping others to live healthy and grow in wisdom;
* developing ability to experience, understand and master the spiritual dimensions of the human existence.
The realisation of each of the seven points depends not so much on the unpredictable interplay of the external - outer - factors, but rather on the powers of one's own mind, heart and soul. Initially, the above seven points may appear too fuzzy for the thinker, but one needs to remember the self-organising potential of the fuzziness inherent in the thinker's capacity for understanding. When this capacity grows, it may fire a consciousness resonance that makes fuzziness shrink and withdraw its dynamics.
In order to facilitate the bootstrapping algorithm of the fuzziness, the thinker must watch its dynamics (reflected in the flow of continually emergent thoughts and feelings) quietly, in a relaxed manner, without hurrying to judge or criticise, to praise or blame the individual or other external factors. What is needed is to face honestly the individual's urges and desires, as they appear and dissolve, and not to fight with them, but not to be their slave either - just a serene witness of their interplay. Such an honest witnessing helps the thinker better understand the drives of the ego; each step in this understanding is at the same time a step of moving out of the basin of attraction of the ego. With the decrease of the influence of the ego, the fuzziness of the thinker starts to lose one of the most powerful channels of its support - the channel of the egoistic desires and ambitions of the individual; this results in preparedness for the start of the bootstrapping algorithm.
The third necessary step in the realisation of the thinker's power is to make the thinker act in its space - the mental space of the individual. What the thinker can do is to seed emergence of new 'attractors of meaning' in this space - attractors which strongly pull the individual thoughts towards meanings free from the influence of the ego. What are these meanings? Meanings that evoke one's genuine experience of selflessness, generosity, forgiveness, compassion and readiness to help and care for others.
When this kind of meanings stop to be only mental constructs but become also practical realisations, than their effects spread in the human experiential space. The six attractors in this space - the attractors of freedom and love, power and knowledge, pleasure and longevity - move out from the orbit of the ego, towards the cultivation of the qualities of the human ideal: freedom from any restrictions and obstacles on the way to grow in spirit and radiate unconditional love, limitless potential for realisation of the creative power of the wisdom, and blissful experience of being at-one with the eternal essence of existence.
The development and fulfilment of these qualities remains only in the fuzzy realm of the thinker's dreams. But if the human mind and heart, the human soul and spirit joint together in the illumination of the consciousness resonance, then the fuzziness will dissolve, and the experience of the god-like qualities of the human ideal may become real.
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Chapter 4 Understanding Fuzziness of Society
The proverb says that two minds are more powerful than one, so one could expect that the collective mind of society (as reflected, for example, in all the books written up to now plus what is on the world wide web) has better ability to understand and know than an individual mind. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
4.1 Infinite Life of Society versus Finite Lives of Individuals
The collective mind is like an ever-growing encyclopedia of facts, theories, hypotheses, doctrines, pictures, etc.; the ability to see them in their connectedness, to make sense of this connectedness and to use it for one's holistic growth in mind and spirit, depends on the individual alone. It is the individuals, and not the society, who reveal facts, formulate hypotheses, create theories, make pictures, establish dogmas and doctrines. Society is a web of dynamic interactions and interrelationships of people and their natural and artificial worlds. It has emerged out of the joint efforts of the individuals to survive on this planet, and has no separate existence from the dynamics of people's relationships and interactions.
The individual dies, but the human society seems to continue forever, because the dynamics which it expresses go forever; one civilisation falls, another emerges, expands and then shrinks to give place for the next. The cycles of ups and downs in the deathless life of society are manifestations of the self-organising capacity of the social dynamics. Before the life on our planet disappears (due to the physical death of our sun or cosmic cataclysms or because of our ecological ignorance), quite possibly some group of humans or human-like robots would move to live somewhere else in the cosmos and thus initiate another society.
The infinite duration of society contrasts sharply with the finiteness of each individual life; this essential difference reflects on the processes of evolution of the individual and society.
The history keeps memory of wise people of the past, of philosophers and spiritual leaders who, in their lifetime, succeeded to see far beyond the fuzziness in which the greatest part of society abided. It seems that they moved quickly through the stages of the evolution of their minds and souls, realising that there is no time to waste - the individual life is extremely short. But society moves very slowly on the way to wisdom, so slowly that it is difficult even to notice whether it really moves or not. And why to hurry? There is plenty of time for the next generations to 'grow', if they decide to. And where to hurry, what to attain? Wisdom? Enlightenment? Spiritual growth? What do these words mean for the web of human interactions that we call society? Nothing, absolutely nothing! Some individuals may fill these words with meaning, but for the majority of people they are empty of content.
