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CHAPTER V-B:  STABILITY: THE OPEN CYCLE


A process might be stopped, even though a great many intervening events and leafings are going on. The animal might die. The species might become extinct. This might happen swiftly or slowly. Many new elaborations might develop, and yet the process might remain stopped and implied. Despite all the new intervening developments, the animal might still die out.

The intervening events are thus a new kind of carrying forward, since they are a carrying forward in the stopped process, and yet they may not resume it. The intervening events are in a sense a carrying forward, in another sense not. They are not the carrying forward of the stopped process because that process is still implied. They are a new or special kind of carrying forward. I called them "stop-ons." This contradictory tag says both that they are further events that widen and proliferate, while the main process aspect is still stopped and still implied.

The leafings are a sequence of versions of the stoppage. Each bit is a slightly different version. Other kinds of intervening events are also versions of the stoppage, although less obviously. The leafings reiterate the stoppage.

A change in en or in the body may also change some of these reiterating leafings. This might happen because of interaffecting among the bodily processes, or because of a change has an effect on the en which in turn affects the leafings.

Therefore the leafings (and the other intervening events) have made the body more "sensitive." It can be affected by more aspects of the en than it could before it developed these reiterating leafings.

We recall that some intervening events are also new body structure.

Leafings are bits of process occurring only just as far as it can, which is each time again the first bit. This will happen also in the sub-processes (IV-Ac).

The leafings and other intervening events are not themselves functional cycles. They are all part of the one implying of the whole body event (IV-Ab), not new implyings of new processes with their own ensuing sequences. These new elaborations are not themselves going anywhere. Or, we could say, they go into the blue. They are like the fingers of a river that is stopped and spreading out. They go as far as they can; they occur and reiterate since the stoppage remains. So they are again implied. They occur again in so far as they can occur, but slightly differently for having just occurred.

Whereas our functional cycle in II was a circle (we took digestion as an instance, feeding, satiation, defecating, resting, hunger, food-search, round and round) this new reiterating cluster is not circular. Instead, this reiterating context is open. Like the fingers stretched out on a hand, they go as far as they go and stop. Since it consists of fingers of the functional cycle, I will call it the open functional cycle (opfucy), or simply the "open cycle." I also call it the reiterative context.

"Open cycle" has a contradictory ring. The reiterating context is part of the implying of the functional cycle, but it is open; there has never yet been any completion for it. It implies "into the blue," and yet it has the functional cycle's completion-implying.

We can interpret the term "functional cycle" itself functionally, because what matters to us most is not that it comes full circle, but that it has a further implying. So do its open fingers--they have the functional cycle's own original implying. Yet they are open. We have derived something that is not only stable (in reiterating), but is open to novelty.

From the start we said that implying is for any carrying forward, not just for one specific course. The functional cycle itself is open for novelty. The intervening events are in fact bits of novelty, new carrying forward.

The open cycle provides a stability that is new in our model. Until now we had only fresh carrying forward or new carrying forward on the way to resumption. Now there is a cluster of pulses that isn't going anywhere else. It would occur further if it could, but since no "further" can occur, it reiterates. It is not a new source of implying. It is only a special open part of the functional cycle.

"Open functional cycle" is a schematic concept. Its usefulness remains in doubt until it is used, so that much else (empirical data and practical instances) are formulated along its lines. In VI this concept will enable us to formulate behavior and perception very differently than is now done. It enables us to build the process-relation between implying and occurring into the earliest notion of something stable.

We have a great stake in seeing exactly how we derived something stable and constant from our basic concepts of change. The old model attempts (and fails) to explain change from more basic concepts of statics and sameness. Let us clearly trace how we are deriving the seemingly static from process, that is to say from reiterating pulses of change. These may seem to be a static condition to an observer. For example, seeing seems like a simple constant being affected, a steady receptivity, but actually it is a continual rhythmic scanning. Many constant body states are really made and maintained by one or more processes occurring roughly repetitiously.

The concept: "The body generates a context in which it then goes on further" was already what we said of en#3. Our new context generated during stoppage is part of en#3.

If the stopped process is now somehow resumed, the resumption goes on amidst all the intervening events which would also be going on. The resuming occurs in the context of these many new environmental interactions.

