Home > Philosophy > Thinking Beyond Patterns
- A-1: Introduction
- A-2: Tracing the assumption of an imposed order
- A-3: The order of language
- A-4: Psychotherapy
- A-5: What is a situation (body, language, ..... )?
- B-1: Wider than perception and the five separated senses
- B-2: Doubling: patterns, the separation of the senses, empty
- B-3: Resolution of the Conundrum: Patterns carry forward more than patterns
- B-4: Some examples of the usefulness of these concepts
- B-5: Scientific applications and corroborations
- B-6: Within, and not within
- Works cited
1. The project: thinking with more than forms:
My project is to think about, and with that which exceeds patterns (forms, concepts, definitions, categories, distinctions, rules, ..... ).
Such a project currently seems impossible, and for quite strong philosophical reasons. Certain very basic assumptions need to be overcome, but without ending in limbo. That can happen only with a new thinking.
Logical forms and patterns are incapable of encompassing the intricacy of people and situations. Forms and distinctions cannot even define what forms and distinctions are. They are not clear about what clarity is; they cannot define definition. No concept conceptualizes well how concepts work, or patterns, rules, or forms. But it is a great error to denigrate precise patterns or to say that they don't work. In Section B we will discuss patterns how they do work never just alone. They always work-in more. We need a way to let this more function in our thinking along with the conceptual forms.
Logical forms only seem to work alone. For example, the pattern of a triangle seems to work alone when it determines its angles to add up to 180 degrees. Two and two seem to make four alone. The clear conceptual and spatial structure that used to define a hydrogen atom seemed to work-alone, and so does a clear social rule such as “Men hold doors open for women.” These forms can seem to work as stable meanings that can determine the wider intricacy of what actually happens. But I argue what happens can talk back. Actually it gives the forms and rules their meaning and their work. Forms never work alone, always only within a wider and more intricate order.
The question is: Can we think with this more intricate order? Can we let it function in our thinking? Can we think anything not just as formed, but also as the greater intricacy? And: Can the intricacy function in our thinking about how it functions?
A question of language arises immediately: There seems to be no way to speak and think about what is more than forms. One cannot tell about it without one or another way of construing and formulating it. (For, example, I just referred to it as “it.” That seems to give it the form of something separate to which one can point.)
Even if there is an order wider than forms, perhaps it can be said only within conceptual and language-forms. Language seems to consist just of forms, distinctions, and rules. These and other kinds of forms have already played their role in our situations and experiences even before we speak and think.
2. The problem: forms are always already at work:
The ancient philosophers knew the problem. It is the beginning of philosophy to recognize that one cannot begin by neutrally reporting observation and experience. Many cultural and conceptual forms have always already been at work in any situation, experience and thought by the time we think from it.
Explicit and implicit assumptions vary with different cultures, life-attitudes and conceptual approaches. Only by assuming some set of assumptions can one analyze the others. The result is an irreducible variety of conflicting mutual analyses.
We cannot solve the problem just empirically. That misses the fact that some conceptual and social forms have always already functioned implicitly before we observe. Ordinary empiricism cannot examine what went into the making of experience before we observe.
But then, how is a critique of forms and patterns ever possible?
3. The direction of a solution and a change in assumptions:
Thinking with more than forms is possible because the assumption is overstated, that concepts and social forms entirely determine what shall I call that which they determine? experience (situations, practice, the body, intricacy, ..... ). Later I will discuss my use of such a string of different words and forms in one slot.
Certainly the more intricate order includes the forms; explicit and implicit forms always play some role in it. There is always both. But we can inquire into their ways of functioning together if we find a way to let them function together in our very thinking and saying how they function together.
Yes, the forms are always at work, but we do not always get just what can logically follow from the forms. The result can be much more, and something different. That is because what the forms work-in, talks back not with disorder but with more precision.
The order that is more than form functions in language and cognition in many vital and noticeable ways. There will be a way to notice them and let them function in our thinking. Rather than replacing them with explications, we can let these functions continue to operate in and after our explications of them. If we can find a way to do so, then the word “explication” will change from its traditional meaning.
The philosophy of this project was put forth in my Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning and other writings. It has also led to applications in psychotherapy, the teaching of writing (Elbow, 1989, Perl, 1983), and other fields.
Today a thinking with more than forms is gaining ground. Although it is still widely considered impossible, more and more thinkers are calling for such a project. (See, for example, Williams' “thicker thinking,” Putnam, and Cavell.)
Many people do find the vast intricacy of experience and they know that it does not all derive from imposed forms. But then they think of it in just one way, and stop. We need a way to think further with and from it.
As set forth here, this thinking alters certain very deeply-held assumptions which inhere in the structure of most concepts and in the usual manner of using concepts in theoretical thinking.
Our task is not merely to reject these assumptions. On close examination it turns out that they are not actually believed, so it is not hard to reject them. But, for very important systematic reasons, these assumptions have been built into the structure of most of our concepts. We need to understand why. Then these assumptions will change in our way of thinking in and with the intricacy. Then Section B will show that the new ways of thinking can relate and contribute to current science.
Foremost is the assumption that order can only be something imposed on experience, that forms, distinctions, rules or patterns are the only order so that there is nothing else, no “other,” and hence no possible interplay between the forms and something more. Supposedly, nothing but disorder talks back.
The assumption of a one-way imposition was adopted to correct an earlier mistake: It corrects the mistaken view that science copies or pictures nature. The order of nature cannot be represented or approximated, because no such single formed order of nature is simply there, waiting for us to get it right. The correction assumes that nature is nothing but whatever order we impose.
But that is an over-correction: Yes, it is obvious that nature reveals itself variously in response to varying hypothetical constructions and operations. But it responds to each approach very precisely, always just so, although differently to different approaches. So this way of responding shows an order too, though it is not a set of patterns. It plays many vital roles. These are quite noticeable, but they have hardly been studied.
We have to ask: How do forms and the more intricate order work together? How does more function? And how do forms work-in a more? The second question divides:
1. How do explicit forms work with more even when they seem to work alone in logic and in science?
2. How do forms work when they work implicitly in experience when they have (“always already”) gone into any experience and observation before we think? Yes, we must take account of these, but we must think how they work implicitly. We will find that their implicit working is not at all as has been assumed.2(forward)
In Western philosophy the Kant-Hegel-Nietzsche line has made this problem intractable. By systematically overstating the role of forms, it quite lost what is more than form. Nothing is considered to have an order of its own. Everything is taken as ordered by imposed forms, patterns, and rules. Most modern philosophers have utterly lost an order of nature, human nature, the person, practice, the body.
They deny that anything could have an order of its own. All order is assumed to be entirely imposed by a history, a culture, or a conceptual interpretation that could as well be different.
But what is this imposed order imposed upon? There the thinkers differ: Some say it is mere “flow”; some say it is recalcitrant disorder. Still others say it is just nothing as for Hegel thought meets only itself. It seemed to him that distinctions march by themselves.
When only imposed forms are assumed, then humans seem to have nothing common. Few forms seem to hold across the different cultures. Some anthropologists find only one commonality: Everywhere people have proper names. That is not uninteresting. Everywhere a who looks out from behind the eyes and demands to be recognized. But, does nothing else hold across? The forms of language, religion, family, and the cultural understandings about the human body are so different, that very little universal meaning can be formulated. It is said that humans are not even one species: All the members of an animal species live in the same patterns. They all feed and sleep in the same way; they have the same mating dances and build the same shelters. Humans have no such common patterns. If only patterns make us human, then there seems to be no human nature.
So, Freud (1949) held that the ego is a product of the forms of each given society. He said that the ego has “made in Germany” imprinted on it, like a manufactured product. Aside from the socially shaped ego and super-ego there is only the id which consists of unorganized drive-energies that cannot lead to behavior without first having social patterns imposed on them. He said that the body has no behavioral order of its own. (See my “Critique of Narcissism,” also Levin, C., and Horowitz, G.)
Psychoanalytic concepts are built with the assumption that aside from the forms of the particular culture there is only autistic, primitive narcissism. Freud assumed that culture is the only human nature. America, he said, “is the worst possibility” no single coherent culture at all, therefore no strong ego. (He hadn't visited us yet.)
Most twentieth-century thinkers have scoffed at the idea of a universal human nature. They found depth and seriousness only in the forms that culture and history impose on an otherwise mechanical body. It seemed that to be human is to be entirely artificial, no human nature, no human subject, no truth or values only the imposed forms. And that is also the dominant view today. To overthrow this view involves a whole reorientation.
The assumption of imposed order concerns not just human nature, but also nature as a whole. Nature is said to be a mere “construction.” Some philosophers say that if the scientists would only appreciate that they postulate and construct nature, then they would surely behave more responsibly. Science is understood as arbitrary, merely political, merely the result of postulation. Because science is considered as imposed postulations, those who call them into question still find nothing under them.
Ethics also seems to depend on one or another set of postulations or impositions. Some say (with Plato's Thrasymachus and Dostoevsky's Ivan Karamazov) that one can do just anything. Others, (for example, Sartre) find a sense of “responsibility” for what we choose to impose. But they all seem to find only a gap where imposed forms fail.
We cannot move on any of these questions if our saying and thinking consist only of forms, distinctions, rules, or patterns.
5. Marx, Dilthey, and the Pragmatists:
If we look for more than an imposed order, then we read the earlier philosophers differently. We find that some of them made openings that have been ignored.
For example, Marx did not think that human nature is a product of the forms that each society imposes. He said that the present societies “distort” human nature, and that it is “unfinished.”
But can we think with something unfinished? Can something unfinished work as a concept in our thinking? It will turn out that we can. Yes, knowingly and systematically we can let something unfinished function in how we make and use concepts.
Dilthey thought of human nature as “experiencing,” and said it was always also an implicit “understanding.” He said: “In principle anything human is understandable.” Today that is made to sound naive, as if he didn't know how very different various cultures and people are. But he held this because for him understanding does not consist just of shared forms. Rather, when we pursue another's experiencing, ours becomes wider. Within this wider process we understand others more precisely than they understood themselves, and our understanding of ourselves is also widened. But he did not go very far into how what is more than shared forms functions. We want to think further with it.
The Pragmatists also did more than what is said of them today. They are said to have evaluated everything by how well it works, but without questioning the values and goals that determine this. But the criticism assumes that values have to be external criteria that must always be brought to anything from outside. Peirce, James, and Dewey sketched out how goals and criteria develop in and from practice, and how they change not by mere imposition. Such an approach does not solve all value questions at once, but it does solve quite a lot, and it advances the remaining questions beyond the simplistic notion of externally derived values.
Let me now show how some recent philosophers pointed to a way of thinking with more than form, and where their ways stopped.
6. Wittgenstein and the use-contexts of language:
Once, when he heard that some colleagues had joined the Catholic Church, Wittgenstein (Drury 1981) said: “That is like saying that someone bought a tightrope-walking outfit.” He meant that buying the outfit doesn't give one the skill to engage in the activity. From this and many other statements (see Chatterjee) it is clear that Wittgenstein found a way to think with more than forms, but only by staying on a line: neither within the traps of language nor beyond language. He saw no way to go outside of language, across the line. But it is possible to walk this line, although that requires skill.
For him there were two ways to be inside language: misled by the concepts, or walking the line. To be misled was to think within the concepts. He showed that our explanatory concepts are misleading. How could he show it? Without going outside of language, Wittgenstein found something other than the concepts.
Wittgenstein would show for each concept he examined, that the word we use for the concept does not apply in the same way in its different instances. He would bring up not two or three, but sometimes twenty-three examples of using the word, each quite precise and different. None would fit the concept. There must be some thousand such examples in his works, each different.
I am pointing to the fact that his examples are more demandingly ordered more intricate than our concepts. In my way of saying it, he ran into the intricacy. Nearly anything is far more intricately ordered than the conceptual patterns are.
Wittgenstein knew that he had thought his way to a vantage point that is superior to concepts and systems. But he stopped just on that line. No further way of thought seemed possible. The Oxford movement that wanted to follow him, actually fell back somewhat. It rightly emphasized that a word means its use in situations the word marks or changes something in the situation in which it can be said. A word's use-contexts have no single picture or pattern in common. As Wittgenstein said, a word's situations are a “family,” not a common pattern. But then the Oxford Analysts tried, after all, to define the use of a word, if not by a concept then at least by a rule, to capture what a word marks or does. That effort failed; rules don't limit what a word can mean, either. It has led to discouragement. The intricacy Wittgenstein opened, has left in his works seemingly only an endless number of disparate instances. The crucial question was not asked: How does implicit intricacy function? How do words work so intricately and in novel ways that are not limited by forms and rules?
7. Husserl and Heidegger:
In the same period, a little earlier than Wittgenstein, Husserl also found (what I am calling:) the intricacy. That also led him to reject the old theoretical concepts. Husserl found that ordinary experience can give rise to very different descriptions that are also much more specific than the old theories. For example, we never see objects from all sides at once, always only from one angle, and yet they don't look flat. The actually experienced time-relations are also very different from how time is usually rendered. He also found that every event is in some ways definite and in some ways vague. Husserl found layer upon layer of further specificities in whatever he examined in this experiential way. He went far beyond all the old theories and created a vast catalogue of specific explications.
Rather than considering ourselves to be within the universe constructed by logical science, Husserl said that science is possible only within phenomenological laws.
Husserl thought he could codify phenomenological laws of how all experience is constructed. He thought he found these characteristics of phenomena. But it is obvious that he found them in response to certain distinctions and schemes which he brought to his descriptions. He didn't ask whether, when, and how any kind of finding can be distinguished from bringing. He did not ask what he would find if he began with different distinctions. For example, he began by dividing everything into three realms: perceiving, feeling, and willing. Over the years he often modified this three-way division but always, as it seemed to him, to make it more accurate. He never asked how the experiential intricacy might give different results if one first divides in some other way. So his explications do not use the capacity of intricacy to be further explicated in various ways. Nor does he let it continue to function in other ways that we will employ and examine here. He formulated a great many valuable specifics, but he did not develop a way in which implicit intricacy could function in thinking.
Why did Husserl not ask about the effects of various possible distinctions? I think it was because he was so sure and right that what he found was not just the result of his distinctions. He always found much more than could possibly derive just from the simple distinctions. He was not wrong, that phenomenological description differs from mere theory or speculation. His critics overstate the trouble as if phenomenology were no more grounded than any other philosophy.
Indeed Husserl's distinctions were rewarded by findings that were not the result just of his distinctions. The implicit intricacy always rewarded him with much more than he brought to it. What he did not see was that the intricacy can also reward other distinctions and divisions, yet differently. Evidently intricacy is not this or that set of distinctions.
The questions he missed and we will ask, are: How does intricacy function in response to various forms and distinctions? How can we let it continue to function in our thinking with and after the forms and distinctions?
To examine how intricacy functions, we must find a way of thinking and speaking in which the implicit intricacy continues to function along with (one or more) explications. The terms must bring the intricacy along with them, so that it can lead to further steps that are not limited by the explication.
The Phenomenologists who followed Husserl each used different distinctions and got different results. None of them asked how that was possible for Phenomenologists claiming that they were not speculating, only describing phenomena. The early Heidegger and then Merleau-Ponty did write powerfully about what is inherently implicit, pre-thematic. But they each brought to it their own conceptual patterns different from Husserl's. No one found or looked for a way to think with that which is more intricate and can respond to many different distinctions.3(forward)
Heidegger, in his early work, came close. In Being and Time (1926) he presented a fascinating “analysis” of being-in the world. It included feeling, understanding, explication, and speech. He re-understood each and showed that they are “equally basic” to each other, and always in each other. In our felt understanding (for example, in a mood) we know our reasons for an action “further than cognition can reach,” he said.
Heidegger called his terms “Existenziale,” i.e. aspects of how we exist, and said that they were not concepts. They were explications of (formed in and from) our being-in the world. But just in what way were they more than concepts? Heidegger called them “hermeneutical”: they explicate a pre-explicit, pre-thematic understanding. But he did not go further into the general notion of hermeneutics, and later rejected even that notion. How could he have failed to pursue this opening he had made for a more-than-conceptual thinking?
Like Husserl, Heidegger did not ask how other patterns could differently explicate our pre-explicit understanding. Nor did he ask how we might let the implicit understanding continue to function when we think on any topic. But his reason for not asking it was the opposite of Husserl's. Heidegger did not assume that experience can be described independently of our assumptions; rather the full opposite: Heidegger assumed that our pre-thematic understanding is always already shaped by historical determinants. Now he wanted to understand how such historical determinants arise.
Heidegger did not see in his “Existenziale” a more-than-conceptual way in which to carry on his further thinking. It seemed to him that what could be thought in them would still be determined within Western historical assumptions. How the historical determinants arise and how they could change seemed to him thinkable only on an ultimate meta-philosophical level. Therefore right after Being and Time Heidegger went on purely conceptually! to look for an over-arching “meta-ontology” from which the “Existenziale” would be seen as derived (1928). He discarded Husserl's renditions of experiential intricacy, and he also rejected his own precise more-than-concepts. He merged all intricacy back into a single question: If anything is inherently historical, how do historical determinants arise?
Later he also used poetic language, but always to point to that one encompassing question. For example, Heidegger said (in Holzwege) that painting does add something original, but still only within a “clearing” made by the over-arching determinants of language and history. Only by thinking the determinants as such could we hope to think the openness.
He knew two ways to think those over-arching historically given assumptions: either trapped within them, or in a way that reopens the questions they closed, so as to regain the openness which hides itself in them. In this way Heidegger was able to provide a powerful critique he called it a destruction of Western philosophical concepts. He made them so visible and re-opened them so thoroughly, that it has become impossible any longer just to assume them and to argue comfortably from them.
Heidegger deeply believed the dictum of his country and his period, that a genuine thinker can only be the thinker of a particular nation and culture. (For example, Ranke said that a genuine historian must be German in attitude throughout, or some other nationality, or superficial.) What is universal in people seemed only the poorest common denominator. Heidegger did not read the part of Dilthey's work to which I referred above. He did not find the universal human nature of cross-understanding.
On the other hand Heidegger argued intensely against Nietzsche's view that cultural forms are merely imposed, and that aside from them there is only indeterminacy. Behind the forms Heidegger saw an openness from which they all arise which they hide and cover by their very formedness.
We must think of Heidegger not only as the thinker who most undermined the Western Enlightenment and brought the current relativism. He is also the thinker who most strongly opposed relativism. He insisted that if we deeply enough grasp the overarching historical forms in which we find ourselves, we can think through them to the openness that “gives” them. More recently this openness has been lost, replaced by Derrida's assertion that new distinctions simply displace old ones; no openness seems possible.
In his last works Heidegger again comes close to the more-than-conceptual thinking that opened in his early more-than-concepts with their beautiful precision. He calls for a more-than-conceptual way of thinking he called a “dwelling.” But it was to think only beyond the most over-arching assumptions. Since it had to be beyond everything, it seemed that “dwelling” could not be about anything. So it could not even begin.
Having left all but the ultimate determinants behind, Heidegger could not think how that which is more than form actually functions as I would say in each situation and in each moment of thinking. He did not see how any bit of life and practice can talk back more intricately so as to change the determinants which are implicitly at work in it. So he could not investigate further just how the historical determinants actually work (as I would say:) implicitly, and how they change by working-in a wider intricacy. He could not further examine the role of individual humans in the coming of new history. (See Scharff on Vereinzelung.) He could not further develop a more-than-conceptual thinking. As he would say we will reopen these questions.
One can also read Heidegger in my way: The openness is implicit in anything and can function in our thinking further from anything. (See my “Befindlichkeit” and “Dwelling.”)
Why did it seem so impossible to Heidegger that practice and actual situations could be a source of new determinants? (See Kolb). It was for the same reason that Kant thought it so obviously impossible to get logic from experience: they both assumed that experience has always already been organized by certain determinants so that no change in the determinants can come from it. Experience can happen only within the determinants.
We need a critique to limit this “always already” and “only within.” Anything human does indeed include implicit concepts and cultural forms, but we will see that they do not work by a one-way determination.
Let us first briefly look at philosophy today.
8. Philosophy can be divided into three approaches today:
a. Philosophies of science:
Rational discourse is being freshly examined in many interesting ways, both here and in Europe.
For example, Habermas emphasizes the process of discourse, the social and interpersonal conditions that enable it to be rational. Experience is considered as a communicative interaction, rather than as mere logical forms. But it is still assumed (and I will deny) that people can communicate only within a “common store” of meaning-models (Vorrat an Deutungsmustern) which thus fills the role Kant gave to logic.
The new philosophy of science emphasizes not just the clean final product, but how scientists actually work. What I call functions of intricacy become noticeable. That also happens in the new field of “applied logic” (Hintikka 1989), which promises to become much more than a mere application of formal logic.
But rational, scientific, “instrumental” discourse cannot be treated only as if it were a separate, independent realm, as Habermas and many philosophers of science seem to want. An “instrumental” sphere cannot just be segmented off, as if it were limited merely by neighboring spheres. One cannot just speak about “coherence,” “meaning,” “definition,” “methodology,” “value-free neutrality” and so on, without questioning the schemes and assumptions that such words bring.
But a critique of science cannot be just negative. It is true that economics and politics influence science; the clean rational forms do not control their uses. But the forms and distinctions do not just break down. They also work. We must locate their work within the wider functions that are also at work.
b. The tragic view: Derrida's Deconstruction:
Deconstruction brings a constant attention to the schemes and distinctions that all words bring. (McKeon antedates it.4(forward) Hopefully it is a lasting contribution so that no one can be satisfied to stay within unquestioned schematic patterns brought by the words.
