2013-10-03T15:12:29+01:00

Have you ever tried swimming in the lake on a map?

Here are my notes from book Our Ways from Armando Molina:

  • p4 Immediate and magnificent success at explaining and managing the material world led the classical paradigm to focus on physical things until it believed that matter - never created, never destroyed, always transformed - is the only reality. ... Science learned that matter is just a web of energy fields lacking any concrete substance: bye-bye matter! It learned that anything happening in one point of the universe both reflects and influences what happens in all other points: bye-bye separateness! It learned that the outcome of an experiment changes by the mere fact of its being observed: bye-bye objectivity! And it learned that this planet is ruled neither by meridian light of total certainty, nor by the thick darkness of total ignorance, but by a mist of variable density called probability. Subatomic Physics obeys throughout the Uncertainty Principle put forth by Werner Heisenberg: bye-bye certainty.
  • p6 ... each of us inhabits a world of her/his own, and the set of attitudes, understandings, and responses with which each encounters a different reality is also different. Every person has a single, distinctive, individual way of perceiving, feeling, and acting, a unique style of being human, termed personality or character. Nevertheless, we usually assume - both spontaneously and mistakenly - that we see the world as it is, objectively. It we are not aware of the filter between our minds and reality, we will believe that colors we perceive are objectively there. From such a base, decisions and actions are unlikely to follow an optimal course; most likely, upsets and failures will uglify and impoverish life. Whenever we forget that our perspective is singular, non-repeatable, and non-transferable, we will believe that others will - or at least should - see the world exactly as we do. We will expect them to interpret our words and acts as we would and then will be unpleasantly surprised at finding that don't. If others do not act as we would in their shoes, we will suppose all kinds of explanations for their actions that - no matter how natural and obvious to us - are unreal, merely our subjective projections. The outcome tends to be a series of misunderstandings and frictions that, hindering relations with our fellow beings, ruin peace. Much is to be gained, then, from learning how our personality is structured and how it operates, from finding out which color tints our perspective on reality and which those of persons with whom we deal.
  • p10 Axiology, from the Greek terms axios (value), and logos (thought), is the science that studies values and valuations. Since we think of what we value but do not waste a thought on what we do not value, since we feel according to how much we value the subject of our feelings, and since we act toward what we value and away from what we don't, the quality of our valuation of our valuation mechanism reveals a common component with the three great sectors composing life experience, this may uncover a global structure that makes them comprehensible.
  • p11 Formal concepts are definitions composed of a small number of constructed properties that either are present in a valorandum or not: if three straight lines intersect, we have a triangle; if not, no triangle exists. The ideas this defined are mental constructs, without existence in space-time, except in approximation; neither absolutely straight lines not perfect circles can be found under an electron microscope. Hartman called the dimension that perfect valoranda inhabit "Systemic." In it only two possibilities exist: either the formal definition is not fulfilled and the object is not that type of valorandum, or else it is perfectly fulfilled. Systemic entities are always perfect; it two valoranda are both triangles, one of them cannot be more or less of a triangle than the other. Thus, only two valuations are possible in the systemic dimension, one or zero, yes or no, depending on whether the object fulfills the formal definition or not. The systemic is the kigdom of meaning: it includes all thoughts, ideas, concapts, and interpretations; every kind of mental constructs like philosophies, ideologies, beliefs, doctrines or dogmas, as well as the social institutions - economic, political, cultural, or religious - which embody them. The systemic encompasses thus all science - Axiology included - and the ideas and ideals of how oneself and the world are, can be, abd should be. The systemic includes all norms, external - legal or social - as well as inner moral standards or ideals.
  • p11 The definitions of abstract concepts are abstracted from objects in the concrete sensory world; they are composed of a reduced but potentially immense number of discrete properties. They define things, separate material objects and relations existing in space-time. A chair is a plane surface for sitting, fixed at the level of human knees, with a beck. When these essential properties are met we have a chair; it any of them is missing the object is not a chair, but something else we cannot value as chair. It a chair has its definitional purposes. The possible combinations of these properties generate a number of valuational possibilities that increases with the complexity of the object. The qualities experts can appreciate in a great wine, for instance. can be combined in 10 to 40th power different ways, so large a number that for all practical purposes they are infinite. The dimension where these valoranda belong is called "Extrinsic"; and the values possible in it go from one - when the essential properties are met - to denumerable infinity. The extrinsic is the kingdom of action, the public space-time frame, people by separate material entities - things or objects, from dust specks through machines, buildings, continents, planets, and stars, to galaxies. Extrinsic objects include human bodies and everything we can compare, classify, and order by its properties, like character, job or profession, private and public relational roles, public image, and social status.