The leafings are like fingers the river made, but they are not that finger which became its new bed. The finger which is the new riverbed is among these, it occurs in the context of all of their occurring.

The intervening events form in coordinated differentiation along with other changes, and they too happen only together with the rest of the body event. In this respect they are simply part of the whole event.

But, in so far as the leafings form a constantly reiterating b-en, that is to say a sector of b-en which keeps being "the same," the changing process goes on in this "stable" context. This is a new meaning for our phrase "goes on in," and a new kind of en#3.

Whenever I move to a new stage I will always do something like I just did. I will give the new kind of carrying forward both as simply part of the kind we had, and also as itself a new kind (in different respects, of course). In certain respects the new development is simply understandable as part of what we had, while in other respects it forms something new and is understandable only as we let further concepts form. We must take both respects along.

The leafing is a new stable context in which the process now goes on, but it is also part of each b-en occurrence.

The intervening events are interactions with the en, of course, like any other processes. Since the leafing events reiterate, they give the organism a constant (that is to say repeating) interaction with the en. Within this repetitious pulsing, changes in en would make differences. For example, when hungry, the leafings might be different than when satiated, even though the leafings would go on throughout.

Many (not all) body processes will be in an original interaffecting relation with open cycle, and will occur only in certain of its time-spans. Or, we could phrase this as: . . . will occur only along with certain aspects of the environment which are reiteratingly engaged in the open cycle. Thus en is different when it is light or dark, warm or cold, not only as en#1 observer defines these and finds them related to what happens, but also now as the organism is "sensitive to" many new aspects of en, that is to say reiteratingly interacts with many new en-aspects as part of each new whole body event.

We now have an open cycle: a "stable" context of reiterating en-interactions which are part of body events, part of evev. Many phases of many body processes (not all) will be coordinately differentiated (IV-Aa) with it and will occur only with certain of these reiterating en-interactions. When body and en change, this "stable" context may register some of the changes. But the word "register" is too early here; the word implies something to which, or someone to whom, something is registered, and that is not the case here. Now that the body has an open cycle sector, many more changes in the en can affect the body. That is all.

If the process is carried forward after all, this is quite likely to be by, or with, one or another of the many intervening events. This might happen either because some new aspect of the en, with which there is a leafing reiterating bit, turns out (perhaps after some versions), to cf the main process. The leafings lead the body to some new aspect of the en which does carry forward. Or, the changes due to interaffecting may change the body enough so that a resumption of the stoppage becomes possible with some en-aspect with which it could not happen before. Or both.

When a resumption occurs "in the context of" the "stable" leafing context, the resumption would change the leafing open cycle context as well. Similarly, a change in the open cycle due to the process continuing would become part of the eveving of the next process events. The open cycle is not separate, but part of every body occurrence, part of evev.

As these concepts meet the next topic, they will become more precise. Let me say a little more about how we ourselves are going on in the concepts we have formed up to now.

In III we discussed stoppage and this enabled us in IV to say about II that carrying forward is an original resuming. Now here in V we developed intervening events, a kind of novelty, and then saw that these are really the schema, i.e., how what does continue during stoppage is different than without stoppage. We emphasized that it may consist of major and dramatic events.

As we develop new concepts, we find that they apply backward to enable us to elaborate our earlier concepts. Not that we "apply" them flatly backwards, rather the newer concepts also become further distinguished as we apply them retroactively.

One way I proceed, which I now want to set up as a concept in its own right, is first to develop something then to go on in it. This is again a movement like the Greek theta. First the theta's line makes nearly a circle, but then, instead of completing the circle it goes back in a wider movement and forward through the already made near-circle. It is the diagram I presented at the end of IV. It means that the process generates for itself a context, in which it goes on further. En#3 is like that, and now the leafing open cycle is a new kind of en#3.

Now we turn at last to actual things. We will let our concepts apply so as to develop further terms to derive behavior, perception, objects that stay put, feeling, motivation, and memory which will let us think about the kind of space and time a process can "have." We will further develop concepts in terms of which culture, language, and thinking can speak from themselves not only as has been the case up to now, but with terms that will let us enter into our intricacy.

 


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