Deconstruction also shows that distinctions never give a clean result, always also what does not fit into the distinction. It is called an “excess” as if it had no real function of is own. (See the very clarifying articles by Bernasconi.) The “excess” is considered as only a little-understood contingency or break-down at the heart of conceptual form.
This view stops far too soon. The nature of conceptual form is not understood. (It seems impossible to think about the question except in one set of conceptual forms or another). Deconstruction misses the vital functions of what is called the “excess.”
It is true that in a static moment the excess cannot be separated. One cannot have or think it just alone without the distinctions and forms. So it seems always to be just the excess-of some distinction. But this is an illusion. It is not the excess only of the form that obtains at that moment. If we pursue it through steps of thought, we see its many orderly functions in thought, and in how words move and change in meaning. (Chapter 3 will attempt to do that.)
Derrida (1981) argues that no saying can say beyond its distinctions. He says that they instantly re-surround any saying that hoped to move beyond them.
The only way he finds is to speak in a way that also crosses itself out. For example, he says that every text is a commentary on previous ones; since none are texts then also none are commentaries. The method is to say-and-cross-out. Derrida denies that he says anything beyond distinctions; he argues that it can only be a saying-and-crossing-out of the distinctions.
By both saying and crossing out, Derrida says a lot and also dramatizes the difficulty Husserl did not see. Where Heidegger (in his middle period) wrote-and-crossed-out the words “being” and “is,” Derrida tries to cross out every word. Like Wittgenstein he tries to break the distinctions and forms that language brings while still always remaining within language.
But Deconstruction also closes much of what those three philosophers had opened. Now nothing is said to be at work except the distinctions themselves. Where Husserl entered, and what Wittgenstein and Heidegger pointed to, is now said to be only a disappearing moment, tragic because it is gone as soon as it happens, the moment when a set of patterns changes into another set.
In terms of political metaphor, the possibility of liberation is denied. The oppressed cannot come to power themselves. The classless state is not possible; the workers can only give rise to a new oppressive minority. What is other than imposed distinctions can not be said or thought; it cannot be. There is always again only an imposed form.
Similarly Foucault says that the arrangements imposed by those in power are changed only by arrangements imposed by the next group in power. Other than imposed order there is only an inchoate resistance which cannot be itself. He thinks that nothing new can ever come from the individual or the human body. Animals might have instincts, but according to Foucault (1977), the human body was utterly destroyed by history. He thinks we make ourselves as he thinks we make works of art by imposing predetermined values and concepts on completely plastic material.
The current relativism or historical nihilism stems from this one-way direction, the assumption of imposed order.
Lacan reads Freud in this tragic way. (If Freud could place himself, it would be into the first camp: He thought that Western reason could be separated to some extent from human irrationality. He built a science of psychology with some success.) Lacan emphasizes in Freud what comes from Kant and Nietzsche: The “id” has no order; therefore order can only be something that is externally imposed. What is imposed upon is not capable of meaningful feedback. It cannot modify any form. It cannot even find that one form is more in line with itself than another. (Anything being itself is rejected as the old metaphysics of identity.) That upon which order is imposed, cannot be itself. Its desire to be itself is tragic because it must always be something else, something imposed. This heritage of imposed form from Kant and Nietzsche is certainly also there in Freud.
We notice that Deconstruction retains the old assumption that order can only be imposed. Now that the forms are said to fail, something more might seem possible. But it is made to seem tragic, only a disappearing moment, only disorder. But why? It is because imposed forms and distinctions are still assumed to be the only possible order. Deconstruction claims to overturn tradition, but actually it retains the traditional assumption that only an imposed order is possible.
We will soon turn the tragic view over: What is more than forms is not tragic or ephemeral. It is not a fleeting moment between successive forms. If anything is ephemeral, it is the forms. Our saying, acting, and thinking is the steadier of the two, always moving in, with, and after all forms. It is neither their order nor their disorder. Rather, it functions very much in its own way. We will become able to say it only along with letting it continue to function.
c. Thinking with experiential intricacy (the body, situations, practice, language, ..... ):
A great individual and social change is occurring. Today millions of people have found experiential intricacy. Business, medicine, and society as a whole are adopting experiential processes. This change began with psychoanalysis. But, whereas Freud prided himself most on his theoretical concepts, it was not the concepts but the practice of psychoanalysis that changed society. The practice opened individuals and society to experiential intricacy.
Currently more than 90% of psychotherapists the world over no longer work psychoanalytically. Although for several generations most psychotherapists were trained psychoanalytically, most of them found unavoidable reasons in their practice to reject the psychoanalytic concepts and conceptualized procedures.
Notice the relation between theory and practice which is shown by this social change: The very practice which seemed founded on certain concepts, was actually responded to by much more intricacy than could derive from the concepts. Especially, notice: The intricacy that responded to the concepts forced the rejection of these very concepts. That is one way concepts and intricacy can function. We will see that again further on.
Many psychotherapists now practice in ways that go far beyond any theoretical concepts. All therapists, including the few remaining “orthodox analysts,” know that the practice must always be permitted to surprise the theory. The process of therapy moves beyond merely imposed interpretations. The interpretation that fit so well yesterday may have worked to bring forth precisely that which changes what was interpreted.
Freud called attention to the fact that in practice the actual “working through” involves more detail than the concepts. But he thought of it as under the concepts; he thought that the concepts overarched. Not only have the concepts largely been rejected; most importantly, the mode of thinking and practice in terms of overarching concepts has been rejected.
Since the usual thinking falls hopelessly short of what sensitive therapists (and people generally) can apprehend, theoretical thinking has gotten a bad name among many people, as if it were inherently useless or detrimental. But a much more careful and precise theoretical thinking can develop also in this field from this personal function of intricacy.
This intricacy was discovered by Freud. Like Husserl and Wittgenstein, he opened the way into it. He emphasized that without dealing with it we only “rationalize.” Yet he did not think well of it. He called it “the pathology of everyday life.” In his metapsychology he treated it as mere disorder. But it is not just pathology. Most people experience it also as far healthier, more realistic, and more orderly than the imposed patterns. Today the social forms fall short of guiding what we do. Every day we must improvise and create more intricate ways to act in many situations. We do it not by just inventing, but from our sense that an unclear situation is more intricate than the known roles and concepts. Now the social forms seem primitive and simplistic.
Today it is easy to assert that experiential intricacy is not derivative just from the imposed patterns. But such a denial is simplistic too; it misses how the old concepts and distinctions do function even in our deepest and seemingly most private experience. It also misses the inherent relation between experience and concepts. Without grasping their implicit function we cannot know when we only re-instance our training and when we also move further. I will show how we can know this.
As philosophy has expanded, it has drawn in fields such as anthropology (Levi-Strauss), sociology (Habermas), literary criticism (Derrida), and history (Foucault). I have drawn on many fields including psychotherapy and I do so again here. Most philosophers have considered psychotherapy only in the form of psychoanalysis. They have not come to grips with psychotherapy, nor with the large current social-individual change.
Feminist literature is part of that social change. Some feminist authors emphasize that experiences (such as giving birth) “can be a source of empowerment, and provide a trans-historical core that can resist social pressures.” (Here we will try to supply the needed concepts for a trans-historical that is not some common form.) They speak of “new forms of psychic and bodily experience.” They say that biological bodies are not fixed machines on which meaning must be imposed; that bodily experience can provide “a theoretical basis for an active subjectivity,” a way “to think through the body.” (See Reiger, K., and Rich, A.)
Many Feminists do hold what I called “the tragic view,” but the spirit is different. Here we find thinkers lauding and featuring, the (supposedly) ephemeral moment, (supposedly) intermittent and only “hanging there” nowhere in limbo. It is becoming something one can feature! From here it is only a short step to asserting that, far from tragically hanging nowhere, what is more than form always functions in thinking and saying a more intricate order, not a breakdown.
Males and females differ, but the difference is not what someone defines. Even after the best explications and livable developments, let us think it as and with its intricacy. As with any topic, we can think it in advance not as distinctions alone, but as intricately capable of more.
Imposing form on mere passivity was never real. The old stereotypes can let us say that they were pretenses. It was a pretense to believe that forming is masculine, that only what is formed is real, that form is imposed on what cannot talk back, a mere recalcitrance or disorder without a nature, so that it can only be by imposed interpretation. We are much more intricate than passivity or form.
For example, Gilligan (1987) finds a mode of thinking in terms of stories and incidents. She also finds children of both sexes understanding and empathizing with others who are quite different from themselves. She rejects the old theory that we can communicate only through commonalties. But as she says, with the current concepts her findings seem “impossible on a theoretical level.” (Her findings can be understood with the implicit function of “crossing,” taken up in Chapter 5.)
The superiority of stories over concepts shows that practice can overcome concepts. But this is not a simple superiority. Concepts guide practice too. Logical and story modes of thinking cannot be unrelated. How do they inform each other? How do they go on in each other? It is only an illusion that each can be alone. Concepts change when they work-in implicit intricacy to make new sense.
A philosophy re-positions the old words to make new sense. That is possible only because more than forms is at work in thinking. The process of making new sense involves more than new distinctions displacing the old ones. It involves functions of implicit intricacy. Most earlier philosophies did not overtly avow these functions, but no philosophy would have been exciting or even possible without them. We will think with and about them here.
In Chapters 3-5 I tell some stories. They will be instances of how instances are more than generalities (forms, distinctions, rules, patterns, comparisons, members of categories, ..... ). I will discuss how my strings of different words work. How the word “instance” works will change. This instancing won't be a mere puzzle; rather, it will generate some new concepts about itself. These instances will also change the words “body,” “language,” “situation,” and “change.”
How is the body not just a fixed machine? We live in a bodily way in our situations. The words “body” and “situation” work in a new way here. More than form plays a role in how words work. Thinking with more than form will involve a re-understanding of language, the body, and situations. In Chapter 2 I trace how the assumption of imposed order arose, and the systematic reasons for it. How and why was there this loss of anything that could talk back?
Even then we cannot just assert a two-way determination between what and what would it be? There is no permanent duality. We need to enter into how implicit intricacy functions. We need a way to let it continue to function in our thinking and saying, so that language becomes able to say how language works. In Chapter 3 we will do that, and also set up some (rather odd) concepts about how we did it.
Chapter 4 presents excerpts that show how implicit intricacy functions in psychotherapy. We see it by the transitions. In Chapter 5 our new concepts enable us to discuss: What are situations? How is new word-use possible in them? I show some functions of the body in language.
Section B shows what is involved in patterns. Then I show that our new concepts can relate directly to scientific findings.
1. The denial of a natural order:
Freud held that a newborn infant has only chaotic drive-energies without any patterns of discharge. He assumed that the body has no way in which these energies can interact with the environment, that is to say no way of behaving or interacting with others at all, until some set of social behavior patterns are imposed on it. He says that the bodily id is totally autistic except for that part of it which acquires the imposed patterns and becomes the ego. The assumption that order and interaction must be imposed from outside, is starkly built into all the psychoanalytic concepts.
But it was also Freud who discovered beneath the social simplicities that great intricacy he called “the pathology of everyday life.” He decoded the language of the unconscious and of dreams. He emphasized the “overdetermined” complexity of dreams. Yet, in his metapsychology that is all treated as unorganized.
There is a long tradition of treating what is not logic as if it were no order at all. So also did Nietzsche. He said many different things, among them that the body has a reason of its own, superior to reason. He lauded the “wisdom of the body,” and spoke of tending it like a garden. But he also called the body a primordial disorder on which order must be forced from outside. At most, one can choose what sort of work of art to make of oneself and others. In Nietzsche's work the self-creation has no feedback. The body has nothing with which to talk back to modify or further elaborate what is imposed. The self is a work of art and art is also understood as a form-imposition without feedback.
That tradition goes further back, at least to Vico, who lovingly treats metaphor, and then also depreciates it as primitive. The order of body and metaphor is featured, but also called no order at all. Let us ask how that could have happened:
2. A critique of the “always already”:
a) The overstatement:
I will instance and assert a wider saying (thinking, experiencing, ..... ) that is not within the distinctions and social rules. Rather, the forms and rules are at work within it. Rules and forms are always at work; they are implicit in all our situations and our bodily experience how we interact, eat, sleep, feel, and perceive. If there is a bodily order, we will see it functioning with, not without them.
From the right insight that the human bodily order is not without these forms, it is a short but questionable step to assume that experience is derivative, ordered only by them.
So also, it is a right (and ancient) insight that nature and nurture are not separable in humans. Language and thought-forms are not just added on; they reorganize the human animal. But, it is different and wrong to assume that the human body can not talk back in new ways to these forms.
b) The reversal:
Ordinary people might assume that concepts and distinctions are only one kind of event within a wider universe. But, Western philosophy reversed this order: The universe is supposed to exist only within distinctions, differences, forms, scientifically and culturally posited patterns. Ordinary people might not notice, but that wider, overarching universe they now think of as “nature” is, of course, the nature that science presents.
The common sense view has been reversed: The nature we seem to live in is now the scientific, political and cultural “nature.” There seems to be no nature or human nature more than that. All natural order is assumed to be an imposed order.
The notion of an imposed order splits everything into two sides: The order is considered as if it were independent. On the other side there is something passive and unordered, upon which order is imposed, something that does not feed back, because it has no order of its own.
An imposed order is the sort of order that can be the same, here or there, so that it does not depend on what it is imposed upon.
The very notion of “order” has come to mean the sort that can be imposed, that is to say it is assumed to function like a pattern. An order that can be imposed is inherently abstract, since it is the same in many places. So it is independent of the places and can omit everything that does not fit it. Therefore it can be put on something that did not have it from itself. Such an order seems to work alone. Patterns have their organizing power, seemingly alone.
I will show how patterns work-in another, more intricate order which talks back with much more than can follow from the patterns. But let us first understand why this has been considered impossible.
Let me trace how the assumption arose, that all order is imposed, and that it works determinatively so that behavior and experience can happen only within it. Let us see how this reversal came: no longer that we live and think within a wider nature, but that nature is our own construction?
If we pursue this question, we discover that it has not been asked for a long time. Let us see how the “always already” came to be assumed as totally determinative, and overarching. It happened in stages:
3. How the assumption arose:
It was not Descartes who brought the reversal. It is true that he frankly counseled imposing an order. He championed Galileo's imposition of mathematical ideas on nature. But he did not say that these constructions are nature. Rather, he knew himself to be working within the wider “natural order” as it was called that colorful profusion which had always been known, studied, and recorded like irreducible specimens in a rock collection.
For Descartes the natural order is still there we can see that because he refers to it and tells us explicitly to ignore it. In his “rules” in the Discourse on Method he says essentially: Even if what you study has an order of its own, impose instead your mathematical grid of clear units and logical principles. Build everything out of these. Permit nothing into your science that you have not yourself fashioned out of your own clear units. He favors “supposing an order among those things that do not naturally precede one another” (my italics).
Descartes thought of mathematics as a creation just of thought. Its patterns could exist quite alone, so that physics and everything else seemed to be derivative from them. But for Descartes this way of beginning with pure thought was one thing; nature was quite another.
For a century or more, people kept their eyes on both the elegant logical mathematical order, and the messy natural order. They thought of science not as people think of it today, as telling us the facts of nature. Rather, they thought of science as a hypothetical scheme of mathematical constructions that we invent and impose.
For example, look at how Rousseau begins the Second Essay on Inequality: For a few pages he summarizes naturalistic observations and history. Then he says: “Let us set the facts aside as our physicists do every day and let us proceed hypothetically.”
Then he offers a hypothetical construct system with four terms. Rousseau's readers were obviously familiar with how science sets the complex natural order aside, and imposes its own hypothetical simplicities instead. Today, people must read Rousseau's paragraph several times before they can believe that they have read it correctly. “How can he say that scientists set the facts aside?” they ask. They are accustomed to thinking of “the facts” as the scientific ones.
People have forgotten that science “sets the facts aside.” Now they think there are no facts other than scientific ones.
But, the paragraph also puzzles sophisticated philosophers. Like Descartes and Rousseau, they think of science as a construction we impose, but now they also think that nothing else is possible. Isn't anything else only a construction too? What is that, which Rousseau asks us to set aside? That natural order has been lost! Before, it was always there. In Rousseau's time it was still obvious that “the facts” are far richer and more confusing than science's clean hypothetical grids.
With Rousseau the natural order has its last moment. He strongly helped its loss along: He gave the very word “nature” to his frankly hypothetical construction, what he called “the state of nature.” For this state he posited a human body without human interaction. Society became unnatural. The body had no sociality of its own. It is from Rousseau that we have the assumption that the “natural” body is autistic, unorganized, merely “perfectible.”
Like Vico, Nietzsche, and Freud, Rousseau is famous precisely for lauding the richness of the human body's own order. He argued that education must not just impose. It must always take account of what comes from the child. Only in the move to theory, quite frankly, “like our scientists do,” does he impose from outside his hypothetical, four-way grid. Now he asserts that there is nearly no organization inside.
Rousseau did not say that there is only hypothetical construction. That reversal, to make the wild richness of experience seem derivative from the imposed forms, that came with Kant.
Kant answered the following question: How is it, that our frankly hypothetical science works? Why, by imposing hypothetical thought-grids, can nature be discovered? He solved it with this reversal: The order we impose is the objective one, he said, because the same order is imposed not just in thought, but also on experience. All order found in experience is put there in the very making of experience. Nature is a product of our thought-forms.5(forward)
Kant elevated the forms of Newtonian science to be the only organizing forms of all experience. He thought that scientists impose the same knowledge on experience, which the human mind has already imposed in making experience.
Although it is said that “we” (or “human subjects”) impose this order, this “we” is only the mathematical thought-forms. All the rest of how we know and sense ourselves is, for Kant, utterly derivative. Experience happens wholly within the kind of order that can be imposed, an order that can be analyzed separately and can be put on something without feedback.
It is elegant and exciting, how he derives a rule from the pure thought-form, then a perceptual schema like a circle from the empty rule, and then the objects from the mere schemata. But if one traces carefully, one sees each time: he allows himself to assume that experience must always fall univocally and cleanly within patterns, classes, distinctions. He deals himself an already-cut world. In the most amazing fashion he deliberately assumes that all things and all ethical situations are neatly and distinctly classifiable. Only so are they “possible.”
Why does Kant need experience to be so utterly limited within the patterns of thought? It was to explain why our hypothetical science appears to be true and objective. This was the most urgent question in philosophy from Descartes' time to Kant's, as science succeeded more and more. So the answer to this question is itself not just imposed; it is a response to the success of the scientific patterns. I argue that scientific patterns are never just imposed. But the empirical intricacy in (as, with, ..... ) which they work was only the impossible correspondence theory of copying nature. Therefore Kant's reversal was an advance, although an overcorrection: We do not copy nature; rather nature is produced by our thought-forms.
But even this reversal is not the last stage:
Kant still felt the violence of the reversal. You can see it from the humor with which he enjoys the shock value: Space, time, and objects are not real, he says over and over, clearly counting on upsetting the reader. But then, what is there other than bits of sensation and our forms of construction? Kant retains a vestige of the order of nature in that he insists that it is vital to retain the idea of an unknowable reality beyond our sensations and concepts.
Hegel finally rejected even this unknowable reality. He said that it was itself only one more concept, and even “the emptiest of all concepts.” Hegel said that thought really meets nothing but itself. It alone develops dialectically into more and more distinctions. It was the final stage of the loss of nature. Now everything was assumed to happen only within thought-forms, comparisons the “march of differences.”6(forward)
With the Romantics and Nietzsche the assumption changed but not very much. It was still assumed that experience is produced by imposed forms, but not just by thought-forms but by the forms of culture, history and language. Again it was held that experience is possible only within these. Experience could not talk back in any orderly way of its own.
Now the human subject was considered as the product (rather than the source) of imposed order. Romantic thinkers went deeper into human subjectivity, but as they saw it, the deeper human being was always only the product of a particular culture. Whereas Kant's subject (the unity of rational forms) had seemed universal, the historically produced subjects seemed to differ in all important ways depending on the society and period of history. Since then, it is said that there is no human nature, only various historical natures.
Heidegger rejected even this inner subject in favor of in-the-world interaction.7(forward)
These are some of the steps by which the assumption of imposed order came about. With this assumption in the very structure of our concepts, the body seems to have no other kind of order. Supposedly we can only re-discover in experience what was already imposed on it from outside.
Today even to question Kant's reversal seems naive to most philosophers, as if the only alternative were to report experience naively. But we can avoid this error without the overcorrection. For humans all these kinds of forms do always function, but they are not the only kind of order.
1. In what language shall we discuss language?
We want to find a way of thinking and speaking about thinking and speaking in which the implicit intricacy continues to function in what we say. And, we want to become able to say how it can do that. But this is supposed to be impossible. It seems that language cannot examine itself. Anything said seems limited within (one or another set of) conceptual forms and distinctions. Let me first show this problem more fully. Then we will find a way with it.
2. Does the saying disappear in the forms and distinctions?
Let me first argue on the other side, to bring home the problem we will be resolving. The Deconstructionists would argue that the “act of saying” falls instantly into the said. The process of creating seems to turn instantly into created forms. New distinctions arise, but the arising seems to disappear, leaving only what arose. So saying seems unsayable supposedly it becomes the said and they take the said to be just the distinctions and forms. It seems that even the problem can be said only as some distinction; here it is the distinction between the “ing” of activity and the “ed” of a result. I want to say the act of saying, but to talk of an “act” seems to put saying into a scheme: Indeed, the word “act” brings the conceptual scheme of an act with its agent and its result. Philosophers have presented many conflicting schemes. It would not be exciting if what follows in the next pages were to render saying by one more scheme, especially the old scheme of an act. But it seems that I end in some scheme no matter what words.