  • p11 Singlular Concepts contain potentially a non-denumerably infinite number of continuous properties. They define singular entities, mainly persons, conscious human beings, unique individuals. All persons contain in themselves their own singular concept: "I am I." "I" is the only complete definition of a person, therefore its only exact one; it confirms that each member of humankind is unique, singular, non-repeatable. Each person is in a class unto herself or himself; each is her or his own model. In consequence, the valuation of human being is always transfinite. How much is a baby worth to its mother? How much the beloved to the lover? Each of us can either fulfill perfectly and consciously our own concept, thus actualizing transfinite value, or unconsciously try to fulfill some concept of self not our own. Hartman thought that those who are unaware of the absolute infinity of their own value have a weak consciousness. As with ideas, personal consciousness does not really belong in public space-time. The dimension to which these values belong is called "Intrinsic." The intrinsic is the kingdom of inwardness and emotion; and it mainly includes persons, non-repeatable human individuals, each embodying a non-denumerably infinite number of continuous properties. It includes the intuitive awareness of ourselves and others as individual human beings, as well as all desires, emotions, feelings, affects, and choices.
  • p18 Stability translates into thought as linearity, which can be manifested either as intuition or as dogmatism.
  • p18 The characteristic intrinsic passion is anger.
  • p18 Shame is the distinctive extrinsic passion.
  • p18 The typical systemic passion is fear.
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  • p22
    • II Intuitive awareness of self. Oneness. Peace. Spirituality. Joy of being, happiness. Authenticity, faithfulness to self. Emotion, feelings. Love of self. Universal love.
    • IE Experiential awareness of self. Self-acceptance. Self-respect, self-esteem. Energy. Spontaneity. Creativity. Inner personal needs, desires, and interests. Bodily structure, functions, and behavior. Sexuality, sensuality, pleasure; satisfaction.
    • IS Intellectual awareness of self. Singular emphatic defining concepts: beliefs, dogmas, principles. Attention, decision, choice, free will, self-control. Conscience, the ideal expectations or demands on self. Sense of duty. Inner norms. Moral virtue.
    • EI Intuitive perception of the other, empathetic identification. Love to others; help, cooperation, and compassion. Private roles, like parent, son, spouse, brother, lover, close friend. Awareness of power, importance, rank.
    • EE Physical perception, relationship with the space-time milieu. Capacities, talents, abilities, practical habits, and discipline in relation to others and to things. Social roles like student, teacher, citizen, ruler, employee, employer, consumer, producer, colleague, acquaintance. Activity, task, job, profession.
    • ES Perception of forms as embodying ideas, use of symbols. Inferential empirical, factual, and social images and beliefs. Appreciation of beauty, aesthetics, art. Awareness of quality, class, social status, reputation. Formal external social constructs like rituals, manners, customs, conventions, fashions.
    • SI Intuitive apprehension of formal and universal concepts. Awareness of wholes and of relationships among their parts. Part-whole correlations. Capacity for synthesis. Awareness of persons as unitary centers f conscious activity, experience, and valuation. Sciences which order reality in global systems, like Ecology, Cosmology, Psychology.
    • SE Inferential apprehension of formal empirical and operative concepts. Analogy, understanding and comparison of structures: patterns, rhythms, and textures. Semantics. Taxonomies. Means-ends correlations. Concrete knowledge and application of sciences; technology, computing.
    • SS Logical apprehension of formal theoretical, philosophical, political, and religious concepts. Cause-effect correlations. Allegiance to external and institutional rules: positive laws, agreements, doctrines, ideologies, programs. Pure sciences like Mathematics, Logic, and Philosophy.
  • p26 Tripolar thought can accept that biologists have objectively proved that one part of character has a genetic origin, psyhologists that another part has been acquired, and sociologists that behavior is influenced by social conditions.
  • p32 (II) Knowing better what they do not want than what they want, they find what they like by successively eliminating what they don't.
  • p39 The 3EE approach is very popular among men and is typical in the business world with its emphasis on aggressive competition, efficiency, and image of success. Also adopted by many women when they join the economy of production, it is the generic disposition of our contemporary society of conspicuous consumption.
  • p45 (IE) Rejecting norms whose very existence they cannot understand, and attempt to impose structure on their behavior usually serves only to reinforce their opposition, until they decide to define the rules themselves rather than be defined by them.
  • p78 Again and again I found that the key emotional registers of a personality were defined before physical birth.
  • p78 The intrinsic stage also includes the first year of life, which is centered on instinct, emotion, and intuition.
  • p101 (SSi) They learned thus to mistrust all others, especially those who offer to do something for them; doubting others' intentions they refrain from asking anything of anyone and reject all offers of help; not receiving the support they rejected then reinforces their mistrust.
  • p122 (IS) They view the idea that several diverging points of view can all be equally valid as an invitation to anarchy; they persist in believing that if diverse ways of thinking were all correct, the cosmos would dissolve into chaos. That conviction leads them to pedantry, and to the conviction that they are the only ones who know the Truth. In order to demonstrate that only one correct point of view exists and that reason is with them, they have to prove that others are wrong.
  • p131 (ES) "No one suffers more or better than I" In this way, they obtain a sickly sense of being special for torturing themselves, for being able to live in extremes other would not endure.
  • p169 I hope that you, knowing that none of your human colleagues is free from the constraints Nature and Nurture conspired to put on them, will find accepting and excusing their idiosyncrasies somewhat easier.
  • p170 But, no matter how exact, a map is always incomplete since it mirrors only some aspects of the terrain covered. More specifically, it is not the mapped country itself, only its symbolic representation. Have you ever tried swimming in the lake on a map?
  • p171 Yet, what really matters is not who stands behind a certain bit of understanding, but that your own reason digests and approves it.
  • p171 Looking through a three-faceted lens, you will find new and rich sense in your exclusive world. This is a very personal endeavor: only you can understand what only you perceive. Once bipolar illusions of exactness and certainty are left behind, each mind follows its own course.
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