It looks like that for the majority of us the most meaningful endeavour appears to be satisfaction of our animalistic urges for food, shelter and pleasures. This has been expressed long time ago by the famous Roman formula Panem et Circenses (bread and circus games) - the favourite formula for the Roman leaders who wanted to keep the allegiance of the masses; this formula is perfectly applicable for the majority in any 'civilised' society.
Many generations have lived and died after the first tribal societies, but the essential features of the social behaviour persist without change. All the societies have been involved in bloody wars, in spending enormous time and efforts to create more and more sophisticated tools for:
* killing people
* intensive exploitation of natural resources
* wild strife towards power and possession
* merciless punishment of rebels who dare break the restrictions assigned by those in power and spread 'heresies' about social changes
* violent suppression of women, children, poor and disable
* savage pursuit of primitive animalistic pleasures.
4.2 Collective Mind: A Pile of Fragmented Knowledge
When one generation hands the baton to the next, it passes its knowledge and skills, religions and arts. It passes also its delusions and fuzziness inherent in its theories, philosophies, doctrines, customs, habits, dreams, expectations. What is hard to pass is how to understand and realise the perennial wisdom, as it carries indispensable experiential dimensions, which cannot be transferred or borrowed from books, prophets and experts; their only verification is through one's individual experience, through living in these dimensions.
The Danish philosopher S. Kirkegaard (1813-1856) once said: "That which is genuinely human, no generation learns from the foregoing" (Westphal, 1996). The genuinely human needs to be rediscovered, experienced and understood by the individuals of each generation; nobody can pour it in one's head. What is easy to be poured are the social mediocrity, 'they-say' views and beliefs, prejudices and biases, norms and rules, classification schemes and labels - all that impedes one's own knowing of what is genuinely human.
Similar to what is genuinely human are the words of wisdom; they can evoke fuzzy thoughts and feelings, but the truth of these thoughts and feelings is revealed when it resonates with one's own experience, when it reaches the heart and soul of the individual. Otherwise the words remain just words, and the more we repeat them, the more senseless they sound. "Truth repeated is no longer truth; it becomes truth again only when it has been realised by the speaker as an immediate experience" (Huxley, 1990).
The bootstrapping algorithm of the fuzziness inherent in people's understanding cannot happen at the level of society. There is simply no place to 'install' and realise this algorithm, as the consciousness resonance that is responsible for its completion is a resonance of one's individual body, mind and soul. Society has neither a suffering body nor a soaring soul, and its collective mind is just a pile of fragmented human knowledge. As we already mentioned in the first chapter, the 'password' for making sense of this pile can be discovered at individual level, when the individual consciousness succeeds to go beyond the fuzziness of one's understanding of reality.
4.3 From Understanding Ourselves to Understanding Society
From the standpoint of social fuzziology, the process of understanding society goes in parallel with the process of understanding ourselves, as all the qualities, which we have at individual level, reverberate at the level of society. Any process of understanding unfolds within us; this is expressed through the basic postulate of fuzziology. So, while unveiling the fuzziness from the process of understanding ourselves, we unveil the fuzziness from the process of understanding society. Plus, we are much closer to ourselves - to the thinkers in our brains, feelers in our hearts, and soarers in our souls - than to any other member of society.
Of course, the forms, the ways and the medium of expression of the individual qualities in each human being are different, but their essence is similar. In a way, we are relatives to one another. Long time ago, the existential dynamics made it possible for the 'primordial soup' to appear on our planet and give birth to the first proteins, the first cells and the first simplest organisms. After innumerable loops of the spiral of life - a spiral full of spontaneous emergence, bifurcations and transformations - the humans appeared. So we all were connected as potentialities in the common fountain of life on our planet, and we continue to be connected as actual realizations through the common life-supporting conditions on the earth. We constantly contribute to the changes of these conditions and they change us, so that we can co-adapt and co-evolve as an inseparable unity.
This stream of thoughts - stream with a strong spiritual connotation - makes us aware that the qualities expressed in the characters and behaviours of the other individuals in society reflect our own qualities. Moreover, the sole ability to see a certain feature displayed in another person is because we already have this feature in ourselves, otherwise we simply would not be able to recognise it, to response to it and react with critics or approval, hatred or love, repulsion or attachment.