Can you sense the loss that takes place here, as a conceptual form seems to take over, when what I am trying to say is the saying whatever saying really is? See it here again: You knew what I wanted to say by “the saying whatever saying really is.” But that, which you knew I wanted to say, is suddenly lost when we see that this phrase brings the appearance/reality distinction, the scheme of “really is” as if what I wanted to say were an object out there, to which I could point.) It seems that to distinguish the saying from a scheme would again be just a distinction or a scheme. So they say that even the question whether there is something other than distinctions can only be one more distinction.
There seems to be a trick: Some thin conceptual scheme is said to be what was the whole event of saying. (This time I avoided the word “activity” but “event” brings a scheme of time.) Yes, something is lost each time, when it is made to seem that I said only the scheme. And yes, you know implicitly just what is being lost.
But, please: the problem is not a quibble. It is not just a question of being a friendly person and granting me that you know what I mean without holding me to the scheme my words bring. Just knowing what I mean might do for any one moment. But the schemes matter as soon as we try to go on. Each scheme would lead our further thinking on in certain ways, and preclude other steps of thought which might have come. Therefore it is extremely important to be keenly aware of the schemes in each phrasing. So this is no small problem.
Of course you understood implicitly that in referring to the act of saying I wanted precisely not to get caught in concepts alone. I wanted to say the saying, itself, and there is going to be a way to do that. But the phrase “the saying, itself” seems caught in the old scheme of mathematical identity, 1=1. Let us ask: Just precisely how did you know that I did not intend that scheme, and how did you know what I did intend?
In the following section I will show how more than patterns and distinctions function in language. And the language that says this will (itself!) be more than patterns and distinctions. Let us now see how that is possible.
3. A story from poetry:
The poet stops in midst of an unfinished poem. How to go on? Perhaps there is only confusion. No leads.
The poet reads and re-reads the lines. Where they end something does come! The poet hears (knows, reads, senses, ..... ) what these lines need, want, demand, imply, ..... . What the next line must say is now already here in a way. But how to say that? What is that? It is ..... the poet's hand is silently rotating in the air. The rotating gesture says that.
The poet tries this line and that. Many lines come. Some seem good. The poet listens into what each of those lines can say. Poets constantly listen into an unexplored openness what can this new phrasing say? A great many such lines come and are rejected. The poet reads to the end of the written lines again and again. Each time that ..... comes.
The lines that offer themselves try to say, but do not say that. That seems to lack words, but no. The ..... is very verbal: It knows the language well enough to understand and reject all the lines that come. That blank is not a bit pre-verbal; it knows what must be said, and it knows that the lines which came don't say that.
The blank is vague, but it is also more precise than the poet can as yet say. It cannot be said in common phrases. Poetry creates new phrases to say something new. This ..... demands and implies a new phrase that has not yet come. So the ..... is actually more precise than what has ever been said before in the history of the world.
Of course, in a way the blank is said by the lines leading up to it. The poet can have (get back, keep a hold of, hear, sense, ..... ) this blank by re-reading and listening to the already written lines over and over. So they do seem to say it, or, more precisely: They have a role in saying what is further to be said.
But when the next line does come, it nearly always forces some revision of these already written lines. The written lines imply something that will revise those very lines.
The ..... is an implying. This implying is quite noticeable, at least when one still lacks a phrasing to say what is implied.
The implying performs certain vital functions here. The most obvious is that it lets new phrasings come to say something new which is also more precise than old phrases can say.
Now I want to show that the implying does not disappear even when the words have come. The implying continues to function. It is what lets the new phrases make sense. The new phrases make sense only because they come into this implying. Taken “out of context” they would not. That is one way in which the implying goes on functioning along with the phrases.
Why can I now so comfortably make these assertions without worrying about the schemes in all my words? It is because my story of the poet's ..... is now continuing to function implicitly in what I am saying. The way something implicit functioned for the poet is now implicit also for us in our philosophical discussion of how it functioned. Our saying more comes from how it functioned, and that must continue to function to let what we further say make sense.
How is it even possible that the old words can make a new sense? Everyone knows that it is possible, but we cannot think about it further in terms of the old theories of communication and language. Their concepts make new sense-making theoretically impossible. So they cannot be very good concepts. They probably mislead us about other concerns too.
Here we will develop a whole vocabulary for thinking further about how something implicit functions and continues to function in our thinking about these functions.
4. Not just deconstruction:
We want to develop ways to think and speak beyond mere puzzles. I want more than your knowing assent to paradox. You might easily agree: Yes, the next line is implied although it does not exist and never has. Yes, to re-read and understand something written is to think beyond it. Yes, such a silence is both vague but also more precise than can be said in old phrases.
Deconstructionists might see a contradiction when I say that the..... is “vague but also more precise.” They would argue that my phrase only deconstructs the word “vague.” Usually it means the opposite of “precise.” But since I asserted both, they would argue that it only means and crosses out its usual meaning. They would say that by pairing it with “more precise” I have in effect both said and also crossed out, taken back, only what “vague” usually means. Then they don't want to go any further.
However, it is quite obvious that “vague” says something more than this contradiction. It says something about how a..... implies. From it we are now saying more than a contradiction. The saying more is not made by a contradiction. To say-and-cross-out is not the saying more. When Derrida says and also crosses out, something remains, even though he takes back what he said. Then he lets that ride while seeming also to make it cross itself out.8(forward)
These days many people do that too. They think that making distinctions is wrong as such. They apologize: “Excuse my distinctions; I don't mean them; I am only (!) using them to make my point.” They hurry and flinch a little as they say this, hoping that the listener won't point out the unsolved problem: If the distinctions are rejected, what is it then that lets us say what we don't reject? What remains after the crossing out? Obviously more is at work in the saying than just distinctions.
The point which is not the distinctions remains. Obviously the point was said. So the said is not the forms and schemes! The said does not stop being the saying after it is said. The said is the saying, still.
The saying-and-crossing-out is not what lets words say something new. And, once something new is said, one no longer needs to cross anything out. The new saying has already moved beyond the old way the distinction used to work. But it is assumed that that cannot be said.
Fortunately, the poet is not satisfied with what cannot be said. The poet works till phrases come, in and from that ..... . So let us also go on to let words work in and from that blank:
My words “more vague and more precise,” when said in that blank how do they work? The words say more than their old distinctions, quite without a crossing out. Did you not already follow what this “vague” says here? Need we go back and cross it out, to indicate that it does not say a vagueness that can not be more precise? No, this “vague” is already more precise before I point that out.
Our word “vague” would say something new here, even if it had appeared alone, without “and more precise.” In the slot of the ..... , “vague” says this vagueness of implied phrases that have not yet come. And “more precise” alone would say this precision which is so demanding. Therefore, when I use both words about the ..... they do not cross each other out. The one word does not take back the other.
The word works newly and then, if we wish, we can also say that it did. First it actually had to work that way; we could not have legislated that it shall no longer work as it usually does. Declaring that we don't mean the word in the old way does not let it work in a new way. Its new working does not need a crossing out. Worse, the crossing out is mistaken; we need the old ways too. The word works newly only as it brings its old ways into this new slot. Therefore we cannot cross its old ways out; it wouldn't be this word without them.
Let us say still more from (and with) how it does work:
5. A language for this investigation:
It is not true that an implicit precision cannot be said. The point someone makes is what is said. What is said is the new saying of a newly working word. That is so also in our philosophical discussion here. My phrase “more vague and more precise” says with greater precision how these words themselves work now for us by coming into this blank, and into my sentence about this blank.
This greater precision is not something extra, not an unsaid halo that is only at the edge of what is said. No, it is what is centrally said (Gendlin, 1962, pp. 66-67). The greater precision exceeds only the patterns, not the saying. It is the saying. The saying is itself the precision that is greater than the patterns we could substitute.
In the realm of poetry it is gauche to ask “What does this poem mean?” There will not be a substitute. We may supply some background to the reader, and also help with various spots. Once the poem is understood, we can go on and on in other words from what the poem said. But one cannot paraphrase a poem in terms of old meanings because only the poem's own words make its new meaning. Therefore, when someone asks us: “what does this poem mean?” we answer: “The poem itself says what it means.”
In this answer about poetry, we know what we are saying although we cannot substitute patterns for it. But, in philosophy and theory we think we must be prepared to do so. If someone asks “What do you mean?” we feel a need to answer with clear categories and known meanings. We defend what we said by claiming that we “really” meant those clear categories. If we cannot say we meant them, if they don't cover what we said, then we are uncovered naked in what we said.
Naked saying makes us uncomfortable. This philosophical discomfort is bodily, a physical sensation, isn't it? Yes, our bodies are capable of philosophical discomfort. But the word “bodily” changes in saying this.
For example, what does the phrase “philosophical discomfort” mean? Nakedly it means this, which my sentence says. But is it our old habit, or is it a fear of not being able to defend, or is it what we think philosophy should be, or what is it? We can pursue the question if we think from this discomfort and if we let it continue to function, whatever we say about it.
Let us admit naked saying, this greater precision, this implying which we have been saying.
The words “imply,” “demand,” and “leads to” have been nakedly saying how a ..... can lead to a next saying before it comes. You might ask me “What do you mean by ‘imply’?” I answer: You already have it: At first you may be just confused and stuck, but then a ..... can come. “To imply” is what the ..... does.
Someone might ask: “What is naked saying,?” It seems we should define it we should say something else and then claim that that other thing is naked saying. Let us not do that.
Let it name itself “naked saying.” Let it set itself up in this way. Later I will discuss this setting up. By setting itself up so officially, “naked saying” does make a concept of itself, although an unusual kind of concept. It is not a separate form that covers anything. But it is a concept at least in the sense of being general: a kind of saying. All poets speak nakedly, and of course not just poets. We do it in new thinking on any topic, in any science and in everyday life, especially in difficult situations where nothing canned works. Let me in naked sayings expand this concept of naked saying:
a) Defining naked saying:
Naked saying is the kind of saying that we don't define in terms of the usual kind of kinds (categories, cleanly patterned distinctions, ..... ) so that we could then claim that what we meant was those. Naked saying defines itself. But how does the word “defining” change here?
b) The word is further defined by the instance:
If a word did not bring its old uses, it would no longer be that word. So of course, the old uses are implicitly at work now in the new use. If we let words mean how they work, how they make sense, then a word is newly defined by its new use, this instance, here.
Why do I call a new use “an instance”? Isn't it just unique? No, any human sense-making has generality: How a new instance makes sense involves its implicit applying in many places and times. The meaning of a newly working phrase is an instance of this new general applying. Its use here is an instance of the sense it makes. It is an instance of itself.
For instance, the poem's next line has a universal significance even though it will have been said only once so far, for the first time.
Our word “implying” is defined (so far) by the instance of a ..... . But like other words, “imply” can work further to say more. For instance, what we say can smoothly imply our next sayings quite without a ..... . Then the word says that implying.
All this would not come to much if a word's working could be said only by that word itself, in this instance, here. Other words must also be able to tell how that word worked. Therefore let me show how, by coming into the spot of a word, other words can say more about how a word just worked, and thereby also how they can say more and more about how words work.
c) More in other words:
To say more in other words, let another word come where “precise” has worked: Where I said “the is ‘vague but also more precise’,” let us fill in another word in the spot of “precise.” Let us try “determined.” What does it say, coming into the slot where we had “precise” before?
The next line is hard to get because it is more determined than the poet can say. That makes sense too, doesn't it? But now the word “determined” does not say what it usually means. Usually it would have meant that something could be derived from already existing forms, as 4 is already determined if we say “2+2.” A next step that is already determined can be found just from what is already there. But the word does not say that here. If it were more determined in that old sense, poets could infer the next line. Finishing a poem would be easier than 2+2.
Let us try the opposite: Since it is not determined in the usual sense, let us try to say: “The ..... is not determined; it is indeterminate.” That also makes sense, but again because the word's meaning changes as it comes here. Now it does not mean that the next line is indeterminate in the usual sense; if it were, then any line could fit. That way, too, poems would be easy to finish.
Nor is the next line partly determined and partly indeterminate in the usual meaning of those words. A combination of both kinds of easy surely does not say why it is so hard!
And yet, we can say any of these three, and everyone will follow us. That is because coming into this slot any word might work newly to say this, though each would then also say something of its own there, too.
We see that what words say is not just derived from the existing forms. (“Derived” usually means deducible.) We see that what words say is not constrained within existing forms. Rather, the forms work within a wider implying which functions to imply, demand, and also to let the words say something new and more precise than existed before.
But, even though “derive” usually means deducible from extant forms, note what happens if I ask, “How does the poet derive the next line?” Coming here, the word “derive” means how the poet does it. But that happens with all the words, as they come into a new slot. Soon there are no words left to take back.
None of this threatens the stability of truth. What “not derived” said earlier now stays true although to say it we must take “derived” (or some other word) in that way. You can see from this, that how we take a word, (and how you take “take” here) depends on something that functions implicitly. The (new and old) ways in which words can make sense involve very precise functions of implicit intricacy. Taking a word a certain way, and making sense (or making a point) are two functions we can grasp as they happen here.
d) To be a saying, the words must work:
Can just any word come into any slot, to say that slot? No, the word must work, must make sense, must say something.
We have seen that once some words have made a slot, more can be said in it by different words, including ones that had until then meant something else. They can surprise us when they work in a new way.
How else can we say and think about how a word “works in a slot”? It makes, finds, synthesizes, differentiates the new meaning there. These conflicting schemes do work here, but in this way implicitly.
To come into a slot, the word must work. It must make sense, but that requires a function of the implicit intricacy of the slot, together with the implicit intricacy the word brings. These cross. You can grasp the function performed by their crossing. I say more about this crossing later.
6. How are these changed meanings derived?
The forms a word brings do not enclose its working. Rather, the implicit intricacy continues to function to imply and say something new. Anything we say, however well defined it is, can also be taken as a ..... . If what we say makes sense, a ..... can come where the word worked. Take any word out of a sentence; let ..... come, and let other words come there. What had seemed formed and fixed then shows its intricacy. Also, the newly-coming words acquire a new meaning as they come into a slot in which a word has worked.
Is it just the words that do this for each other? But there are never just words. The slot is also what we need to say (our being in the situation). The words work-in that; they say-in that. That intricacy functions to let the words come to make new sense.
What a ..... implies may not be in the culture's common store of meanings and phrases. The usual theory of communication is quite wrong, that we can communicate only in a common store of common phrases and meanings. That store is always implicitly at work, but it can be implicitly changed by being at work.
When a ..... implies something new, the common store is implicitly changed even before the words come. That becomes visible because they come already phrased in new ways. In the very coming of the ..... and all the while our hand rotated, the language was being implicitly re-worked so that now new phrases come.
Then, when the new line actually comes, its coming makes more change, and demands still more. After it, again, a further line may not be easy.
You have been following me, because my words came into the slot where “vague” and “more precise” already worked. In coming there these further words of mine came already changed. Let me point back to some of them.
The phrase “implicitly changed” says how the implying changes the next coming words before they come. I need not, but I can point out how “implicit” has changed in coming here: “Implicit” used to mean that something fully formed was hidden, folded in. My word “implicit” changed implicitly in the ..... which changes how a word will work before it comes.
The common store of phrases changes and expands as it functions implicitly. So the meaning of the italicized phrase has already changed from how it was in the store of phrases.
We see that other words can come and say more and more about how words work. They can come to develop a whole theory of language in words that do not cover up or close. Of course, sometimes we remain stuck, but if words come, they come implicitly changed, so that they say more of what was just newly said. The schemes do work- implicitly but in doing so they don't determine the new work-in of the words. The words retrieve themselves from their old schemes by coming. What is this coming? How do the right words ..... come?
We don't control this coming. If words don't come, we have to wait for them. Later I will say more about this coming of words. It is bodily not so different from how hunger, sexual appetite, emotions, tears, and sleep must come; we can't just will those either.
Why does just “come” come to say that? Can we say that in other words? In other words: The word and the slot implicitly change each other. That word that comes, arrives changed so that it works here, in this slot made by the other words. So we see that the coming of a word implicitly involves thousands of connections to other words that can or cannot be used and phrased along with it. They are implicitly at work when one word comes. What is the nature of this implicit working? Here “implicit” does not substitute an explicit scheme for the implicit way words work. No, what “implicit” means remains implicit. We can say a lot more from it, but in sayings and concepts in which the implicit intricacy continues to function.
The word “intricacy” retrieves itself from meaning finer distinctions. Those may come, but implicit intricacy continues to function with and after them. It is not the distinctions.
The novelty-making function of implicit intricacy is not always what one wants at every point. Much of our living needs to be done within steady existing forms. But it is important to know that this intricacy is always there. At certain junctures it is vital to let it function.
Note the precision of the implicit intricacy, its demanding exactitude. It can reject many perfectly logical suggestions. It is more demanding than logic. The working, changing, and coming of words is a function not just of extant forms but also of the implicit intricacy.
7. In a slot, each word comes after the others:
When many words come into a slot, each says the slot further and differently. For example, do “vague” and “precise” say the same? No, the precision of the ..... is not its vagueness. Once “vague” has worked, “precise” says something new and more precise. It says the precision of this vagueness. Or, if instead we say that the ..... determines the next line, it says (in other words:) that most lines will not do. But “not determined” does not contradict that. Rather, it adds that no line has yet formed. The many words might contradict if we take them out, but in the slot each says the slot and also more in its own way.
This can make a time-sequence: a word works differently if it comes into the slot after another word. So it may matter which word works first. But once they all have worked, each can come after all the others.
In history many words and schemes have no time-order. For example, Hegel came after Kant and applied dialectic to Kant's categories, so it can seem that dialectic comes after categories. But long before Kant and Hegel, Aristotle came after Plato and fashioned conceptual categories from Plato's dialectic. In all cases these have been contemporary, so that it is familiar how each can be applied after the other. A great many philosophical variants have no single time-order. Each comes after all the others. Wherever one of them can come, the others have already worked. Even when only one of them is there, the others are working implicitly. Each says the slot in which they all work.
What does a slot do to the conflicting schemes which the string of words brings? The slot unifies them (keeps them differentiated, makes them a thought, a saying, lets them function, ..... ). After all these words you could follow me even if I had no word in the slot. I could just say that a slot ..... its implicitly working schemes. After the words, the slot can do the saying even without any word in it.
The ..... is held by all the words around it. And it ..... s the schemes that work in it implicitly. This way of a slot says something of how schemes work implicitly.9(forward)
8. Retrieving all the words:
The new working of a word retrieves it from the schemes it brings. So also does the word “retrieve” retrieve itself from earlier uses.10(forward)
So far many words here have retrieved themselves by how they said: sense, follow, work, imply, require, instance, order, determine, undetermined, precise, vague, intricate, know, more, wider, new, was, after, in, saying, as well as: apply, come, come implicitly changed. More will come and be retrieved as others are implicitly changed when these say more.
These and many more words constitute a naked theory of language.
Each makes sense about how it worked, and also about how the others work.
9. Words can tell about how words work:
Suddenly there is a gigantic vocabulary with which to say how language is more than distinctions and forms. There is a language in which to discuss language. Language is not caught in misleading conceptual patterns.
10. Thought-ways and concepts:
Now we can say more about the ways of thinking in which we engaged above. First they had to happen and to say themselves; now we can say more with and from them. As with words: First a word must work (say something, make sense, ..... ) only then can other words say how it did. Let us set out five thoughtways. In terms of them we can say what we did.
Of course, to say what we did is to do more than we did. But, seemingly innocently, let us summarize (set up, notice, plan to keep, ..... ) some of what we did in this third chapter up to now.
1) A string of words, each after the others:
We frequently used of a string of different words that could come into (be used in, make, re-make, say, ..... ) a slot. Each word says the whole string, and it says the ..... . Each has its own way of saying more of that slot. The slot continues to function in how we can go on to say more. For example, “imply” now implicitly says what all the other words say (need, want, demand, lead to, determine, do not determine, derive, ..... ). After it means them all, “imply” in its own way says more than the others about that ..... .
The string of words lets the ..... function as more to think further.
2) A fan of possible distinctions:
We frequently thought of something as an implicit intricacy that is capable of many varieties of further distinctions without ever being just those. For example, the ..... after a string of words is capable of all the distinctions the words bring, and yet these are not actually made. If one of them were, the others wouldn't be possible. Also, such a slot can lead to further steps that any distinction we can actually make would preclude.
To think anything as capable of a fan of fans of further distinctions is certainly not the same as actually making and keeping one or more of them. But neither is it the same as simply not making them. As is the case with all these thought-ways, this one is actually a way of thinking only if implicit intricacy functions and continues to function in our thinking.
3) Thinking an instance:
We let words be defined by how they worked in an instance. If a word made new sense, we let that be the meaning of the word.
Most people do the opposite: They lose the intricacy of an actual situation as soon as they use words. If they have a hold of something implicit, pregnant, still vague because it is new and more precise, they lose it as soon as they apply a word.
That is because they think that the word has put its old definition on what they were thinking about. Thereby they lose what they nakedly said (thought, felt, sensed, pursued, ..... ) a moment before.
A few hardy people hold on to what they had, if it would be destroyed by the old definition of every possible word. But they conclude that it cannot be said at all. Then further thinking stops.
Instead, we can let a word change in the instance. Then we can see if it makes new sense there. We can keep this (or another) instance with us. Then its intricacy continues to function in our thinking and saying.
At first, all saying seemed confined within schemes and distinctions. It seemed that a word could only say those schemes, never its actual saying, its working. Since then we saw that in some phrases some words say something about their actual working. The phrase “their actual working” also says its actual working, here.
Why does “actual working” not fall into the schemes of act and actuality? Why this time does it say its actual working? It is because we let it instance its new saying. That can happen in any instance, as I said just above. But when a word works to say how it works, it redefines itself from the instance of its own working. Then it is self-instancing.11(forward)
Then they open the way for other words to say how they did.
5) Letting the more precise pattern be the concept:
Just setting out these thought-ways conceptualizes them in a way: I have outlined a pattern in each. But the pattern does not alone define a thought-way. It is also defined by strings of words, instances, and its self-instancing. In these ways these concepts of thought-ways are not only patterns. Implicit intricacy continues to function in them.
This way of conceptualizing is one more thought-way. Let me set it out:
In its old meaning a concept was thought to be only the conceptual pattern. All further steps could come only from the pattern's logical implications. We still want those further steps of logic, and what they open on any topic. But we do not want to give up the further steps to which implicit intricacy can lead (both before and after patterns).
Many people treat concepts as if they were a separate world, a world of theory. They drop all of their naked understandings the moment they turn to theory. They try to operate just with formed conceptual patterns. But without their own naked understandings they can think nothing new. They can only rearrange concepts that are available in the library. And even these can be understood only very thinly in this way. But if we take the implicit intricacy along, as scientists in the laboratory do, then even the purely logical steps are powerful because they work in it. But we can do more:
At any juncture of logical progressions we can also institute these thought ways. They can be used before we move logically, at any point along the way, or at the end of a long progression of logical steps. Although many assumptions and schemes have gone into the logical steps, we have seen that further steps in these thought ways are not necessarily constrained by them.
We want the use of both logical moves and the thought-ways set out here. The sharper and more complex the conceptual patterns are, the more do they enable logical steps that go far into whatever we study. Then our thought-ways can move from such far-in points. Conversely, these thought-ways can lead to new conceptual patterns:
I will now show that patterns drawn from naked saying tend to be more complex than the usual ones. They have more cutting-edges. So they tend to be more precise even just as patterns. But they are not just patterns. They also bring the implicit intricacy along. So they are more precise (and vague) in this way too. For both reasons these will be better concepts. They can open more, without limiting us just to what their patterns open.
This concept of making concepts has a more complex pattern than the usual one which seems to lose the functions of implicit intricacy.
Let me further use these thought-ways to set up a cluster of five concepts that have already emerged:
12. Five concepts:
We said that the ..... implies the next line. And what we said can also (differently) imply what we say next when it comes smoothly (without a ..... ). We let these ways of implying be themselves. We let this implicit functioning define our concept of “implying” together with the pattern of a saying and a next saying.
b) Carrying forward:
When the line has come, the poet says: “This is the line that was implied all along.” But what can it mean to say that? The vague demanding blank did not contain the words. How was it the implying of those words? There is no commonality between the fuzzy blank and the later line. We cannot even say “The line is like the blank.” A likeness is some similar pattern. We cannot say: “See, this pattern in the blank is the same as in that new set of words.” There can be no question of a “congruence” as between two forms, since the implying is not a form but a ..... . Perhaps more than one right line is possible.
Let us make a concept of this relation between the implying and its explication; it is more complex than congruence:
To say that it “was implied” does not mean nothing. It means that this line has a special relationship to the blank. Other lines suggested themselves; they too came from (into, with, ..... ) the blank yet it rejected them. Shall we say that they too were implied? No, the poet does not say that. But they are part of this pattern, here, which is more complex than our usual concepts. Many next steps were offered, but only a special one was implied. How did the poet know which one?
First consider a rejected line. The poet listens into it, and finds perhaps that it is quite good. But what does it do to the ..... which comes at the end of the already written lines? Ah it is still there; it implies, demands, and rotates the poet's hand just as before, despite the suggested line. So the poet rejects that line.
Such a rejected line may have had some effect: it may have made the ..... shrivel a little, or become dimmer. Perhaps the poet had to re-read the written lines again. But, when it is back, it is the same implying as before. It still wants what it wanted before. So the suggested line is rejected for this poem, even if it is such a good line that the poet writes it down to save it. And so it goes with one suggested line after another.
Which line is accepted? It is one that does not leave the ..... still hanging and wanting as before. After this line the ..... never goes back to hand-rotating. This line has changed the ..... but not into something else. Can there be a change that is not into something else? Is it a contradiction: the same and not the same? No, rather it is a more complex pattern. Let us set that pattern out:
After the special line has come, the ..... no longer implies as before, but not because it has gotten dim or different. Rather, the ..... no longer implies as before because what it implied has happened. The ..... was carried forward by this line.
The poet can still remember the hand-rotating of the ..... but now it is only a memory. After every other suggested line that hand-rotating returned. Now it never will again.
Let us not be afraid of the complexity of this pattern, nor by the fact that implicit functions are involved. Let us permit it to be a concept:
Implying implies something that will change the implying not into something else but changes it in that special way in which it then no longer implies as before because what was implied has occurred; the implying has been carried forward.
c) The implicit work of forms can change them:
Forms and patterns do not work alone, even in pure logic. In application they work-in more (the slot, the situation, ..... ). But forms are always at work, at least implicitly.
In our instance the poet's ..... comes at the end of the already written lines. So the forms of these lines are at work in it. How do existing forms work implicitly?
We see that here. When the next line comes, it usually forces a revision in the already written lines. The already formed lines were at work in the implying of a change in themselves.
Forms can work without putting themselves on what is implied. They can work implicitly without making what follows consistent with themselves. Instead, their implicit work can change them.
Indeed, we can say of all formed things in advance, that they imply more than can be consistent with their seeming form or definition.
The word “form” has changed in working here. Notice, please, that this change in the forms cannot be credited just to the forms in their old meaning in which they were assumed to work alone! In their old meaning the forms could only force consistency, or break and leave us in limbo.
When forms work implicitly they do not work alone, and that is why they can work so as to change in the process of working. Surely we want to think about that way forms can work, that pattern here which involves more than the pattern. Let us let that more complex one be a concept: Forms can change in their very working.
d) Implicit novelty:
In ordinary use the phrase “it was implied” can work in many ways. It can say “The person was too polite to mention it directly.” It might mean: “I had a feeling, but I ignored it,” or, quite differently, “I didn't know, but I should have known.” There is a gamut of kinds of “was implied.” A whole fan of distinctions opens here.
What we have once thought explicitly can become implicit when we stop thinking about it. Much previous thought is also implicit; it has been built into our situations and our lives although we have never thought it explicitly ourselves. But in our instance (of a poet), what was implicit can be new to the world. Let it stand that something quite new can have been implicit. Let it be a new concept (which was implicit in our instance.)
e) Two pasts:
Implying can imply something new of which we then say that it was implied. That is not wrong; rather this temporal relation works backwards into time in a way that it does not work forwards.
The ..... did not contain the line. Now, from the arrived line backwards, the blank was the implying of that line. But it is not an error. The poet remembers the hand-rotating. It is not a confusion of memory.
The usual time-model is reversible: It assumes that the past from now is only what the future was, from then. That assumption in the usual time-model is not just about time; it limits how we think about human events. If we now say that a past event “was” more and different than it seemed, we seem forced to believe that it must have then been as is now revealed. As if everything, were already finished, as if nothing ever really happens!
Instead, let us take the more complex time-pattern we have found: There are two pasts, two ways the word “was” can work: One is the retroactive past, made from the carrying-forward occurrence of what was implied. The other is the remembered past behind us on the linear track.
Certainly, sometimes we do confuse these two. And, that is just because they are not the same. We might remember wrongly, but to carry forward is not to remember wrongly.
The Soviet Encyclopedia lies: what it says was, was not. But, by lying it now shows what the Soviet Revolution really was. There are two pasts: An event can be remembered as it was. But a human event is always also how it implies further events. Since it does not contain these as finished events, it requires them to happen before it becomes what (we then truly say) it was. Therefore explicating makes two pasts, both truly.
But can all later events be said to show what the past was? Of course there are many later turns and changes that were not implied by the event. To think about those that were implied we need to think the special relation of the poet's line by which an implying is carried forward.
As we go further, this dual time-pattern will work and expand. Let this more featured time-pattern stand in its own right. Let it be a concept.
These concepts did not need to be five. Some of the phrases that told about them can be set up as additional concepts. Or, some can be merged since all of them are implicit in each. That is because the definition of each depends on the instance of how the ..... implies, and they were all implicit in that. When we use one of these concepts, the others are implicitly at work in it as well.
Each of these concepts brings that implying, and is about how it functions. The patterns and the implicit intricacy will continue to function as we use these concepts to go further.
We can think of anything as an implicit intricacy no matter how distinctly formed we might also find it. Many steps of explicating may have happened, but in further thinking it can bring a ..... that implies more.
Of course no may come; we may just be confused. But if a ..... does come, it implies a further step which will carry the implying forward. In such steps the forms we know can be at work so as to change. Later, when the further step has come, we say that something new was implicit. But this was in the retroactive past, not the remembered past in linear time.
I just used our five concepts a) - e) from chapter 3. They are a cluster: We can think them as “carrying forward” what was implied which could be new and change the forms. Later I will expand the cluster with concepts f) - n).
Since more intricate further steps can come, it is wise to think and treat anything in advance not just as it is now formed, but also as an implicit intricacy capable of such steps. But intricacy functions variously in different fields. How can we make all these generalizations? The same sentence says something different in different fields. So the sentences do not assert a common form across these fields. Later I will show what these sentences say in poetry and in psychotherapy. I will show how such seemingly general sentences do work by a cross-applying that is more intricate than commonalities. Therapy is certainly special in how it opens implicit intricacy, but so is every other field and thing.
Before I turn to therapy let me show implicit intricacy where it might seem least likely:
1. Photographic realism:
Watson (1987), a philosopher and a photographer, makes pictures with an unclassifiable intricate texture. He works to show people this intricacy. There it is, before you photographed! How can you not believe it? Easily by not seeing it. He complains:
I should not be distressed, when visually sophisticated people look at my work and ask “What is it?” I am distressed when those who can see don't see because aesthetic theory blocks their vision. It tells us what can be, what can't be, and what must be. It tells us this by studying dead things, things that have lost their power to transform. The living are (taken as) simply cases of what is, what can be, or what must be; that is, the living is an instantiation of theological structure of the world.
Like some other current philosophers, he rejects the notion of a world as given, out there, as objects. But for him this rejection does not lead merely to contradicting forms or a gap. Rather, he pleads: Please look!
No gap! Rather: intricacy. In Watson's words, the intricacy is “alive” because “it can transform” and in his textured pictures it does that right in front of you, if you look and let it happen.
As it moves, you see: the forms are not just given; they form from intricacy, dissolve into it, and reform from it. Intricacy is not these or those forms. It is not a gap between forms. Intricacy is alive.
2. Stories from psychotherapy: The bodily ..... :
In my therapy class we work on ourselves without saying anything about just what personal difficulty we are working on. In this example I listened to a student. Bit by bit, I said back only the crux of what she said, in order to show that I closely followed. I wrote this example down after class.
She said: “If I even try to think about it for a moment, right away I get overwhelmed. It is too sore to touch at all.” I responded and then she was silent.
“But if I say, ‘well, wait,’ uhm; I've waited all my life. I've done so much waiting! If I tell myself to wait, I get depressed right away.
(Breath) “I just can't say ‘wait’ to myself any more.” I responded to show that I followed.
“There's no place to stand. I can't wait and I can't touch it either. I'm so tense! It's very uncomfortable. I'm all anxious and tense. It's, uhm, there's nowhere to be with it. I, uh.”
I said back only what she said, but I did it very slowly, so that she would have my company in this place of “no place to stand.” That can help one to stay, and then a step can come.
I said something like: “Right here you have no place to stand. It's too sore to touch, but if you think of leaving it, you get depressed. You can't go in and you can't not, either.”
..... (long silence)
Then a between-place came: (breath) “I, uhm, I think I can, uhm, be with it like putting both hands around a rope, not touching the rope, just letting my hands surround it without touching it.”
“Yes, (breath) I feel some easing. I can be with the problem this way. I don't have to stay away from it any more. It's right there; I am not avoiding it: I am with it (breath), surrounding it; that way it feels OK.”
In therapy it is often a major matter whether or not one senses a problem directly in a bodily way. Of course one knows about a problem; one can think about it. But therapy requires paying attention to the unclear sensation of the problem in the middle of one's body. Most people must first learn this direct bodily sensing, before therapy can progress.
Notice that there is a very distinct space in which one moves toward or away from the direct sensing a problem. One may touch it or not. It is not just an image space, but a far-near dimension of the bodily sense of that problem.
Next, notice that even if one is familiar with this bodily sensing, it is not always possible. In this example touching it is too sore.
We have learned that a little-known middle spot which is not at first there, can come; from it one can bear to sense what could be overwhelming.
Notice that a step can come where at first there is no way. That step came from the..... .
The step “surrounding it without touching it” is not a commonly known meaning or phrase. Everyone understands that something can be too urgent to avoid and yet also too tough or too sore to face. But suddenly there came an alternative which is not a common way, not a common meaning. In this meaning the phrase is not in our common store of meanings. If someone says I can't wait and I can't work on it either, we cannot just say: “Well, surround it.” She did not know this meaning before it came.
The step is more intricate than the common meanings. Holding one's hands around something without touching it is more intricate than touching. It is also spatially more than just toward or away; it is all around. It also includes a carefulness as close as possible but without touching.
It is a metaphor from holding or rather, from not holding a rope in a gymnasium. If the rope is held too tightly one burns one's hands as one slides. Right now it is too hot to hold at all, but one can speculate that the metaphor promises getting safely to the ground eventually, with just the right balance between looseness and tightness.
Actually it is much more than a metaphor. It is also a physical way of sensing and relating to something that is still too sore to bear. It is a step of bodily carrying forward, a new energy, a new way of being and living further where before there was no way.
Such a step leads to many more steps from the next ..... and the next.
3. Another example: Bits of change in therapy:
In philosophy it is sometimes claimed that an explication did not change what it explicated. Or one wishes that it didn't. In psychotherapy it is the opposite: Since the patient comes in order to change, few therapists are sorry that explication changes carries forward what it explicates. Steps come and also bring a new ..... , even when the therapist adds nothing, only says back exactly what the patient said the crux of what the patient wanted to convey.
Now let me give an example from another person from the middle of therapy. Notice again the role of the silent ..... between each step and the next:
C: I want to leave Chicago. The noise outside bothers me.
T is silent.
C: You don't think that's real. I can tell.
T: The noise is crowding in on you, coming into your far-in place.
C: It's like darts hitting my body. I can't stand it.
T: It really hurts!
C: (silence) ..... I keep feeling a sense of no meaning in my life.
C: (silence) ..... I just want to leave everything. It's that same spot where I want to die. My wanting to live and to die are so close, these days. That's why I haven't been able to touch this place. It gets misty there, still. It's real foggy.
T: You can feel wanting to live and, also, wanting to die, both right there, in the same inside spot, and that spot gets foggy, too.
C: (silence) ..... I don't want to relate with anyone. I wish there were no people to see [at her work place]. They don't mean anything to me. There is no meaning. When will my life ever have meaning? It feels like it never will. And I need meaning, right now.
C: (silence) ..... I also feel hesitant about relating to you. I know you're there for me, but it's like I'm not allowed to want that.
T: Is that, what you said before, about your father?
C: (silence) ..... No, uhm. But I am glad you said that about my father, because, uhm, I can feel that this is not with him. This is different. It's not like with my father.
T: It is not about him.
C: (silence) ..... uhm, I can hardly touch it. It's I can't want my mother. I, I can hardly say it.
T: You can't want her.
C: (silence) ..... That is where I feel the noises like darts.
C: (silence) ..... It's real early, real early.
T: It feels like a very, very early experience.
C: (silence) ..... I can't want anything.
C: (silence) ..... This needs to rest, and it can't. If it lets down and rests it will die. It needs to keep up its guard.
T: There is such a big need and longing, to rest, to let down, to ease, but somehow also, this part of you can't rest. It feels that it will die if it stops being on guard.
C: (silence) ..... What comes is: maybe it could if I could trust something.
T: It could rest, if you could trust something.
C: No, no: Maybe it could rest, if I could trust something.
T: It's important to say “maybe.” Maybe it could rest, if you could trust something.
C: (silence) ..... Now, suddenly, it feels like a house on stilts that go into the earth. All of me on top, where the noise is, that's a house and it's on stilts. It got lifted off of this sore place. Now the sore place is like a layer, and it can breathe. Do you know those steel posts they put into the ground, to hold up a building? [T: Uhuh] These stilts are like that. All the noise and coming and going is in the house, and the house is on stilts, lifted off, and the stilts go into the ground.
T: Those steel stilts go into the ground. You feel them lifting the whole house up, off of you. And underneath, that sore place can breathe.
C: (silence) ..... Yes, (breath), now it's breathing.
C: (silence) ..... It's bathing in warm water.
Notice that the stilts were not just an image; along with the image a new bodily state came, a new physical way of being, described as “now it's breathing,” and “it's bathing in warm water.”
Later, she said:
C: When I was little I played a lot with stilts. I used to go between the power wires on them. It was dangerous, but it was play! I used to make taller and taller ones, and go on them there. Stilts! I haven't thought of those for years. Play, and danger. How does this process do that? It uses all these things to make something that wasn't there before.
1) How the past functions in new steps:
Note that the intricate new steps come each time from the silent ..... which precedes each step. Such steps are not imposed by the therapist, nor do they already exist in the patient. They are not the common social forms. Steps of this sort occur in all types of psychotherapy if feedback from the patient's bodily sense is looked for.
The steps can include much from the past. Here the problem with mother, and the play with stilts in the danger zone are from the past. But notice: the past doesn't merely repeat; it functions in new steps. What made her play with dying when she was a child is surely present here. But the past is not only what it was. It also functions in the present, and in that functioning its form can change. The wanting which was then blocked and stopped, is now carried forward in a new present which carries forward the implicit intricacy which the past also was (our second sense of “was”).
2) The truth and value direction is carried forward within the process:
A step is not determined just by external values brought to it: For example, is it good to give relief to this part of herself? I say yes, but such a step can come also when one's stated value would lead one to call it a weakness that should not be coddled. Yet the values one brings to it are not just lost. The step would intricately show how it is not coddling.
What about value-questions concerning suicide? The values are not brought from outside to such a step. Rather, internal to the step everything is far more intricate than any either/or, and more intricate than the way in which values are thought about.
For example, is it good to be off the ground? Perhaps we value being on the ground more and would want her to feel herself directly on the ground. But the step that comes with such good new bodily energy lifts “her house” up on stilts, and yet these go deep into the ground. That might conflict with formed and stated values, but it is more intricate.
How does such a step affect oppressive social values? A week later she still had the breathing-space under the house on stilts. She felt peaceful and strong even in planning a meeting with her boss. “The boss can talk to my house,” she said, laughing.
If one thinks of values only as independent external criteria, then of course one finds only relativism. One longs for, and fails to find the impossible simplicity of separate values that can be brought in to solve all problems at once. When we notice how values actually arise within a process of steps, it does not solve all value-questions. But it does change how the remaining questions have to be posed. For example, in exactly what ways can we rely on the values within such a step? Now what “rely” means is not single. We pursue many senses of “rely” for which the answers differ. A fan of distinctions and answers that open further investigations: Can we rely, instead of having to choose and insist on the values we bring? No. The does not come unless we let it come from, with, and by staying true to our insistences. Then it can intricately change them. Can we rely on just this step's values? No. Some others can emerge in further steps. This client much later went through a long and very touchy process which she called “coming down to the ground.” Can we rely on the steps not to change truth and value arbitrarily? Yes. They have an experiential continuity (very different from Hegel's “aufheben”). I will show it later.
But notice: She is not just floating. These stilts are not just off the ground. They are like steel girders that go far into the ground. As in the earlier examples, the step is more intricate than either on or off the ground.
4. One more story from psychotherapy: Tracing the progression of steps:
In my next example a client talks about a man she has been seeing for several years. He wants to marry her. Here is her initial statement:
I've been holding him off. But he is really very special, and nobody's perfect. I'm impossibly demanding. It confuses me .....
Here she says that she is confused. But if it remained just confusion, the next step would not come. Rather a ..... comes and implies a next step. Such a step often makes a great change in what the topic seems to be.
We all know this topic: “nobody's perfect.” One should not wait for a perfect mate. That is “too demanding.” I have sat with patients for a lot of therapy hours on the issue, round and round. A long and circular discussion could have arisen at this point.
Instead, when therapy is going well, the progression is different. From the ..... she does not move as she would from following the topic. Instead, she moves from the phrase “it confuses me,” or more exactly, she moves from the ..... which came there:
Look at the progression in her first two statements:
I've been holding him off. But he is really very special, and nobody's perfect. I'm impossibly demanding. It confuses me. .....
(silence) ..... He says be cares about me, and I know he does, but I also doubt it. Uhm .....