We easily see the egotism and greed manifested in the behaviour of the others, because we are full of it. Society encourages the realisation of our egoistic drives. Since the earliest years of our conscious life, we know that to be rich is good and to be poor is bad (no matter that we read the opposite in the Bible, Koran or in the Buddhist texts); so we never cease competing with others for more money, power and pleasures. The competition perpetuates our egoistic drives and strengthens our egos; almost everybody wants to win, to become the first, to be praised, to be at the top.
By amplifying the egoistic traits of our nature, particularly those related to accumulation and realisation of power, society acts mainly in direction of increasing the fuzziness of our perception of reality.
In societies where the egotism is put on the highest social pedestal, everybody must bear an assigned ego-identity and have a specific ego-status. It is difficult to be authentic and genuinely human when each is sealed with a socially approved label; this makes us perform roles and carry masks. The role performance impedes the individual endeavour to discover and understand his or her authentic self - the inner identity, the centre that is free from the socially endorsed pull of the ego. The further from the centre, the less genuinely human we are, and the fuzzier our perception of reality.
The competitive egoistic dynamics of society permanently emit stress in our lives; when there is a stress, the fuzziness increases.
Society is hostile to individuals who seek to trigger radical social changes; its rulers do not like changes, as the changes may affect their established status, so they do their best to get rid of every revolutionary thinker or actor.
In different historical times, society killed Socrates and the students in the school of Pythagoras, burned Joan of Arc and Giordano Bruno, nailed Jesus, shot Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and millions of other people (with known or unknown names) who honestly wanted and worked in order to show society new ways for its development - ways beyond the manipulations and suppressions of the rulers. Those who were not killed, they gained enmity of the majority of the people, as the governors knew very well how to excite and stupefy the crowd. "Wherever there is a crowd there is untruth" (Kirkegaard, 1958), there is impenetrable fuzziness in human understanding.
We referred to such acts of animosity and cruelty towards the bearers of new understanding of society as Gorbachev Phenomenon (Dimitrov et al, 1996). We have named this phenomenon after Gorbachev because he, more than any other person in recent history, personifies the effect described. Arguably, he almost single-handedly brought about changes that amplified into historical events of great significance. For his interventions, he firstly earned the Nobel Prize followed by the unforgiving enmity of contemporary Russian society (at the first democratic elections for President of Russia, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev attracted only 0.5 % of the primary vote).
4.4 Lack of Wisdom in Society
Is our society wiser than the societies and civilisations that lived before us?
* Is it wise to spend astronomic amount of money for production of more and more advanced tools for killing each other?
* Is it wise to be constantly involved in wars and to suppress people (and nations) that do not want to obey the orders of those who are thirsty to exercise their destructive military or economic power?
* Is it wise to commit year after year a horrible ecological suicide by destroying irreversibly the natural environment and refusing to take even a small step (such as signing a joint International agreement), in order to initiate restrictions on the spread of our fatal socio-ecological madness?
* Is it wise to extinguish the indigenous people (in the way as the white 'pioneers' did with all the aborigines in Tasmania), or brutally suppress and force them adopt the 'advanced' culture' of the conquerors?
* Is it wise to keep for years those who seek asylum in camps, suppress their protests and impassively watch how they kill themselves, as they do this in Australia?
* Is it wise to follow policy of discrimination on the basis of race, nationality, culture, gender, political opinions or spiritual beliefs?
* Is it wise to force the humanity into establishment of a global economic order threatening to turn the largest part of the population into helpless slaves of a handful monstrously rich corporations, financial institutions, organisations and individuals?
* Is it wise to interfere with the finest and most complex fabric of the human genetic structure aiming at partial effects while putting at risk the integrity and the evolving potential of the whole structure?
This is what our society does. Such society is not wise. It multiplies and amplifies the worst in the human nature - the egoistic urges of the 'rational' thinkers abiding in our minds.
The practical endeavour of social fuzziology is to show the delusive fuzziness that the rational thinkers spread into the life of the individuals and society, and thus to help people understand the nature of this fuzziness.
Further in this chapter we focus on the fuzziness related to the frantic establishment of global economic order in today's society and its impacts on the human education and health.