The ..... produced a step that changed the whole topic. Now it turns out the trouble isn't demanding a perfect mate. No, it's rather that she isn't sure he really cares for her. The step changes what had seemed to be the problem. And, that happens again and again, as she goes on with a continuity given not by the topic, but by each new ..... :
Here is the whole segment (my responses are left out):
I've been holding him off. But he is really very special, and nobody's perfect. I'm impossibly demanding. It confuses me. .....
(silence) ..... He says he cares about me, and I know he does, but I also doubt it. Uhm .....
(silence) ..... (sigh) No, he cares. I don't doubt that. I see it in his eyes. When I pull back even a little, he looks so hurt. It's me, I have trouble letting someone care about me .....
(silence) ..... (sigh) It's not the caring that gives me trouble. It's that when someone cares for me, that is when I get this confusing feeling .....
(silence) ..... He says he cares about me and what I need. And he wants us to be together. But it seems like he doesn't want to see what's true, what isn't working in our relationship. And it is mostly this not wanting to see, which is what's not working. But if he doesn't care about that, then it seems like he doesn't really care about me-me. It's like he wants me, but only if I'm quiet and feel weird, like not-me. So he doesn't care about whether our connection is real or not. But it makes me feel crazy. Does it sound crazy to you?
At the end I asked her: “Would it feel better if he said those things separately, something like: ‘I want you for me. I try to care about what's good for you, and I want to think I do. I'm scared of seeing anything about us, or about myself, that would get in the way’?”
Yes, it would feel better if he said that.
We can follow the progression of these steps although they do not follow logically. The steps surprise us, yet we see how each could follow from the previous. I will say more of this kind of following.
Now, as a different kind of example, my reader might take a minute to try out sensing a ..... . Let yourself be with your own sense of all this, and see if a ..... comes, and what you might say from it. Then you can bring what you say, and also your implicit sense of it all along, as I turn now, to make concepts about it.
5. A regular use of concepts:
Our five concepts a)-e) from poetry (Chapter 3) seem to apply to therapy in just the way concepts usually do: what they point out seems to be a commonality, the same in different instances.
The silent ..... “talks back.” It knows the language and the situation. It implies what she has not yet thought or said.
b) Carrying forward:
Each step carries forward what was implied but was not simply there at the previous step.
c) Forms change in working:
Logic and ordinary cognitions do some of the work in this progression. At each step she uses many ordinary concepts (“too demanding,” “care”). These do some of the work, of course. But the next step cannot be inferred just from them. For instance, “I doubt his caring” does not come just from “too demanding.” Rather, the forms that define the problem change. They help to bring the very step that changes them.
d) Novelty was implicit:
Why might what she says sound “crazy”? Isn't it because its new intricacy exceeds the common store of phrases and meanings? (“He doesn't want to see what isn't working. And it is mostly his not wanting to see, which is what's not working.”) Something new was implicit.
e) Two pasts:
Again there are two pasts two senses of the word “was”: Although the step surprised us, looking back from it we can see that it was implied.
Our concepts apply to therapy, poetry, and also wherever such steps come, but they can do more than that.
In the traditional notion of concepts, they seem to be only commonalities that “drop out” the instances (as if instances contain only details that fit under them.) I will show that this is incorrect. Concepts do not drop out the instances.
A concept can work in three ways (which lead to a fan of many further ways). The concept can work as the same pattern, if we go on just from the pattern, so as to keep it the same. The concept may also bring its working in its many instances. A concept can also work if it is taken in just one instance, and then differently, in another.
What a sentence says can differ in two instances. We can see it best if we go on from it. I will show this by going on from what one of my sentences says about therapy. I will then show that the same sentence says something different if we go on from what it says about poetry.12(forward)
But then it is not a matter just of stating the differences. A sentence that asserts the difference will also say different things in the two places. Genius may be required, or at least some waiting, but the sentence which denied something of poetry (and said what seemed true only of therapy) can after all say something of poetry. What we meant to deny stays denied. But it can say something else there.
We will now see a chain: I will state a difference a sentence that is true of therapy but not of poetry. What it denies of poetry remains denied, and yet, despite this, if we insist on saying that sentence about poetry after all, we will find that it can say something true of poetry too. But, although it is the same sentence, what it says truly about poetry is something different from what it denies of poetry.
It will show that once a sentence has worked in a situation, its truth or falsity remains, but truth does not belong to sentences as such. Truth depends on how a sentence works-in intricacy and that depends on which intricacy it is taken as working in: either as saying a pattern, or as working-in a crossing (see later) of many instances, or in one instance, or in other ways. Truth depends on if and how a sentence works, and that depends on how it is taken. Taking is one of the most common functions of implicit intricacy.
7. A chain of cross-applying:
“The ..... implies a carrying-forward step that has not yet been said.” This sentence can be said truly of therapy and poetry. But, does it say the same thing in both? If we go on from what it says we go on differently in the two places:
In therapy a step from a ..... carries it forward into a new way of being bodily alive. If a poetic line were carried forward in that way, it would bodily change the poet's whole mood. Then the rest of the poem could no longer be written.
In contrast, the poet keeps, maintains and maximizes the ..... , the mood of the developing poem. The ..... is carried forward by a poetic line that will maximize (reinforce, nurse, feed, help one savor) the mood.
This last sentence was to say the difference; it says what is not the case in therapy. But if we assert it about therapy after all, what might it say? First we just say it; then we find what sense it can make there, after all. Soon we see: Oh, of cours I now see not every step in therapy changes the mood. I didn't think of it before, but now that I heard myself say it, of course one must often first maximize, savor, pursue the felt sense. In fact, maximizing is very necessary in therapy. Surely I knew it before. It was always there to be noticed. But it isn't a question just of noticing, as if there had always been an entity called “maximizing the ..... in therapy.” It came to notice (was differentiated, synthesized, lifted out, ..... ) from trying out on therapy the sentence that I wrote to say what was not true of therapy, only of poetry.
We got the therapeutic maximizing from insisting on saying the same sentence about therapy. So surely it would seem that “maximizing” says the same thing in both places. It can indeed be truly said of both therapy and poetry at once. Nevertheless, the maximizing it became able to say in therapy is not necessarily the same as the one we cross-applied from poetry. We see it if we go on from them.13(forward)
Let us go on from “maximizing” very simply: “The therapeutic maximizing leads to change. The poet's maximizing does not.”
Let us cross-apply these: Let us see what is said if we assert that poetic maximizing does bring change-steps. Oh, of course it does. Poetry-lines are “change-steps” too. But, if that sentence is to be true, it must be taken to say the “change-steps” of poetic lines, not therapeutic ones. We can go on to say more of how they are a change.
Conversely, let us see if anything is truly said by: “Therapeutic maximizing, does not lead to change.” Of course, it is still the same problem and the change steps move in the same direction of resolving it; there is something they don't change, though it might require more study to say more of it. (We will say more of it, below.)
What the earlier sentences truly affirmed or denied remains true or false if we take those sentences in those earlier ways. But taking them as cross-applying leads deeper and deeper into the intricacy of each topic. We see that the truth of implicit intricacy is not arbitrary. It always has a very demanding truth and falsity that leads on further into itself. We can stop at any point, but not just by saying that something is the same-and-not-the same. Rather, wherever we stop, we must take the implicit intricacy along with us in our thinking.
We see that the intricacy of life and situations does not consist of patterned units, or sameness and differences. Rather, these are generated from how a word, phrase, or sentence works to make sense in some instance, if it works there to say something. First it must make sense there; then we can derive sameness and differences from the sense it made.
We see that sameness and differences can be generated from the intricacy they are not the only order of poetry, therapy, or of anything. In the next chapter we will go further into how human situations and events are such that this cross-applying is possible. In Section B we will discuss patterns.
What is actually the same is a pattern. Our concepts include patterns. For example, “carrying forward” includes the pattern of a series of steps, and the time pattern of two pasts. But the sentence that asserts a pattern can also be taken as what it says in instances. This “also” can give rise to a fan of many different moves that we can make at any juncture in our thinking. For now let me say only that we can go on from a sentence to pursue the pattern as a pattern, and we can also pursue what more it says in the intricacy of an instance.
8. New concepts:
Implicit intricacy can continue to function in our thinking. Our concepts a) - e) were built to let it do that. Now, let us go on from what they said about therapy. That will lead on to another five such concepts:
f) More realistic:
We cannot just “trust our feelings” to be realistic; we know how prone to error we all are. Sometimes we see an error but we lack the strength to confront it. The soggy feeling of comfort in avoidance can often be distinguished from the fresh-air feeling of moving forward in life. We must often let a feeling open up and tell us some of its intricacy. For example, it turns out to be a fear of certain things. We can choose to honor or dismiss it, once we know what we feared, and why we did. If we cannot, we ask further into the intricacy of the “cannot.” We need never let our values or our feelings simply impose on each other.
It is true that a feeling is never there for nothing. A feeling is an interaction with some situation, but it may be a long past one. Such a feeling can spoil a present situation that might have gone well. A ..... is much less likely to do that. In it the past functions in new ways. It differs from emotions (Gendlin 1990). It is unclear in form, but implicitly more precise. And now we add: It is also implicitly more realistic.
In our example, isn't it realistic when she says: “ he doesn't want to see what's true, what isn't working in our relationship. And it is mostly this not wanting to see, which is what's not working.” This twister has no common phrases. And yet, it is more realistic, a better predictor of what would happen if they were to marry, than what can be said in the common phrases (such as “impossibly demanding” and “he cares for me”).
We see again that the intricacy is not just a result of the common meanings and phrases.
It might seem that this realistic character differentiates therapy from poetry. Therapy is about a real life, while poetry is said to be a product of imagination. The word “imagination” retrieves itself here:
Let us cross-apply each of these sentences to the opposite instance: Could this say anything about therapy: “Therapy steps are a product of the imagination”? That says something we have already seen in the excerpts: The rope, and also the stilts, were surely products of the imagination. But, these steps were quite realistic, although in imagery. Indeed, they were more realistic than what could at first be had without imagination. We see that imagery can allow a first version of a life step in an actual situation.
Conversely: Does the following sentence say anything? “Poetry can be more realistic than what could be said in common phrases.” Surely, sometimes. We might even be tempted to say “always.” Poetry has its impact precisely because we sense that it “applies” to a gamut of life-situations. Whatever this applying is, we would not feel a poem's impact if it were unrelated to life.
g) Body-sense and situation are implicit in each other.
The old scheme is wrong, that only the five senses (separately or in sum) tell about a situation. In fact, one would be hard-put to describe any human situation just in bits of tactile roughness, color, sound and smell, put together by some rational unities. Body-sense is a perception too, but the word “perception” changes here. Perception is no longer a kind of photographic camera. (We saw that even photography doesn't work by that old notion of “photographic” perception.) Body-sense and situation are not just two things. Situations are not without the people whose situations they are. One's body-sense is part of (happens in, makes and re-makes, carries forward, is, ..... ) the situation.
From this “is” I write this concept as: body-sense = situation. But that was not the “=” of pattern-equality. How then is each also the other?
Body-sense and situation carry each other forward. It is no wonder that something new and more realistic can come from the body-sense, since the body sense is the bodily-implicit situation of that person. 14(forward)
How can the bodily implying be more realistic than existing forms about a situation? We begin to answer this question if we can think how the body is in the situation, and how the situation is in the body. The body has the situation implicit in it. The word “in” brings its space-pattern but now it works-in two new ways. What it says reciprocally differs:
Being in a situation is much more than being in a space. And, how the situation is in the ..... is also not as in a space. On the other hand, the ..... is located spatially in the middle of your body which is located spatially in your chair or in your bed. But when the ..... leads to steps and statements, they show that the situation is implicit in that ..... . Here “in” says these instances. Please be struck by the fact that attending in the body leads to statements about one's situation. At first such a ..... seems just a murky uneasiness, perhaps a heaviness or a jumpy fluttery quality which comes in the center of the body as one talks or thinks about a situation. One begins where there is a bodily sense of confusion but it is an implicitly intricate confusion and it may come into focus. A ..... may come. Then one finds that one's whole life-situation was in this at-first murky body-sense. We see: The body-sense is not subjective, not just internal, not private; it is the implicit situation.
Freud's major discovery was this intricacy beneath the apparent form of anything human. Why didn't he see the scope of his discovery? Freud believed only in the reality-system of the external cultural and scientific forms. Therefore he thought of the intricacy as a disorder, and as intra-psychic, internal. That is why, in his metapsychology, it does not even appear. Although he opened and entered this intricate order, he assumed that it could only be a “pathology,” always infantile, only about the past, and necessarily unrealistic. No therapist or analyst today believes that any more, but the concepts have not yet changed. It is now understood that even an obvious transference includes something that is presently true of the therapist referred to as “a hook to hang it on.” Conversely, therapists know that a person's past always functions implicitly in any present, although the past may be newly restructured now (as in the image of the stilts.) It is clear, today, that not every dissatisfaction with one's situation (or society) is pathology. The intricacy of what is felt may implicitly include an appraisal of the actual present situation that is more realistic than the common notions.
Let us think our two new concepts together: Steps from a ..... can be f) more realistic. From such steps we discover that g) body-sense = situation; they are implicit in each other. The concept g) tells more about (makes sense of, explains, ..... ) concept f): because the situation is implicit in it, therefore of course the body has a truth about a situation.
But it is not chiefly a static truth that only reports a static thing. We need to make a concept from that progression of steps which we noticed in the excerpts:
h) Implicit steps:
What anything is includes its implying of carrying forward steps.
For instance, in therapy it is vitally important I o now that whatever one is working or thinking about is not only how it now al .,,ears; it is also how it can be carried forward by the bodily coming of steps of therapeutic change. If that were not so, therapy would be impossible. We know in advance that the present form of anything is not its only nature. What anything is includes how it intricately implies steps of carrying forward. This can be said not only in therapy but in all situations and saying it brings the intricacy with its implicit carrying forward steps.
i) The same direction:
In a later step, when we say what the earlier step implied, we do not consider the earlier one a mistake, as if we were sorry it happened. For example, when the client found the troubled feeling she gets when a man cares, she did not think she had wasted time, earlier, when she doubted his care, and now no longer doubts it. She would say that those were steps in the same direction. Without each she would not have arrived at the next one. So despite the seeming denial of what each previous step said, the steps move in one direction.
Such steps can reverse direction in the logical sense of that word. So it seems odd to call it “the same direction.” It is less odd when we recognize that the “logical direction” is a metaphor from the arrow of a space-direction. No space-direction is reversed when “I doubt that he cares” is followed by “I know he cares.” The word “direction” worked newly long ago to say a logical direction and now it moves again to say the direction of how this more-than-logical progression follows. Furthermore, as Section B will show, responding to spatial patterns as such is a much later development than this “same direction” we are discussing here.
We can now use this concept of “the same direction” to define the direction we called “forward” in our concept b) “carrying forward.” “Forward” is in the same direction as the implying was. Now the word “same” also acquires this sameness, and all pattern-words can also work in this way if they say something when we take them in that way.
j) Retroactive revision:
Since the next step often surprises us, how do we become able to look back from it and see, yes, the previous step could have implied this next one? It is because now we read the previous one differently. Now we see that it can say something from which the next could follow. We retroactively revise the previous step looking backwards from the next.
Retroactive revision need not change the form of the previous step. The next step carries forward how that form worked-in what was implicit so that we now see what that was.
We can now further define how carrying forward does not err about the previous form, and how it is not a change to something else. It is a carrying-forward step only if it can retroactively revise the previous so that the new step can follow from it.
This implicit relation is very precise: If we cannot see how the last step could lead to the next, we cannot just will to see it. One person may already follow how the next step could have been implicit, another person not yet. But if it is true, it can be seen. Seeing (grasping, making sense, ..... ) involves the functioning of implicit intricacy together with the previous form. Both function in the carrying forward when the progression retroactively “makes sense.”
Aristotle had a concept for something changing, not into something else but into itself. Such a change was into the thing's pre-determined nature. The famous example is the acorn becoming an oak. So also, therapy does not change people into other people, but into more truly the persons they were. But carrying forward is not predetermined, like Aristotle's oak. Even a little next step is not predetermined, and can change what it seemed that the previous step was. So this concept “retroactive revision” is not Aristotle's. And yet, like him, I do assert that not all change is into something else.
“Same” and “different” are simplistic patterned notions. The retroactive “was” is related in a more complex way to the remembered “was.” Carrying forward is also a retroactive revision in the same direction.
9. Psychotherapy research:
The reader may have wondered all along: Can a carrying-forward step be recognized in therapy? In practice, can it be distinguished from talking oneself into something?
In a number of research studies it was found that a high incidence of such steps correlates with success in psychotherapy. (See Klein and Mathieu 1985, and Gendlin 1986a). Carrying-forward steps are reliably recognizable by their sequence how each follows from the previous. In research studies with tape recordings and transcripts, these sequences were reliably distinguished. They differ from inferential sequences (“therefore it must be ”), from narratives (“and then what happened was ”), from emotional catharsis, and from other verbal transitions.
Many other marks also distinguish a carrying-forward step. Each mark that the research studies employed could also be further differentiated. Different observable marks need to be defined for recognizing carrying-forward steps in different contexts. It can be done for a group (Lewis and Beck 1983), classroom, family interaction, and also for phenomenological thinking (See “Signposts” in my “Experiential Phenomenology”).
This finding is important, not just therapeutically, but philosophically: The progression of carrying-forward steps can be reliably distinguished from other progressions.
Observations are much harder to define in operational research than in an everyday way. Certain marks must be reliably picked out by several judges separately, without talking to each other. Another set of judges who do not know the first group must be able to do it as well. The measure must then correlate with other measures, and these correlations must also be replicated by other research groups in other places. Therefore I mention these research studies here. They show that this manner of process can be recognized not only in an implicitly experienced way, but also in formal research studies.
10. The cluster of concepts:
f) More realistic
g) Body-sense = situation
h) Implicit steps
i) The same direction
j) Retroactive revision
Since our concepts are implicit in each other, we can easily keep them as a cluster. The body-sense is (f) more realistic because it is (g) equal to the situation. The (h) implicit steps will carry forward in the same direction by a retroactive revision we can follow.
But what are situations (body, ..... ) such that their truth includes implicit further steps?
It is time to ask: What are situations? Why do they imply further steps? What is the link between situations, the body, and language, such that words come to us to say in situations? And, how do just the right words come the ones that might make the situational difference we need?
What is a situation? What kind of answer shall we give to questions phrased “What is a ..... ?” We were taught that a definition must not mention what it defines. What something is, must be told in terms of something else. For example: What is the human body? An expected answer would be molecules of carbon, ,hydrogen, and oxygen. Or, perhaps the body is a record of evolution and experience. Whatever we answer, at that point the body is dropped. Once defined, we are not expected to be able to think further from the implicit sense we used to get a definition. Our further thinking is supposed to go on only from the terms of the definition. But how are definitions ever made or revised? It must be by thinking from (an implicit version of) what is to be defined. In whatever way we are able to think something before definitions, in that way we can also continue to think from it even after we have seen what one or several definitions say.
We are developing concepts that are defined by implicit intricacy; they are not only patterns. They can be used purely logically to think further from their patterns. Without losing logic, they can also explain more.
“What is a situation?” Whatever we say in other terms, we will also let situations function implicitly in our definition. We will think further also from situations.
But can one think the actual situations? Isn't thinking supposed to consist only of generalities, (abstractions, conceptual patterns, categories, universals, kinds, forms, distinctions, ..... )? Let me show that this way of thinking about thinking is wrong.
1. We think this situation:
The tradition had it that we can think only universals, categories, or distinctions, and only through these, by means of them (mediately), can we think the particular at all. That is not so, but why did it seem so?
Words and sentences seem general. What we say about a situation can be said in other situations too. It seems that we can speak about a specific situation only in terms of Generalities that could as well mean other situations too. Even phrases that point, such as “this situation” and “you and me now,” can be said elsewhere and by others. But then how do we know which situation we are talking in?
Humans spend much time thinking, speaking, and feeling in situations that are physically absent. We sit in one place but privately feel and plan what to do and say in another place. We also talk with others about non-present situations. How do we know which situation we are thinking in?
2. In deliberating we must think the situation:
In action we must think situations to cope with them. We all know how badly we would err in most situations if we thought only in terms of Generalities. We have to keep the situation in mind. It includes, for example, how Michael looked when he walked in. It includes what went on while he wasn't here the other day, and all that about his friend Linda.
Of course categories and concepts are always implicit too. Our sense of how Michael looked when he walked in involves our concepts of walking, looking, and of a whole variety of emotions and expressions. But if we are trying to decide what to do, we had better also think with how he looked, and not just the concepts.
We think: “Not exactly angry, uhm ..... .” Or, we think: “That way he looked.” Without a category-name it functions in our further thinking, as we wonder: “Does he know what went on the other day?” We do not have to think only the general concepts about “what went on the other day.” When we think a situation, its whole past history functions in how we think it. We think “Michael does things like that.” We need not think the past details each separately. They function implicitly in how we think the situation.
3. Instances are more than their categories:
We must think the situations because an event is richer than the categories. That is why examples are so valuable.
For example, consider the Case Study Method of teaching, which is featured at the Schools of Business and of Government at Harvard. The method consists in discussing actual cases and records. A practice cannot be learned by Generalities alone. To an experienced person a generalization brings the implicit richness of its many instances, but the novice might not even understand it. Along with a story it can be understood. We see that a story is more than generalizations.
On the other hand, generalizations are also more than a story. Without pointing out the general significance of this and that, the novice might not see much point in the story either.
Cases and generalizations are inherently related, but not as if the cases were mere fillers of category-slots. We must think both. From either we can think further in ways we cannot think if we have only the other.
You can think this example of a method of examples. The categories and generalities get their meaning from how they work-in situations, instances, cases. They get specific and new meaning from how they work here, in this case. So there is a change here in how the words “category,” “case,” “particular,” and “instance” work here. The case study method is a case of how a case lets categories work newly. So of course we think the cases too, not just the categories.
A generalization has its meaning from the many details that were distinguished in the past and now function implicitly in an experienced person's understanding. But it can help even experienced people to apply the generalization to a new case; it lets them notice new details that do not fit. New details can also be found directly. From a case-report one can distinguish many new details, and each is again a case. Once we set it out, we can formulate many characteristics that distinguish it. We never have all the details. A situation has no fixed number of details. There are more than any number of details, so that one more can always be set out.
4. A situation is a pre-separated multiplicity:
Just how is a situation more than any number of details? What is a multiplicity that is more than any number? How are they many details if they have never been separated? In some way they are a “they,” although we think them as “all that.”
The problem seems to repeat itself in how we pose it: “Number” is a general conceptual pattern or distinction. It consists of distinct units. The concept of a number of distinct units is not enough to characterize the multiplicity of a situation. But what more do the words “more” and “multiplicity” say here about a situation's details? When we think “what went on,” we think it all in one overall impression. Later we might see many separate details. How were they many before we noticed?
Wittgenstein pointed out the philosophical error of first reflecting on how we speak and act, and then assuming that what we find is there when we don't reflect. We would make this error here, if we thought of the many as functioning separately.
Suppose I just walked into a room full of familiar people and I sat down. Now, as I sit there, I can attend in the middle of my body. I notice that I feel not exactly scared, but, uhm ..... . After a while I can sort some of it out: I was careful to walk around those people who sat close together; I chose the best path. I recall glancing for a moment at one man I have trouble with I wonder: did he notice? And I was also careful as I let my weight down into the chair. Why? Did I think it might break, or be noisy? Ah, yes, it is a folding chair and it might slide.
How was all this at work before I reflected? Not as separated items. I remember being aware only of walking in. But I did recognize the people and the chair.
An implicitly intricate body-sense functions in every situation and in a highly orderly way. We would be quite lost without it. Our ongoing is always bodily sentient; there is an implicit sense of the situation, that whole intricacy. We can physically sense our body's implying of the situation. And we can make the transition from the unreflected to the reflected body-sense anything. Take now:
What is happening now, as you sit there using your time in this way, having decided not to do those other things, having decided to let me in? Here is the past history of this decision, your intellectual and practical situation, what might come of it, the writing you might do, how you might use this, whom you will talk with about it, the patience, expectancy, disdain or excitement you have for it so far a cluster called your “attitude,” as if that were one thing and also your readiness for your next situation after this, which is coming up, and building in you all this while, and also the spot in which you are sitting, the living you have done here before, and who else is here, or not here, and so on .....
Was all this one, or were they already many, items? Were they each actually there or not? But why should we try to impose simplistic patterns such as “one” or “many,” “was there” or “was not”? Let us permit ourselves to think and use the much more complex pattern which emerges here. And even more importantly: Why let even a complex pattern falsify the implicit way this intricacy functions? Let us include both the complex pattern and the implicit function in our concept.
Not one or many. Only some of these items were ever separate before. Most of them had never been separate. They functioned in an implicit way pre-separately. Now each is one item. But each can also specify itself further and further. The finest detail can itself again make for a ..... that can lead to another paragraph like the one above. Each little strand is a pre-separated multiplicity as well.
Obviously we can think this more complex pattern. Let me add it to our list as concept k):
k) Pre-separated multiplicity:
This is a more complex pattern than “one” or “many.” Our concept also includes (is defined by) the implicit way these many function. And since there is a move from pre-reflective to reflective, our concept must include that move as well. Our concept includes how a ..... can come, the effect of separating, and how each can again bring its own ..... . Let us also add: A few moments later what we separated becomes implicit again, although not in the same way as before. (It opens a whole field to ask how separating something can affect its later implicit functioning (Gendlin, in press).) Of course, this concept is itself a pre-separated multiplicity. We can explicate many more complexities that are implicit in it. It has a time-pattern: before, after, and after that. The concepts let us think the many that are never separated, even when we separate those we can. The concept opens a field of further distinctions. We will make some of these distinctions, but we can think the concept as a whole field of further distinctions. In advance, without making them. We think them as the pre-separated multiplicity. We are not surprised that further distinctions from the intricacy can open our first distinction (separated vs. pre-separated). We can think any concept as the pre-separated field of possible distinctions. We do not thereby lose any existing distinction and what it can show.
When concepts retain implicit intricacy, they form a cluster. Each says more about the others. This “more” is not a fuzzy excess of form. Each lets us think in exact ways how more functions than what was already formed. All say something with and about how implicit intricacy functions. Our new concept k) can apply to the others, since implicit intricacy functions in their definitions and, as we now see, implicit intricacy is a pre-separated multiplicity.
We knew that “carrying-forward” does not distort what a situation seemed to be. A step that carries forward can be more realistic and more exact than logic. Now we can say this more exactly: Logic works only with what has already been separated. But a situation is a pre-separated multiplicity, and carrying it forward opens possibilities that were not separately there before. If situations consisted only of distinct units, carrying forward would not be possible. So “pre-separated multiplicity” explains how carrying-forward is possible.
Conversely, “carrying-forward” also says more about a “pre-separated multiplicity.” Just separating implicit facets as I did in my example above is only one way of carrying-forward. Quite new steps can also carry forward. Then we would not say that these steps needed only separating- out. Commonly one says “the possibilities were there,” but of course not as a fixed set of entities that need only separating out. That a situation has possibilities is the ordinary way of saying that a situation is the implying of all the ways in which it can be carried forward. Let us pursue how a situation is a pre-separately multiple implying.
5. A situation is the implying of further events:
A situation does not consist just of static truths; it involves the implying of further situations, events and actions.15(forward)
For example, the situation is not just the fact that the door is locked. Rather, the situation is that I am trying to break that door down, to get in. If I run at it, will the door break or will my shoulder break? It would be a different situation if I were hiding behind the door, hoping it will hold when certain people arrive. And it would be no situation at all if it were my door and I were just coming home and had the key.
In these examples it is true that the door is locked, but what the situation is involves the further events which it implies, makes possible, or prevents. Human events are always implying. What they are includes the implying of further events.
This does not mean that we always live in the next event while still in this one. The point of a situation may be just what it is, but this “Is” is not static. In a quiet time more can be implied and carried forward than in busy times. But the point of any situation, what it is, is its implying, which is (or isn't) being carried forward.
So now we add: A situation (a pre-separated multiplicity) is its further implying.
6. A situation consists of implicit action-possibilities:
A situation implies further events and each of these implies and enables possible actions. A situation consists of implicit action-possibilities.
If we know what to do, we feel that we know what the situation is. Why is hindsight easy? It is because our actions and those of others have revealed what the situation was. By that time we see many moves we could have made. Then we say that we know better “what the situation was.” When we know the implied action-possibilities we know what the situation is.
We see that a situation consists of implicit actions, since actions reveal or explicate what it was. Actions explicate situations. The word “explicate” travels here to say that a situation is implicitly its action-possibilities.16(forward)
A culture can be said to consist of situations, that is to say of clusters of action-possibilities. Some situations that arise in one culture cannot arise in another. It is not the same situation if it involves a different scope of possible actions. A situation is the implicit action-possibilities. But the implicit intricacy of a situation exceeds the cultural story.
7. A situation implies a change in how it now implies:
Many events are part of a typical story that is likely to play out as predicted. We are supposed to know what the situation is, which means we are supposed to know what to do. If we can go along with one of the implied stories of further events, we do the expected and life goes on. We don't separate such an event out, we don't call it “a situation.” A situation sets itself apart because it implies a change in the stories that it now implies.
For example, the door is locked. I suspect that something of mine that was taken is now locked away behind that door. The situation implies further events: how what was taken might be used by those who took it, and various sequences of what may happen after that. I am expected to complain through channels (and lose), or to swallow it all quietly, or to get nasty and look bad. Perhaps there are more alternatives like that.
These implied events cannot be all right with me. They are my losing, my quiet or noisy changing, and what I have to do and be later. They are not just facts with my disapproval added on. Rather, what they are also implies my preventing them if I can.
It is a situation for me, because it implies not just further events, but along with them it also implies an action to change them. It implies a change in its present implying.
But what change does the situation imply? It implies a pre-separated multiplicity of moves to change its implying. It implies my shoulders against the door. It implies looking around for a tool. It implies ..... ah the hinges are on the outside!! It implies taking off the hinges and later putting them back.
So a situation has a complex pattern: It implies not only how it now implies, but also a change in its implying.
We have seen this pattern before: The written part of an unfinished poem implies further lines which will require revising, it. So it implies a change in how it now implies.
A pain also has something like this complex pattern: Its painfulness implies that something is going wrong, and it also implies doing something so that the pain will not be there any more.
“A situation” implies an action in a strong sense: To meet a situation is to carry forward the implied change in its implying. A situation is the implying of a change in its implying.
l) Implying can imply a changed implying:
In logic, “imply” says that a sequence of further steps is already formed and determined from here. Laplace said that if one event in physics were fully known, all others before and after it could be determined. That was because he assumed only a logical implying a single determined sequence. He assumed one fixed possibility-system. The more complex pattern emerging here is a non-Laplacian sequence: The whole series cannot be predicted from one step, because each step carries forward an implied change in implying. In human events (and in quantum mechanics see Gendlin and Lemke, 1983) each action re-makes the possibility-system. A situation is the implying of that kind of change the implying of a change in itself.
In situations a sequence can involve a change-in-implying at each step. We can think this more intricate pattern; indeed, we do think it in most situations: When we are stuck and need to ponder, the situation implies what will happen and also why that is not all right with us. An action to meet a situation must carry forward this implied change in implying.
Our new concept l) can further define “carrying forward”: It is to change a situation so that it no longer implies being met, because it was met. The implied change in its implying has happened.
8. The truth of implying:
In Section B we will discuss static, patterned things. But since human events do not consist of static things, why remain entirely within a theory of knowledge that assumes only a truth of static things? Then it seems that there is no truth of human events. But there is certainly a truth of the implying of situations. That is why we deliberate long and carefully.
There is a demanding truth of implying. The implying is not at all indeterminate just because further events have not yet happened. The implying is precise right now: If we decide to take one action then we foresee a certain sequence; if we decide to act differently we must expect certain other results. How further events and action-possibilities are now implied is very precise that is why we deliberate and why we can go wrong.
Currently people speak of “giving” meaning, to events, or “adding” interpretation to experience, as if our situations were mere putty on which we could stamp whatever form we like. They rightly reject the simplistic notion that events have only a single formed meaning. But why turn to the opposite simplistic notion: that events have no meaning of their own at all? If that were so we would all put excellent meanings on our situations and life would be easy. No one seriously believes this. Then why is that said so often? It is because reality is assumed to be the spatial pattern world. Human meanings seem to have no inherent connection to that reality. So they seem merely added on. There have not been concepts for the implicit intricacy that is more than patterns.
So far we said that a situation is a pre-separated multiplicity, not static but an implying, and not just of the implied further events, but of a change in its implying. Going still further into it, we can ask: Since a situation consists of action possibilities, how are our many possible actions together in a pre-separated multiplicity?
9. Crossing: Each alternative is many other changed alternatives:
Obviously the possible actions are not independently implicit as if they were just next to each other like sticks in a bundle. Doing any one of them would change whether and how the others could be done. Certain actions are possible only after others, or only if you also do others, or do not.
For example, you could now throw this book into the air. You could do it in many ways and you can feel which ones would let you catch it from here, as it comes down. Or you could get up. Then all your throws would change, as well as your moves to catch the book. Also, if you get up you can't next stretch both legs in front of you, as you could while still sitting. Your getting up is implicitly also a change in countless other possible actions. Getting up seems to do no more than move your body from one location in empty space to another. But it is also a change in each of pre-separatedly numerous action-sequences.
Each possible action implies a sequence of events. Each event in it makes changes in the other possible actions which are also sequences. Doing one means that the others would now have to go differently if they were still possible. Every action-sequence is a great many changes in a great many other actions, and each of those changes also changes the others.
Let us say you want to make a proposal at the next meeting. You could call Michael now to tell him about it and to find out what he thinks of it. But, if he says he doesn't like it, you might not be able to make your proposal at the meeting without opposing him or changing the proposal before the meeting. If you do that, you won't find out what the others think of it as it is. If they like it, they might speak up for it and persuade Michael.
You could call all of them now. They would be surprised at your call. You can feel their surprise and that you would need to explain your call, and how calling them now would change what you plan to do at the meeting. You sense not just the possible action, but how it changes your other possible actions.
Any one action changes how all the others are possible. Each is not only itself; it is also a change in the others. A situation is an interaffecting a crossing of many action-sequences, each of which is a change in the others.
We can think this complex pattern. Each is a change in how the many others are possible. Each, if it were to occur, is a change in those that do not occur. I say that each is a crossing of the others. Let me set this up as a concept:
m) Each is a crossing of many others:
Our concept includes more than the pattern: We define and think not just the pattern (each is implicitly also how the others can happen). We define our concept also by the implicit intricacy of how alternatives are together in a situation. We can always think further from that implicit intricacy. We need never depend only on the pattern for our further thinking, although we can always have what our conceptual pattern can do.
Do you miss the diagrammatic simplicity that is customary in theoretical thinking? And yet, to think this concept is not hard. In situations we think this concept without difficulty: Any one action is a change in how we could then do the others. Let this complex pattern of how multiple alternatives are crossed be a concept.
It becomes a concept by being used applied as concepts are used. But what is applying? In being applied, a concept's implicit intricacy crosses with the implicit intricacy in which it is applied. Insofar as the application makes sense, the crossing has turned out to be possible. Its many already crossed implicit applications cross with one more intricacy. That deepens the understanding (the implicit applications) which the concept now brings. So we also understand a situation more or less deeply depending upon the implicit applications, sense-makings, crossings that happen in it. Of course it can apply can cross further as a concept can. So we can understand (it makes sense) that we can think about something with an instance (a situation), as we can with a concept.
Making sense does not depend on setting certain patterns out. But any pattern that we do set out works also logically, and we greatly augment the logical power if we build more complex conceptual patterns.
Here we are using extremely familiar aspects of everyday action as concepts. Who does not know that any one action is a change in vastly many other action possibilities? And yet, as a theoretical concept it seems complicated. Yes, familiar events are more intricate than most theoretical concepts. We become simpleminded and wrong if we forget the familiarities if we cannot think with them. But to do so we must not avoid patterns that are a little more complex than the usual concepts.
We derived the concept of crossing from how action-alternatives are together. I said that something becomes a concept by being applied (by crossing with, making sense). As yet we have not officially applied this concept. But making sense is an implicit applying a crossing of many with many. A new concept or a new poetic line applies implicitly to a great deal. But with a set-out conceptual pattern, it can do more.
For example, “crossing” can let us think how any word is related to a great many others: Any word that comes is also a change in how any other words could come into a sentence with it. How words can come is a crossing in which each is a change in how the others can come. The concept can let us think further in many other ways. 17(forward)
This concept can apply to (cross with) our others, and can say more about each. In a cluster of concepts each crosses with the others; implicitly each carries the others forward.
10. Focaling: The crossing of many is the focal implying of one next step:
The crossed sense-making does actually happen, but the many crossed possibilities are not themselves explicitly occurring. They occur only as their crossing, their sense-making. They function implicitly. If they were explicit, we would be busy doing, thinking, or remembering them. The crossed pre-separated multiplicity occurs only as the next step.
So the crossing of the pre-separated many is the next happening.
Very many action-sequences are implied, but their implying is also the focal implying of one next one.
Rather than substituting a simpler scheme, let us let this pattern be our concept:
n) Focaling: crossing occurs as one focally implied next one:
This is more complex than, for example, the old notion of “selecting” from existing possibilities. Crossed alternatives are not as if side by side; they are a focally implied next step, and it can be new and more intricate than the existing forms. It is newly shaped by the crossing.
Most of what we say and do consists of focaled steps. Without thinking, you say “hello” to each person with a shade of warmth and tone exactly focaled from your history and recent interactions with that person.
A focaled step forms freshly it is this crossing. It is this focaled multiplicity even if it has an old and well-known form. The focaled crossing is our knowing why, where, when, and with whom we are doing what we do. So it is not the same as at other times; only a form or pattern can be the same.
It is vital to recognize that focally implying and shaping a next step are functions of implicit intricacy. Many philosophies have gone wrong by giving the old pre-existing patterns the credit for the creation of new steps. That does not account for new and more intricate steps. A new step cannot be derived from the old patterns and even after it has come it cannot follow logically just from them.
But it was long customary to assert that it is the contradiction of simpler old patterns which creates a new and better answer, as if two contradicting patterns could create something new. If we look closely, we see that their contradiction can only cancel out to nothing. It is quite true that a more complex step can come when and where old patterns contradict, but it comes from the implicit intricacy. It is obvious that it cannot come from the contradicting patterns as such. The old view is an instance of how theory has kept silent about implicit intricacy, and has treated patterns as the only order.
“Focaling,” like our other concepts, does not close any question; it opens fields of further distinctions. For example:
Focaling (when the crossing was possible) is distinguishable from confusion, when no next step comes that would take account of the alternatives.
We can also distinguish two kinds of focaled next steps, both different from mere confusion. Most often the new step simply comes and we are already doing or saying it. But sometimes no actual step forms. Perhaps at first there is confusion, but then a ..... can come. The confusion “jells.” The coming of a ..... is a large change from the confused condition. We feel relief. Now in a way we “know” what to do, but words and actions have not actually formed as yet. We are like the poet whose hand is rotating in the air. The ..... is a step, a crossing, a making sense, the focal implying of a double further step.
Time can run out without an actual step or without a ..... . Then we may have to decide. But when the pre-separated multiplicity focals and also shapes a next step, that should not be called “deciding.” There is no phrase for it in the common store. We can say that the decision has come.
In thinking also: Having to decide means we don't know. Then it is better not to decide. We work instead for a ..... . That will imply doable further steps because in that focaled crossing of implicit intricacy the previous words, patterns, and implyings are at work along with more.
Does focaling include all considerations? Or, at least, everything relevant? But the focaling is itself the relevance, often a new one. No, there is no all of things or relevances. But we can notice how much the focaling can miss. After a carrying-forward step we “notice” many factors that could not even have been thought before. In implicit intricacy there cannot be an all. Only formed and patterned things could be all. But forms or patterns do not limit the focal implying and carrying forward of a pre-separated multiplicity. They work in it.
Let me tell a story about focaling and how it can miss something:
In a meeting you are angry, but controlling it well. You don't want the others to know that you are getting defeated, that you don't know what to do. They already think so, but they can't be sure. They have to wonder whether you have some move ready. You keep up a good front, as if you were not angry. Then, suddenly, you are exposed by a snide remark which has escaped you. Everyone laughs. They enjoy both the remark and your exposure.
The remark came at a bad time, to be sure. But what a clever remark! Beautifully, it captures the other person's obnoxious ways and faults. It is based on accurate perceptions some of which you didn't even know you had. You had not noticed them separately, as such. The remark came directly from your years of interacting with this person. It totaled up that complicated history and rolled it into one gist. On top of all that, it was funny.
Later when you examine it, you can separate out more and more facets that were rolled up (going on, functioning in, folded in, implicit in, ..... ) the snide remark. Most of these facets had not been previously separated. Yet they were taken account of. You can see how they nicely modified each other, so that a single result took them all into account.
If we didn't constantly see this focaling in ordinary instances, we would hardly believe that so many separated and pre-separated facets could function at once to produce something so fine-tuned.
And yet, there was also a bit of pathology in this clever remark. That is to say, the coming of the remark did not take all of the present situation into account. It missed your need to keep your feeling hidden, and yet that was certainly there. You had just consciously decided not to let on that you were losing, and had nothing else prepared. The focaling that made the remark did not take that into account.
It is well known that emotions narrow one's scope and make one miss some of a present situation. That is why we are taught to count to 10 before saying anything when we are angry. But even apart from emotional narrowing, it is important not to idealize the focaling. On the other hand Freud was wrong to think of all intricacy as “pathology.” He would have said of your remark that you were defeated by your “clever unconscious.” But we see that the cleverness is the focaling. It is not the pathology.18(forward)
In my story, the snide remark did not come from a ..... . Is focaling less apt to miss something we later see we needed, if it first happens as a ..... ? How does a ..... change the extant forms in a way that continuous talk and action do not do? (See my A Process Model, VIII.)
When something we think, hear, or read makes sense, the sense-making is a fresh focaling of a step of thought that carries forward the implicit intricacy of that whole context. What makes sense may be long printed, but the sense-making is performed implicitly. So it makes sense that a pre-separated multiplicity is implicitly focaled when we make sense, understand, follow, have a point to make, or see a problem.
We cannot will that something should make sense. The focaling has to come.19(forward)
11. Functions of the body in language:
The bodily character of what we are about to say:
We have now seen this coming of focaling, a number of instances. These include at least: next steps of speech, action, and thought, and images. But these are not separated dimensions. Only the products differ. All four are crossed in the making of one next-implied speech, action, thought, or image. In saying this I return to the question how language, situations, and the body are implicit in each other.