4.5 Towards Establishment of Global Empire
Today we are witnessing emergence and establishment of an all-encompassing capitalist order - a global empire, defined by Hardt and Negri as "a decentred and deterritorialising apparatus of rule that progressively incorporates the entire global realm (of society) within its open, expanding frontiers" (Hardt and Negri, 2000). A striking symptom of this establishment is the increasing tendency for the national governments to act as an armed militia for the biggest multinational corporations and financial institutions. It is easy to see how the democratic elections in the 'developed' countries of the empire have turned into a 'choice' usually between two major parties with only superficial differences in their platforms; the latter derive from the same hegemonic ideology, carefully packaged in media campaigns as presenting opposite points of view.
On the way to the establishment of the empire, the economic gap between those who count in society and those who have no power to change anything has become so large and deep, that the people from the both sides of the gap resemble different species. They have totally different life styles and conditions to realise their potential, to care for their health and education, to spend their leisure time.
Extremely precious features of human identity rooted in the treasure of the ethnic culture and indigenous spirituality all around the world disappear brutally smashed by the global consumption-oriented stereotypes of today's intensive and aggressive implantation of anti-human economic, social and cultural models.
4.5.1. Hegemonic Ideology
The hegemonic ideology of the global empire is nothing but a large-scale manifestation of the same egoistic patterns embedded in the human individuality.
In the empire, Dostoevsky's prophecy about the future social order expressed through the prediction of one of the characters of his novel "Demons", Shigyalov, becomes a reality; he sees "the division of mankind in two unequal parts. One tenth is granted freedom of person and unlimited rights over the remaining nine tenths. These must lose their person and turn into something like a herd, and in unlimited obedience, through a series of regenerations, attain to primeval innocence, something like the primeval paradise - though by the way, they will have to work" (Dostoevsky, 2000).
As it is in Dostoevsky's prophecy, so it becomes in our society. The greatest part of it ether lives in poverty or work like crazy to pay back loans and debts taken in order to have places to live and reproduce. The sizes of the loans, debts and the increase of the percentages are designed in such a way that to make impossible their payment back in one's lifetime, no matter how intensively one works.
The lack of work torments a huge number of young people full of unrealised energy and potential to create, makes them psychologically sick, push them towards drugs, crimes and suicide. The 'freely' elected governors hold charismatic speeches against the use of drugs, but no serious actions follow their speeches. It looks like the drugs are perfect tools to stupefy the young people and make them unable understand the roots of the social injustice and its main perpetrator - the richest elite that carries major responsibility for the economic, social and environmental agony of the young generation. Cheap chemical drugs keep the mouths of the young people shut, their physical bodies helpless, their brains suicidally ecstatic, and eventually kill them.
In the same way, the alcoholics and gamblers are treated in today's world - they do not present any threat for the establishment. On the contrary, they bring a lot of money into the empire through the gigantic octopus of pubs and casinos. There is no much difference between the addicts and the prisoners - the addicts are prisoners of their psyche destructed possibly due to a constant fight and stress to live normally in a distorted, abnormal society. The more the number of addicts, the more the number of people unable to resist, and therefore the easier for the custodians of the empire to manipulate and wash the brains of those who are still considered as normal.
4.5.2 Phenomenal Brainwash
The politicians take care for a continuous brainwash to go with an ever-accelerating tempo in the global society. Without well-designed socio-political manipulations - charismatic speeches and promises - cleverly designed to hide actions usually undertaken in directions entirely opposite to what the manipulative speeches and promises indicate, and without an expensive advertising policy to keep consumption-oriented desires of people at the highest possible level (and thus to keep people's ability to understand and unmask the manipulations, they are unceasingly bombarded with, at the lowest possible level), it would be difficult to support the global order.
The phenomenal brainwash in society serves to suppress the spontaneous expression of the self-organizing ability of social dynamics, that is, to prevent any organised network of people's resistance. If released, this ability could be a threat for the functioning of the empire, and for its highest pillars: World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve Bank and other incredibly rich organisations with silent and yet powerful influence on the global economy.
An army of police and security generously equipped with high tech means of surveillance constantly care for the global order to function smoothly, that is, nothing to impede the growth of the profit of the economic bosses. The mass media, the politicians and the intelligentsia (those who belong to the latter are pressed to keep their mouths shot and support the bosses who pay them, otherwise they will easily lose their salaries and join the poor part of the society) do their best to inject fuzziness in the brains of the people. The most popular social slogans are:
* the governments care for all of us and do their best to make our life happier;
* the globalisation is inevitable and it provides you with abundance of things to buy and enjoy, so do not hesitate - go and buy what you want now!
* the banks and financial corporations are here to help the realisation of your dreams, so go and take another loan!