Situations are not separate from words and actions, nor those from bodysense. Body, situation, and language are an implicit intricacy that focally implies a next step. The step is not only the words but also what we want to say to carry the situation forward, and that is bodily sentient. Let me tell a story to show that the coming of words is “bodily”:
You have been listening to several people engaged in a complex theoretical argument. After a while you have a point to make. Yes, and it is a good point! You indicate that you want to enter in, and they stop and turn to you.
Now you make your point smoothly, usually there is no moment of a stuck blank. Perhaps you speak more slowly than usual, “picking your words carefully.” Of course you are not busy checking each of several hundred thousand words, so you don't really pick them. Rather, you wait and they come.
Now let me change the story:
You have been listening, you indicate that you want to speak, but now the others go on talking, longer and longer. By the time the others do at last turn to you you have forgotten your point. “Uhm, uh, just a minute” is all you can say. You had not rehearsed words to say your point. It was never in words, or so it seems. It was only an about-to-say.
Of course; an about-to-say does not consist of actual words.
What is an about-to-say?
“Uh wait I've got it ..... ; I know what it was!” It came again. Now you can speak, although even now there are not actual words.
If someone interrupts just then, you might lose it again, because even the second time, the point did not come as words.
Is it a meaning, without words? Does the story show that an about-to-say, (a point, a making sense, a ..... ) exists without words? Of course not; your point is implicitly the words you are about to say. The words of the preceding discussion are also implicit in it. But your point is a new focaling after all those words. The ..... is a further focaling of the pre-separated multiplicity which is this situation now, after the earlier forms and words have worked-in it. This focaling now implies newly rearranged words which have not yet come.
What is this “it” which you can lose, regain, and lose once more? How and where do you have it? How do you know that you have lost it, or that it is back again? Words and externals do not alone perform these functions. They are functions of intricate implying.
The new phrases of the point, and the situation-change they will make, these are still only implicit. You feel: “Uhm, uh, I lost it, uhm,” or “Oh! ..... , there it is again!” As you lose and regain it, you can keenly notice: you have (feel, sense, are, ..... ) the ..... in a bodily-sensed way.
Most current philosophers avoid thinking about a bodily sense-of situations and implicit words, because they think of something of that sort as “pre-verbal,” a “private datum,” a purely inside meaning for which speech is merely “clothing.”
Another ancient error was to divide between body and feeling, then again between feeling and thinking. Conceptual forms were held to be the forms of reality, while feeling was merely an emotional reaction from the even lower body. In that way the body ended up at the bottom, as if it were the least human “part” of us, as if it could be safely given over to the mechanists without our thereby losing feeling and thought. It isn't so. The body implies, and comes up with, our words and actions. It knows (senses, feels, is, ..... ) the language and the situation. All day long, it is as a bodily sense that we know what we do and say, what situation we say it in, and how it makes sense.
We think the body (language, situation, ..... ) in the many ways in which each of our concepts is a carrying forward of how concepts work in, and about, its intricate implying.
Body, situation and language imply each other, but that means we cannot do with less than all three. The functions of the human body are not reducible to those of a separated language and a separated situation. The body provides the focal implying, without which there would not be situations or language.
12. Functions of the body in language:
The focal crossing of pre-separated intricacy makes (has, is, ..... ) the point you are about to say. The coming of words is so clever! They come specifically and newly phrased to make just your point! The words come with their past uses taken into account. Much that you have read and know is taken account of, as well as the present situation, what you just heard these people say, what you know of them from other times, even the peculiar way in which this group uses certain words.
Why are words and situations inherently together in the bodily focaling that implies the right words? Every word has a great many use-contexts each of which involves the use of other words as well. Use-contexts are situations. Words are used to change a situation. Any actual use of a word can happen only as its many uses (many situations and their many words) cross to focally imply a sense-making step in this situation. So, of course the focal implying of a situation-change is also an arranging of words.
Language is always focaled: actual speech newly focals the coming of each word. It must be so since a word is a gigantic system of situation-changes and other words. In the coming of words we can see that the body implies in this crossed and focaled way.
In all speech the words must come. If they don't come, we cannot make them. We have to wait. Also, if the wrong ones come, we can only say “just a minute” and wait, then try again.
We recognize this kind of coming: it is characteristic of all bodily comings. It is how sleep comes, and tears, the appetites, and orgasm. Emotions must also come: you can feign anger, but to have it, it must come. And a snide remark must come to you you can't produce one at will. So also, the muse cannot be forced, or invented. She must come. We can make ourselves receptive, but we don't control her coming. So also does a ..... come, a felt sense, a focaled understanding, a making sense, a point to make.
This characteristic coming is a function of the body. Our new concepts are about (functions of) the body. All the mentioned instances of crossing, focaling and coming are functions of the body. Indeed, all the functions of implicit intricacy in language and situations are functions of the body.
Our list of concepts:
These concepts are implicit in each other. Therefore we could merge some of them, or set up many more from them. When we use any one, we are implicitly using them all. The cluster can be thought with one or a few of them. Let us take them alone in this way:
Finally, let us take them all along as the intricate implying of the body in language and situations.
Transition to the next Section:
Many current thinkers say that human life-process is prior to the scientifically construed world. But they think of the science-world as just imposed just posited. Therefore, when they question the science-world, they find beneath it nothing but the possibility of other positing. Nothing more is left when the forms are questioned, because the living being's bodily-situational implying is missed. The body is assumed to be a mere machine, something formed and patterned, but without an active implying and ordering of its own. Let us now turn to the study of the body in science.
The scientific order is not just imposed. It can seem so, because in current philosophy the empirical character of science is rejected as seemingly representational. But, while science does not just read off what it “finds,” neither does it just impose a postulated order.
Science changes its patterns every year; it presents its findings as if derived in analytical order from postulates. But it looks that way only in any given year. From year to year science adds new terms, and it also changes the postulates from which the terms “derive.” These changes cannot be formalized. From postulates there is no science of science. Nor do new terms come just from the contradictions of the old ones. Looking back over just a few years, vast clusters of new terms replace a few old ones, whose contradictions now seem foolish compared to the whole new field, which has developed in their place. Scientific development cannot be credited just to the postulates, forms and patterns. The progression of science is itself a special instance of a non-Laplacian progression that involves functions of implicit intricacy and its demanding precision. That is why scientific findings are hard to get, and precious. We will now relate what we have said to some of them.
Let us see how the bodily implying we have been discussing can relate to scientific findings about the body. Science studies anything in terms of patterns. But we have seen that it is not the patterns that perform the functions of implicit intricacy. They are performed by the body's implying. So we need to ask what patterns are, and how bodily implying can relate to the scientifically patterned body.
Patterns work in the wider implying of body-environment interaction. When we think in this way we also find: The five separated senses are not originally separate.
Perception is not a concept with which one can begin. It assumes the spatial separation between body and environment. But we will see that perception is possible only as part of a wider body-environment interaction that has to be understood first, and cannot be understood in terms of perception. Plants are living body-environment interactions quite without perception, and that kind of body-environment interaction still always happens also in animals and humans.
Bodies are interactions with the environment. But how are muscles, nerves, glands, legs, stomachs, lungs, and blood an interaction? Of course, we can think of them also in verbs, as processes: flexing, secreting, walking, feeding, inhaling, circulating. Thereby, the body-parts are also ongoing activities in and with the environment. Any one moment of these interactions implies their further sequence.
Science renders processes in terms of patterns. Further events are explained as rearrangements deducible from previous patterned units. There is no concept of how something will later be seen to have been more than can be derived from how it is now patterned. Science needs concepts like “Implying” and the cluster of concepts we developed in Section A. Later I will show how they can help with some specific current problems.
Science needs a way to think how an event notice newly organizes (requires, needs, brings about, ..... ) differently-patterned next events. But let us ask how science does deal with connections between events. If there is no implying, if every event is only what it already is, what connects the events? The answer is that connections are thought of as external to the events: they are thought of as time and space connections supplied by an “idealized observer.”
Events are thought of as fully present in any one time-point, so that what happens at any other time point is not at all present in it. The current concepts construe “information” as being at one space-time point. By their structure, these concepts exclude implying. They contain the assumption that only what is clear i.e., patterned can exist. So we need to understand patterns. We must also freshly understand the space and time of patterns: empty space and empty time which are assumed to consist of mere points that must wait for an observer to connect them.
We are so accustomed to assume this seemingly simple empty space and time, as if it were obviously fundamental and given. Then it seems a matter of course that the real world exists only in this space which must be organized by geometric patterns that are then basic to everything else. Then people and animals as we know them become mysterious, nearly impossible beings which cannot inhabit that real world. We want to re-understand this seemingly simple empty space of geometric patterns.
In current science, the space and time connections depend on the observer: Time is a comparison between two times, then and now. But, of course, a “time point” #2 does not, on its own, compare itself to a “time-point” #1 or #3. Only the observer is said to relate them. But we want to study that observer who is said to connect everything. Shall we study the observer only with external connectives that lean on still another observer? Or can we think of events that generate their own connections and next events?
One more problem will lead into our discussion: The idea that everything is reducible to physics and mathematics is really only an ideology. It is argued that this should be so, or will eventually be so. But in practice the reduction is not possible. Most sciences begin afresh with terms of their own that have complexities which don't resolve into physics.
There are many gaps between physics and psychology. The living body is now studied by several sciences with anomalous gaps between them. Let me show this now:
A very small environmental thing can bring about an immensely complex sequence of behavior. Show a bird a little water in a pan, and observe it perform an incredible ten minute bath-dance with its feathers. How does water cause behavior?
When an object interacts with a living body, much more happens than is caused by the physical-chemical effects. Those effects alone explain, for example, how a living body can be swept away by a flood of water, hit by a falling tree or a bullet, or burned by fire. But the bird's bathing, and most life-processes, are not explained by such immediate physical causation. When a near-hungry animal smells food, the effect of the smell-particles sets off a vast set of bodily changes, and also the behaviors of food-search, ingestion, digestion, and defecation. All this is far greater than is accounted for by physically and chemically tracing the path of the smell-inducing particles. This is so obvious, that the physicist makes no attempt to trace behavior as an effect of those particles, or of those that produce color or sound. Rather, there is a break between the various sciences. The physicists and chemists turn the question over to physiology, zoology, and ethology, which each begin afresh with their own different concepts of the living body.
In our example, physiology can trace some of the changes made by the smell-particles, but tracing their effects stops at the brain. A further gap exists between regular physiology and the still very speculative science of purely inferred brain-functions. Then with a further break the food-search behavior induced by the smell is turned over to the ethologists who study animal behavior. They have proven that many complex behavior sequences such as food-search, mating dances, nest-building, are inherited. A squirrel brought up in a metal cage, alone, and having never seen a nut, or the ground, will intricately bury a nut, if you give it one. The ethologists say that the body comes with such action patterns “built-in.” They have a number of concepts about this, none of which bears any relation to the concepts of physiology.
The scientists on either sides of any of these gaps will all cordially invite us to think into the gaps between them if we can.
There is no dispute, that living bodies respond with so far untraced complexity when environmental objects occur, which don't account for it.
Let us now see if our concept of “implying,” (and the others implicit in it) can add anything to the scientific conception of a living body. But won't we just disorganize science, if we insert our incomplete concepts of the incompleteness of all concepts? Will the sciences of the living body gain anything? And, also, can such an augmented science help us with our questions? Can it let us think in patterns about patterns, and why they never work alone?
Also, another worry: Surely we can't pretend to “explain” the complexity of behavior merely by saying that it was already implied by the body? Surely we won't just cover the problem over with a word. But let us pursue what saying it might mean, and where it will lead.
Body-life is always interaction (body and situation). By saying that the body is interaction, we also say that it is-for carrying forward. The body implies its continuations in the environment (we could try to say); it implies its further events, and thereby it implies the environment with which it is an interaction the air it will inhale, the food it will eat, all the things involved in its next steps. Now we can say: When these implied objects actually occur, then they carry body-life forward. They happen not just to the purely actual body, rather, objects happen into an implying. That begins a way to think how a simple object makes so much more happen than it causes by traceable, patterned causation.
Please don't think that I denigrate traceable causation by patterns. Rather, we will see that great clarifying power in a wider context.
We can think further. Let us say:
Living bodies organize and imply their processes. Does that let us think further? Why is the concept of a self-organizing process lacking in current science? Where has science put the process that implies its own continuation? It has been moved into the concept of the “idealized observer” as we just saw. In physics, the current variables involve space-time locations, which are all comparisons, relative to an observer. A spot in space and time has an identity only in relation to the other spots; what happens at the spot knows nothing about other spots. Only for the observer is this spot here from there. So also, a particle has an identity only as it is the same one here, which earlier was there. The observer provides the comparisons and differences. But, who observes the observer? Aha! It is we, who are studying the observer.
Obviously the observer cannot be studied in terms of differences or comparisons; would they be those of yet another observer? So we can develop concepts with which we could inquire about the observer, that is to say the continuity. Our bodily “implying” lets us think of a process that provides its own continuity. After all, some process, somewhere, provides it.
We also set up, in Section A, the concept of something (a situation) implying a change in its implying a non-Laplacian sequence (A-5, #7). Of course I am not denigrating logic and Laplacian sequences. But current science has no way to think a progression other than as Laplacian, that is to say as consistent in its logical patterns. We want to be able to think also those sequences where the next bit of living is not fully derivative from only the form or structure of the previous bit. There are a great many instances of this, and they are gaps in science.
It is assumed that every event must be derived directly from the form (structure, pattern, ..... ) of the previous because it is assumed that anything can happen only within a consistent pattern-system.
Currently, everything is studied in terms of formed forms, patterned patterns. But, patterns are passive; they are observed but not observing. seen but not seeing, compared but not comparing. Of course we can know anything only as how it is humanly known, but that is not the impossible “epistemological” problem it has been taken to be. Of course humans can only think humanly. But we can think more than patterns, and even if we couldn't, we need not read our patterns into the self-organizing of living processes at a stage before the development of human thinking patterns.
For example, the growth of a plant is explained in terms of patterns we sense and construct. We are not tempted to assume that the plant lives by thinking or sensing these patterns. But, since the plant doesn't do that, we have no concept at all about how the plant could organize and continue itself rather than being organized by the continuity of an “idealized observer.” How could the plant imply its own further life-process? If we want to think about that, then we need to add some new concepts.
We need concepts of a self-ordering. As I will show, self-ordering cannot consist of formed patterns, because patterns are always ordered, passive, already requiring an external observer. I have not yet shown that. I did show that we think more than patterns, with and after all the patterns. But, can we think about such a functioning as a plant's before patterns? First we must think what patterns are, and how they come about.
As I will now show, patterns come about together with the separation of the five senses. The five senses are not only distinct. In the body they are implied together, even for humans, although we also have them separated. I will show that their seemingly obvious separation develops only at that stage at which patterns develop. Let me begin with the visual, and then discuss the others.
It may seem obvious that colors differ from sounds, and seeing from hearing. After all, these sensations come to the body on different roads: vision through the eyes, tactile sensations through the skin. So, it seems that the senses must first be separate, and only then together. This analysis is not false, but it begins too late. I will contrast it with another way in which living bodies organize and imply their environmental interactions. I will show that the senses are inherently not separated in it, and also that it continues along with them when they do separate.
1. The purely visual exists only in a doubled way:
Something purely visual does not exist separately. A bit of color doesn't exist just as color. To think of an image existing alone, on its own, we add something: We might think of the image as made by light waves. Or, if it is a hallucination, we add the nerves that fire. Or, the image may be printed on a cardboard. Something that is only seen does not exist.
What we see exists either on its usual thing, or on something else. We know that the visual can be separate from the other ways we sense a thing, because its image can exist on some other thing, for example it may be reflected in the water, or it may be printed on a piece of cardboard.
Let us say we have the picture of a cat's head with its two big ears. The picture is visually a cat, but it is also a piece of cardboard. We humans can have this doubled perception: We react to both at once we see the cat, but as a picture, we would not think of petting the picture.
We only see the cat, but we touch, hold, and of course we also see the cardboard. The purely visual (seen only) cat is a second seeing which requires and is built on top of a first cat-implying in which seeing is implied together with the other senses.
Notice that both seeings are bodily processes. Also, in an odd way, both seeings involve all the senses. You see and hold the card, but your body also feels how soft and cuddly the cat is. The picture of a beautiful mountain can give you a big breath. Your body supplies the other senses to the purely visual, as well as holding the postcard with all sensations together.
We are really quite used to our body's implying and supplying some of the senses which are not actually happening. You expect the cardboard to make a noise if you tap it, but you would be shocked if the cat meowed instead. The two perceptions which are doubled are quite distinct for us. The purely visual is not possible for animals. It requires a doubling of two perceptions, one of which actually involves all the senses, the other also has them but only implicitly supplied by the body. Animals do not have this doubling.
The animal body pre-figures and implies its interactions with physical, bodily things. It can see without hearing, and, like us its body implies (behavior with) a thing of all five senses, but that is either a cat or a piece of cardboard. The only difference is: We can sense both at once in a doubled process. Thereby we sense the cuddly cat as only visual the cat-object but seen on the cardboard object.
This duality of pictures can be brought home, if we recall that animals cannot respond to pictures as pictures. A bird cannot react to both at once: The bird reacts either by pecking at the piece of cardboard, or with fear by fleeing from the cat. There is no way to tell the bird that it's a picture-of a cat.
Now let us think: How is this doubled responding to pictures even possible? How is it that a piece of cardboard can be the picture of a cat? The picture is flat and the cat is not. The picture is made of cardboard and the cat is not. Just a head is impossible alone. It can also be of any size. What makes it the picture of a cat? The answer is, of course, that it has the proportions of a cat. If not, it doesn't look alike a cat.
Proportions are relations between many parts, for example the vertical length of the ears in relation to the curve between them, and both in relation to the eyes. Such a set of proportional relations between parts is a pattern. It is characteristic of a pattern that it can be separated; it can be moved; it can exist in many places.
Animal psychologists have found that a bird will take flight, and also warn the other birds, if it merely sees the linear drawing of a cat's head. A pictured cat is not necessary, nor the smell or feel of a cat. Just the line pattern of two triangles with a curve between is enough to elicit the fleeing and warning behavior. The psychologists conclude that birds respond to that visual pattern of two triangles with a curve between.
It is not just wrong, to attribute this effect to a pattern. Indeed, in some species, the perfect geometric pattern which only humans can draw was found more effective than the actual things from nature. It proves that a pattern, and indeed a purely visual one, produces this effect. Patterns do elicit the response, but it is also obvious that the bird's response is to an actual cat. We can be quite clear about this contrast: The visual pattern produces the bird's response, But, the response is to a cat, not to a pattern. So we want to think further about both.
2. Separated senses require responding to patterns as such:
There are indeed patterns in nature. For example, purely visual patterns are reflected in the water. But, let us ask what is required to see them there. To see something that is only visual requires the doubled response, responding both to the water, and also to the pattern as a pattern of something other than water.
Let me show how much that is usually just assumed, can actually arise only with this doubled response to patterns.
It is as patterns (as doubled process) that the five senses become separated. The visual is separable, because it is the same, therefore transferable; it can happen here or there. But what is transferable is the pattern, a set of proportions. Let me show more exactly what is involved in responding to a set of proportions as such.
3. Separated sense-perceptions are symbolic:
Patterns (or proportional relations) are inherently separable from things. A pattern is what can be copied. Even if some pattern happens to exist only in one place in the universe, still, as a pattern it could exist in other places as well. What a pattern is, is separable. Being separable derives from this movability of patterns.
Since a pattern as a pattern can move and be separable, a pattern is always “symbolic,” which here says, it is the pattern of something. That puzzling of relation which is called “symbolic,” is first created by sensing a pattern as a pattern, for example reflected in the water or anywhere. Thereby it becomes the pattern-of something, and things come to have patterns, and to be things of a kind.
Let us not assume universals, categories, or kinds from the start. Things can be in categories only when a pattern can be responded to as a pattern wherever it may be. The pattern-of a thing can occur also on other things, for example when it is reflected in the water. Because the separated patterns can be responded to as such even when they are elsewhere, then they can also be seen as patterns when they are on their “proper” things, so that each thing comes to have its pattern. But these patterns are movable and can be seen to be the same on many things. So things come to be in categories or kinds. Then the pattern is called the “universal” and things become “particulars.” That is how the distinction between universals and particulars comes to be.
For humans there are not only trees, but also the pattern-of a tree. We see both this tree, and that it is a tree. So do animals, but the distinction is not there as yet. A dog might urinate against any tree, so we can say the dog treats trees as universals; it can recognize a tree. Or, since the dog urinates against just one tree at a time, we can say that the dog treats trees as particulars. Like us the dog responds both to a tree and to this tree, but for the dog there is not yet the distinction. The dog's body has no doubled response to the pattern of a tree on a tree, or on something else.
The separated senses are therefore inherently symbolic: The purely visual seeing is of patterns, and (“symbolic” here says:) a pattern is the pattern-of something. Once the doubled response has developed, then we can also see and make new patterns which have never belonged to anything. Then we see all ordinary things as having separable sense-patterns.
4. Empty space comes from patterns:
Let me continue with visual space-patterns. I will deal with other patterns and kinds of kinds later. Let me now show how the patterns which make a purely visual possible also generate our familiar empty space and time:
Something that can happen in more than one place is inherently independent of this or that place. Proportions are inherently independent of where they are. Here they are on flesh, there on cardboard. In the two places the lengths are also different, but this length is as much greater than that length, the same in both places. A pattern is inherently separable from the surroundings. The relations that make a picture are “spatial relations.” A pattern can make the same relations regardless of what is there. Its relations are in a space (and time) with nothing in it empty space. This space consists not of definite lengths or sizes, but only of so-called “relations.” Wherever visual patterns occur, they make their own, purely relational, empty space.