* the sustainable development, the clean technologies and the cloning of genetic mutants will help you deal with the environmental problems, so do not worry about the pollution, buy another car!
* all of us have equal opportunities to realise our potential - to study, work, create, travel and live healthy and happy lives;
* the global financial institutions take care for the poor countries, so there are no reasons to worry about those who die in starvation and poverty, suppression and genocide;
* the wars that the strongest in the empire initiate (like the war against terrorism) are for the benefit of all, so support them, become a soldier, kill and die as a hero!
* the most efficient bombs are made to kill only people; if you have gold and money, they will be kept safely in your banks;
* if you feel tired, exhausted or depressed, try the new drug, lay down and feel blissful!
In one or another form, the content of the above slogans is repeated through the media, continually injecting delusive fuzziness or direct lies into the human minds. Behind each lie stand global economic interests, cleverly planned strategies aimed at more money, dominance and power.
4.5.3 False Identities
As far as the social dimensions of human individuality suggest its presentations outwards - to the other members of society - too much emphasis on these dimensions leads to an intense preoccupation with questions like 'what others think about me?', 'how do they judge my behaviour?', 'what could be their reactions to what I am going to say or do?', 'how to make others like me?', etc. This leads to the development of so called false identities, that is, individual identities designed to be shown in society.
The outward expressions of the false identity imply playing roles, carrying masks, speaking one thing and doing another, giving promises that are never fulfilled, expressing feelings that are insincere, telling lies. These actions are tools for a twofold fuzzification - we are deliberately fuzzifying something which is inherently fuzzy in us - our knowledge about ourselves, about the enigmatic nature of our authentic inner dynamics.
The more often the use of one's false identity, the more significant its effects on one's life - so significant that the false identity eventually might become the only 'real' identity of its bearer. This is likely to occur, if the use of the false identity is associated with an intense expectation of success (money, prestige, pleasures) in society.
As we discussed in the previous chapter, the understanding of our inner nature, of our real identity is a difficult process; it needs efforts and perseverance to explore and reveal one's individuality and thus to make possible its authentic realization in life. It is easier to adapt to others' images, to borrowed ideas and opinions; the rule for doing this is simple: perform in such a way, that the people on whom you depend like your performance. This certainly implies not having grudge with the powerful ones but praising them, repeating and agreeing with what they say, and never worrying about the meaning of words like sincerity, honesty and truth.
With false identities and masks on the faces, the social life becomes a kind of performance, more likely a drama than a comedy, which one must enact. This performance appears fuzzy - irreal and delusive - both to the individuals who preform and to the spectators, as one can never have clear understanding what could be the consequences of this performance.
We perform in schools, in families, at workplaces, in community - everywhere. As a matter of fact, society does not teach us how to live authentically but how to perform. So absorbed in playing roles and carrying masks can we become that when alone we are confused what role to play.
By encouraging us to perform, to play roles and carry masks, society makes us unable to see the social reality as it is. With false identities we see only false and hence distorted pictures. Therefore we are not a threat to the economic rulers; they are afraid of people with ability to perceive the truth - to understand their own true identities, the identities of the others and the nature of the imposed economic order in society. The authentic selves are dangerous - they strive towards truth and wisdom, they do not tolerate social unjustness and corruption, they do not want to be deceived and exploited, they resist.
4.5.4 Towards Establishment of Global Control
The most important function of the global society is to exercise control. The economic elite must have information, as full as possible, about people who dare not obey the system; the latter will be classified as potential terrorists, as no democratic ways to change the essence of the established system exist any more. They are blocked by the global economic (and therefore political and military) power; the terrorist attacks, however inhuman their consequences, seem to be the only possible way to express people's resistance against the establishment and shatter its security. All other ways are doomed to fail.
If you decide to protest in the countries with the Western type of democracy, you must beforehand inform the authorities about your intention to do this, ask for their permission and, if it is given, perform your 'protest' strictly following the prescribed rules, under the close surveillance of the police. It is clear that such kind of pseudo-protest cannot change anything.
The prevention against any potential disorder in the empire needs well-organised global control of the human identities. Thanks god, there are supra-computers which can help to realise the sweetest dream of the former KGB - a total control of human identities.
18.104.22.168 System of Fixed Identities
By educating and providing us with social, political, economic, national, religious, cultural, etc. milieus, society offers an open list of socially constructed identities for us to choose and learn how to fit, adjust and adapt to what they describe and require. We are 'invited' to identify ourselves with the identity of a student, teacher, politician, priest, pensioner, unemployed, poor, rich, etc. Our choices depend on our economic status, gender, nationality, culture, education.
As the guardians of the establishment need efficient - systematically organized and reliable -indicators of people's identities, they put huge amount of money to have these indicators aggregated into social groups and categories, to push each group into a special 'box', to label the boxes with numbers, codes and names, and to take care for their constant actualisation.
The establishment of a computer-based system of fixed identities (SyFI) helps authorities to exercise easy their control functions. It is much easier to supervise a System of perfectly organized files of data scrupulously collected to specify as full as possible selected aspects of people's identities than to deal with a continuum of individualities which are unstable, elusive, flexible, resistant to control and able to change and unfold.
SyFI operates with different tools - tax file numbers, licenses, passports, identity cards, certificates, diplomas, permits, visas, passes, finger prints, medical and genetic descriptions, etc. Each list of fixed identity characteristics is converted into a string of alphanumeric characters compressed to fit any computer database of any purpose. Once captured in the computer memory, human identity becomes imprisoned for life in a monstrous System from which no escape exists. And this is a great relief for any surveillance and bureaucratic institutions in society (there are millions of them!); when classified and labelled, we are predictable, it is easy to deal with us - to control our behaviour, to deceive and exploit, to wash our brains.
22.214.171.124 Control of Human Identities
SyFI resembles a procrustean bed. The name of Procrustes is well known from the ancient Greek legends as a name of brigand who used to stretch or mutilate his victims in order to make them conform to the length of his bed.
The custodians of SyFI in the Western democracies act in a similar way; the system is designed to operate most effectively with the two largest groups of human identities - the group of those who are actually poor - an ever-increasing army of unemployed or casually employed people, and the group of those who are potentially poor - the majority of so called 'middle class' trapped in lifelong payment of constantly growing mortgages. Everyone belonging to these two groups is 'invited' to fit the 'bed' labelled with his or her identity. If somebody resists, there are forces strong enough to handle any disobedience; beyond this forces stands the silent minority representing the most powerful (rich and influential) individuals and organizations in society, whose exclusive power to decide and act guarantees them freedom from the tentacles of SyFI. (According to many independent researchers, the owners and managers of the private Federal Reserve Bank of the US belong to such a rich minority; the gigantic capital of this bank allow its governing board to influence with their decisions and actions the world economy in ways, which make them always win.)
With identities imprisoned in a System ruled by forces over which the influence of the ordinary people is zero, we are turned into a herd of animals that cannot but obey The System. The information kept in the supper computers of SyFI is with incomparably higher controlling efficiency than the primitive cabinet files of KGB developed in the former communist regimes.
Advanced technologies provide SyFI with capacity to see, hear, read, and even sense what people are doing in each moment of their social and private life. In the 'free' world of the Western democracies, these technologies are permanently mastered under the generous support and control of the actual rulers of these 'democracies' - not the political marionettes for whom we vote during the election performances (all the marionettes are the same, no matter what is their party, so it doesn't matter for whom we vote!), but those whom the marionettes obey without objection (if they want to survive longer on the political stage and enjoy the generous access to the money of the taxpayers). The more efficient the control over people's identities, the safer and easier the life of the 'godfathers' of SyFI.
126.96.36.199 Forces of Separation
Everything that separates people from one another (egoism, greediness, possession, reputation, competition, conflicts, wars, hatred, envy, jealousy), no matter at what scale of manifestation - between individuals, between organizations or between nations - acts as a catalyser strengthening the isolation between the identities, making their boundaries hard, and thus facilitating the functions of SyFI.
While acting towards separation, we tend to:
* Intensify our competitive zeal, intolerance and constant fight for acquisition of personal power, money and prestige, which inflates our individual egos with all their sick fantasies of success and dominance over others;
* Never stop to look at the world through the eyes of what can we grab from it in order to satisfy as much as possible ever-emergent egoistic desires and ambitions;
* Collaborate with the masters of SyFI in their efforts to keep our identities locked into boxes and cases of different nature and thus to make difficult the process of communication between us.
Ever growing is the abyss in communication between the identities of countries labelled as "rich" or "developed" and countries called "poor" or "developing". We are witnessing many cases of explosions of racism (abyss in communication between different racial identities) and suppression of indigenous cultures (abyss in communication between different cultural identities) in many places of the world. As we already mentioned above, with every day the abyss between the rich and the poor people in society becomes deeper and wider.
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Copyright,: V.Dimitrov and Hodge, 2002