The bodily-implied situation is more intricate than what can exist in empty space and time. I want to propose to you that our familiar empty space is not original and not to be just assumed. It is brought about by our capacity to respond to patterns as patterns. Seeing patterns as patterns is to see them in an empty space which they generate.
The empty space, to which we are so accustomed, is actually pattern-space, the space of how patterns move. Empty space is symbolic an aspect of the possibility of reacting to patterns as patterns, as patterns-of, as proportions, as relations never mind where. That is to say, pattern-recognition also brings empty space: the space of spatial relations that can be the same, regardless of where.
We go wrong if we assume that this space is prior to everything else.
5. How all seems lost:
As soon as patterns can be responded to as patterns, everything comes to have its patterns. Thereby everything seems to be in the empty space of spatial patterns. Please let it come home to you, how this empty space spreads itself across everything, a screen made by patterns. Now the whole world of things that elicit behavior from animals is gone, and so are our situations. They are all covered over by an impenetrable sheet of empty space in which even living things no longer behave now they merely move, from here to there, in space-patterns. Now the tree is laced into a tree-patterned thing that occupies empty space. Now we are told that we don't hear the wind, just its sound traveling, through empty space. Now only what can be in empty space seems real. The animals, and our tree and wind, become understood as “subjective,” only inside us, mere meanings, said to be “attached” to real space-pattern-things.
Of course the bodily-implied situations and their time and space are more real, more intricate and wider than this empty space and time of patterns. But they come to seem merely “inner.” Indeed we just derived the distinction between “outer” and “inner.” Once the empty pattern-space develops, the bodily implying of birds and situations comes to seem only the so-called “inner world.” Our situations come to seem subjective, inner, split from the objective supposedly “external” reality.
For the animals there is no such distinction; there is only the real cat, the one the bird fears and flees. But nothing is wrong with humans having both the real cat and the patterns. Real cats are also patterned cats too, of course. Our human capacity with patterns and our science vastly increase the scope of our lives. What is wrong is that our lives in situations now seem merely inner, not quite real, because the space of pattern things is taken as independent, as if the bodily situational environment were merely added on. So human and animal meanings and implyings come to be considered secondary, as if only patterned things in empty space exist, while body-situational implying is only interpretation. So it can seem as it does in science, that animals are only patterned things, as if it were only our subjective projection that lets animals seem to live in their own intricate situations, and in ours. And not just the animals are lost as known in science we too are only patterned machines. But my point is not just to deny that. Rather, I want to show exactly how our theoretical concepts begin with patterns and separated perceptions, and exactly why one cannot actually begin with these. They inherently involve the wider body-situational implying and we can conceptualize that doubled bodily implying. Then I will show how that can advance our science.
Let me show more exactly why the empty space of patterns is not the fundamental space it seems to be.
Try to think of an actual situation of yours just in terms of bits of color, sound, and smell. You can reduce your visual field to bits of color, but not your situation. By combining bits of color and smell you cannot possibly construct a situation. And yet we commonly assume that we know reality only through these. Everything else is supposed to be subjective, that is to say, not the objective (supposedly external) reality. But even by adding bits of (internal) pain and pleasure sensations to colors and smells, can you make your situation out of them? Considered as simple and opaque, pain and pleasure do not carry the implicit intricacy. Only if we recognize an implicitly intricate bodily sensing, can we think about situations. Then we recognize that animal bodies imply situations too, of course. How could this implicitly complex body-environment sensing disappear in favor of simple bits of inner and outer sensation?
We can recognize that the intricately sentient body-environment interaction disappears behind the empty space. We recognize that the seemingly simple empty space is actually a highly sophisticated, symbolic product generated by the movements of the patterns of things. We can study an animal in terms of these patterns, but the animal does not sense and perceive in that space. Empty space is a human development. It comes with our capacity to respond to patterns as patterns. Empty space is the relations of patterns, their movability. They make empty space because their movement is independent of whatever else is there. Now everything seems to find itself within this space.
What could seem more original than sheer empty space? But it is not at all original. It is generated by patterns which can be the same here or there. Their here or there is how space is the same all over.
It is often remarked that Aristotle “had no concept of space, only of place.” Nonsense; of course he had that concept. He called it “the continuous” (in Greek it is the syneches) but he said that it is only the space of mathematics. For him it was not nature or reality that was more: a place determined by an event, an interaction, two bodies colliding, or touching, for example. He wrote hundreds of pages fighting the then already current idea that a mathematically uniform, featureless space exists. He argued always that this mathematical space cannot be what things exist in. He said that only interaction defines real places. To say he didn't have the concept of empty space makes that concept seem modern. But empty space arose with the dawn of humanity, with the genesis of language and the bodily response to patterns as such, to the visual and sound patterns-of things.
Patterns bring this of. It makes sensing and knowing seem merely a reception-of the patterns-of the things. The living being is twice removed: It seems to be only the of (the perceiving-of, the knowing-of, the imposing-of) the patterns of patterned things. Such a “subject” is needed as the active unifying or pattern imposing, because patterns and patterned things are split-off, passive results, merely differentiated, unified, compared, imposed. So the human being seems a puzzling, empty “of.”
We have seen that the sensing, of patterns as patterns brings a whole cluster of factors: doubling makes possible the separation of the senses, a response to patterns alone, the sameness of a pattern here or there, empty space, patterns-of, kinds of things, “external” reality and “inner” experience. They all depend on the bodily doubling, two perceptions: one seems simple in an empty space, but it requires also the other wider one which is not really perception, rather the continuing body-environment interaction.
Please note that the patterns have not come from nothing. They cannot come from a mysterious external source, be it the mind or history, and then be imposed on experience. Logical patterns and bodily-implied intricacy are not two different beings from different sources. Nor are they arbitrary, posited, or imposed. Once the response to patterns-as-such is possible, each thing has its own pattern, not just any arbitrary one. We operate with the things' own patterns. Therefore the power of logic; therefore the power of technical manipulation.
6. Human making and mechanics; the scientist/bird contrast:
Humans see things within the empty space of sense-patterns. For example, tourists mostly see the mountain-patterned picture they will photograph. But mountaineers chiefly act from their body-sense of possible actions on a mountain, to survive there. But both sense both. The mountaineer's animal body-sense is elaborated by the capacity to sense things as patterns, and to rearrange them as patterns. A rope strung from here to here, a stone sharpened to make a tool, these are operations in terms of patterns.
In terms of movable patterns, humans make one thing out of another. Monkeys cannot put two sticks together to make one long stick that would reach a banana they want. They cannot treat the sticks as length-shapes, because they do not see length-patterns as such. Animals make quite complex things, nests and spider webs, but they do not vary patterns and they don't move them around. Human making is so special because it happens in terms of patterns. The empty space is the space that moving patterns generate.
The scientific operational and explanatory power is part of human making. That doesn't mean it is just imposed or postulated and lacks truth. There is truth: That is why our making works. The two sticks are one long one together; the rope from here to there does hold the mountaineer. In the space of movable patterns we move and change the patterns of those things. That is what patterns are inherently; they are patterns-of.
The scientific analysis works and pinpoints the body's mechanics. But that mechanical order is projected and implied by the body in a doubled way. The mountaineers know the situation in which they are doing all this, and why they came there. Their patterned moves alone could never let them make it through. Explicit emphasis on how to move one leg throws off the rest. In any sport certain patterns must be explicit while they are being learned, but then they must become implicit in the body's pre-separated implying which is always on-going with and after all patterns.
Our concepts (“implying,” “pre-separated multiplicity,” and “carrying forward”) can let us think how the patterned order occurs within the wider bodily implying of a behavioral order, and how the latter continues to function with and after the patterns. Now we can clarify how our scientific analysis contrasts with the bird. The difference is that as scientists we impose the empty space of time and space patterns, and thereby make-and-discover the mechanical causes. The triangle and curve pattern is the mechanical cause of the response, but we find that. The bird body implies, and responds to, a cat.
7. Movement-patterns in empty space:
Patterns of seeing go along with tactile patterns and motions. But sounds behave differently. I will take the difference up shortly. First let me show that just like the purely visual, sounds as sounds are possible only as patterns.
I hear the sound of an animal moaning, but I know it to be the wind vibrating the door jamb. One might think that it is a simpler and earlier development to hear the sound of an animal when it is actually an animal. After all, isn't it from knowing the sound of animals that I recognize its likeness to this sound of the wind? But I argue on the contrary, that it is only when patterns become movable, when they can exist without the thing that emits them, that we can also hear the proper sound of something emitted by the thing that usually emits it. Until patterns are movable as patterns, an animal is heard, not the sound of an animal. The cat hears a bird, not a sound.
To hear the sound-of something as a separate sound-sensation makes for the capacity for imitation. One can hear the sound-of a bird as someone's imitation, not as a bird but as the sound-of a bird. Separated sound-sensations are symbolic sounds of something. Sounds are not symbolic because of language: a sound heard as a sound is already symbolic.
As we saw before, any separated sense is symbolic, it is a doubled sensing, carrying forward both the whole bodily implying of the actual thing and also the separated sight or sound of it as not necessarily the presence of that thing. To hear the wind's animal-sound carries forward not only the sound-sensation but also the bodily implying of an animal in all five senses and of the wind in all five senses (just as the cat's picture is both an implicitly cuddly cat and a cardboard).
Within this doubled process the different things come to have their own patterns, not patterns we just impose on them. Patterns only seem as if they are separate and could be just imposed. Once we can respond to pattern as such, then the wind has its wind-sound, and the cat sounds like a cat.
Music becomes possible. Music shows how sounds as sounds can carry our whole bodies forward. It shows that what seems like a response only to sound sensations is actually our whole body-environment interaction being carried forward. That is always ongoing, before, with and after patterns. A melody is a set of relations, a sequence, the same pattern in any key. Language sounds are obviously doubled, but so is any sound as a sound.
Now let me discuss how sound is unique. An animal can see and touch another animal at will if it does the looking and touching. But the other animal cannot be heard unless it emits its sound. Visibility and tangibility are constant, not emitted now and then. Conversely, it is possible not to look or touch, but hearing cannot be avoided if the other animal emits a sound.
When the five senses separate, then sound is much more separate than the others. That indicates something about why language develops as sounds.
Seeing and touching share the patterns of shape and size, and they also move together. A seen pattern-change involves the same change tangibly, and vice versa. But sound-changes may not go along with these. It is true that the sound of the bird becomes more distant, as the visible and tangible bird recedes. But sounds can be emitted by things, especially living things, with different pattern-changes, than how they appear to the other senses. Sound-sequence can be independent of whatever else goes on.
But since separate sounds are doubled and involve the bodily-implied other senses, the seemingly separate sound-patterns of language actually develop together in one bodily implying with the seemingly separate visual and movement patterns. (That is why the situation-change we need is bodily implied together with the words that are used to make that change.)
Now let us consider the bird: It flies from the cat, up in a curve and then away. In a space-pattern? It curves and calls to warn the other birds, then flies-to a safe place. The animal moves in a behavior-context, a space filled with bodily-implied other animals and things. It does not fly from one observably-defined point to another in our empty space and time.
We plot its course; let us say it is a curved trajectory and then a turn at an upward angle. We can then draw this pattern on paper and take it home. To be able to respond to such spatial movements is not really the simple process it seems. The spatial pattern seems to exist alone, but it involves a doubled sensing: a body interaction with a bird's motion, and, also, the simple movement-pattern of a bird, which we could then fit to something else as well.
A thing, (including a sound, or a word) is both a given pattern, and the carrying forward of a whole context that is vastly more and different than the pattern. That is the power of speech, logic, and the power of human making in empty space, the pattern-moving making of empty space.
The power of the logical relations of pure patterns with each other is not an imposed one. It is inherently emergent from, and relevant to, the body-environment process which carries the patterns.
This duality is inherent, not at all a mere conundrum, not a contradiction, not an excess. The conundrum was: Anything is and is not the forms; they enclose and do not enclose. They work alone and do not work alone. They are themselves but they are always something else.
The conundrum came because there was no way to say that patterns work-in, no way to say their working as anything other than themselves. But their working is always other and more than they are as patterns alone. Now we can say how their power lies in seeming to work alone. To understand their power is to understand how they work-in more: The alone of a pattern is how it is in the space which it itself generates. It is the space in which the patterns can move and be on several things, the space they make by moving in their purely spatial way. They first create a space of pure positional movement and purely spatial transformations and configurations. Without them any change is an intricate implying of a filled environment. Only patterns make the space of pure movement. Thereby they seem alone, with just their own relations and transformations. This is their consistent work which seems just their own. The not-alone of patterns is their effect, their work-in, which is always much more than they themselves are and cannot be deduced from them. They work by more than their own pattern relations, but in a pattern-defined world that working seems hidden, subjective, merely inner. It seems so because the patterns split a new, external space away from everything else.
These two ways are inherent in what patterns are. What seems like their own work actually requires the doubling, which makes our response to patterns as patterns possible.
To construct the universe out of patterned things is not an epistemological problem, just an error. It is not that we can only think patterns, and can only know what we think. Rather, patterns exist only as doubled. They can generate their own relations, or, also, they can talk about the doubling that sustains them.
The aloneness of patterns is the screen of the empty space in which they seem alone. Patterns (forms, distinctions, comparisons, kinds, ..... ) seem to enclose as if spatially, seem to stand on their own as the fences of things. This is their logical power. But the whole screen on which they seem alone, rests on their doubled working, their carrying-forward effect, which is always vastly more than they, and not enclosed by them.
The conundrum comes if the doubling is missed. Then it seems a contradiction that they have their logical relations and enclosing alone, and yet they always also work in a wider way. Their wider working-in seems to disorganize their logical power. Logical forms seem to disorganize themselves, if they are assumed to be the only order. But a more intricate body-language-situation process carries them, as they carry it forward.
The patterns (distinctions, forms, rules, social patterns, concepts, categories, kinds, ..... ) carry forward a vast world, which they also seem to hide. Yet they hide it only if we assume that what is not form must be a disorder. Then the well-known puzzles appear.
It is true that conceptual relations and assumptions are always involved at least implicitly, but false that everything follows just from them. Even the relation between pure concepts carries a body-process forward, and one can always open its implicit intricacy.
That is why when a pattern or distinction is retracted, most of what it was and did, is left: The distinction is not just the seemingly spatial diagram of separation; it is also its effect the point it made vastly more than the distinction-pattern alone. The overt distinction can be retracted, but to the extent it could cross, it made sense and carried forward implicitly in pre-separated ways that cannot be retracted.
For example, you struggle with a line of text, philosophy or poetry. It seems garbled, makes no sense. You recall reading a certain theoretical framework or concept, asserted of this author or of such texts, and re-read the line with that thought in mind. Suddenly the line makes sense says something. Now you also recall all the reasons why that theoretical framework or concept has to be wrong, and you decide to discard it. Does the line go back to being garbled? No, not now, nor ever. You can suppose the theory gone, but not the effect it had on the gigantic post-and-preseparated multiplicity you bring to what you read. You can be convinced that your interpretation of the line is still wrong, and more work may enable it to say something else. But it will never again say nothing.
A pattern exists not just diagrammatically, seemingly separately, but also as how it is implicit in many other sequences of action speech and thought. I have only introduced the concept of “doubling,” two carrying forwards, two perceptions in one event.
The concept of doubling lets us think differently and in a better way about aboutness-that supposed gap between symbols and what they are said to be “about.” We can surpass the supposition of two separate realms, signifier and signified, with all the puzzles that that brings, as if we needed a separate access to what is represented, to check the representation. We can also do more than merely reject representationalism, which still leaves it there in the form of the puzzle: there are only interpretations, but nothing to interpret. The ordinary instance of representation sensing a picture can give us the more complex pattern of doubling. Taking this pattern as our concept, we can think how all patterns carry forward the body-environment interaction that carries them.
To think what is more than patterns, we need not find an experience pure of patterns, or pure of language and concepts. Patterns are never without that which they carry forward.20(forward)
We have gone on, on through the conundrum that all order is patterns, yet all patterns break. We can think how what breaks them is not chaos; indeed, we think that with patterns with how they are inherently doubled, how they carry forward an intricacy that includes a vast crossing of doubled sequences, (which are also doubled, and not mere patterns).
We saw how patterns generate the space of their inherent aloneness, and why that space (in which they seem alone) is itself not alone, but already intricately symbolic.
There is no way not to take the intricacy along. But this is no disorganizing “excess”; it is not that the pattern works-and-fails-to-work it is the pattern's working.
Yes, doubling is a distinction, a simple pattern. But its effect is more than that, and that is also what it is, and says.
Bodies, situations, language, and thinking are interactions going on, being carried forward. The body and its environment are not two as two things in space are two. The object, cat or pattern, is an object-in an interaction. It is not only a causation in the empty space of patterns and makings. These carry forward, and are themselves carried by the body-environment interaction. The interaction does not occur just in that empty space.
All space is really filled space. We sense (feel, are, ..... ) this space, and can think it as the body's focal implying of a vast number of possible sequences.
Our responses which seem to be just patterns are actually also a carrying forward of body-life. They are doubled sequences as when we respond to a picture: the pattern as the pattern-of the thing. The human body implies doubled sequences. Patterns are now implicitly carried forward by any thing, (it is a thing of a kind, there is a pattern-of it), and even by what seems to be a purely physical process, for example eating. We eat not just things but kinds of things, and our appetite is spoiled by certain kinds of quite edible things. Conversely, every response to pure patterns is actually a doubled carrying forward of body-life.
The body implies doubled sequences it can also produce totally new and wildly altered patterns, as we saw in the therapy excerpts (the images of the rope and the stilts), and as we see every night in dreams as well as in the inventions of art and science. By crossing, the spatial patterns function in the body's implying, creating and finding many kinds of non-spatial patterns too.
There is a tendency to think about all patterns as if they had the properties of patterns in space. When a pattern repeats then it is thought of as if it were separable, movable and capable of being moved and put on something else. Then it seems that all order consists of patterns that can be moved or imposed. But it is well to remember that even pure space-patterns are a doubled bodily implying of pre-separated intricacy.
Crossed patterns are never just rearrangements in empty space; the body implies them as part of carrying situations forward. (We could switch the two words in these slots: Such new patterns are never just rearrangements in empty space; situations imply the new patterns as part of implying a bodily carrying-forward.) The reality and continuing on-going of this implying, with and after patterns, will now let us explain some scientific anomalies.
Let me first formulate and then use a few specific propositions:
1. Sensations that actually occur, occur-into implied sensations:
The animal body has not only the actual sensations that come from the outside. The body implies behavior it implies and prefigures the objects with which the behavior will occur. Objects are implied with the sensations which the behavior involves.
When I say that the bird sees not a pattern but a cat, I assert that the bird's body has more than the visual sensation which is actually coming in just now. It also has its implying and pre-figuring of the cat as part of the implied fleeing behavior. In the fleeing behavior, how cats move is implied in all sense modalities. Now the bird sees how this cat actually moves now, and this modifies and specifies all the ways in which the bird's body was already implying the cat. Just now the actual perception may be only visual, but it modifies the implied cat in all the sense-modalities.
This happens with us also, and so it is quite familiar. Although actually we only see (the picture of) a cat, we also see it as soft and cuddly. Conversely, if we stroke the cat in the dark, we also see its size and shape. The actual sensation affects the behavior our bodies imply with the object in all the senses.
Of course, the fleeing bird wouldn't stroke the cat; therefore the cat's smoothness is not a bird's (but a human) implicit tactile sensation when seeing a cat. The objects are implied as they function in behavior, not as neutrally observed. The actual visual sensation modifies the implied cat that could jump, and not softly touch the bird.
I distinguish between two kinds of sensation here: the implied sensation and the actual one. The implied sensation is part of the implied behavior, and includes all sense-modalities. The actual sensation which newly comes in, now, might be in just one modality. In my example, here, it is merely visual, but it enters into, and changes the way the cat is focally implied next how the cat might move from where the bird just saw it.
The object is implied as moving, tactile, smelled, and heard, as well as seen. All these are modified by an actual sensation in any mode.
Animals do not behave on the basis of separated visual and other sensations, which must then first combine. Rather, the environmental things are implied as they function in behavior.
We can miss the bodily implying, in plants, if we take them just as objects of our observations. But in animals we can clearly distinguish: They are objects of our patterns and constructions, yet they also have a bodily implying of their own, and that does not yet consist of our patterns. I argue that the plant does imply its environmental interactions. Its body is ready with a complex life-process, which marks out a role for soil and light just so much light, and just in certain periods. Even the many quite special concepts of organic chemistry only state the mechanics. The light comes into an intricately implied life-cycle and carries it forward.
The plant's body pre-figures, implies, and recognizes the light, but not as something visual. Rather, the plant prefigures and implies its own further process and thereby it implies the light as it will function in its bodily process.
In the case of the plant we are not tempted to ask how it unifies the light's color with its warmth, the visual and tactile sensations. Yet, the plant implies a bodily role for the light, quite without sensation.
Now I make the (not very daring) assumption that an animal's body is no less able to do that. The animal also implies its further tissue-process, but this crosses with the implying of behavior and sensation. These latter are special cases of tissue-process. Let me say how:
The objects of behavior and perception don't affect the animal directly through that body-environment interaction we call tissue-process. For example, during food-search what the animal pursues doesn't affect its tissue-process directly. Until the cat ingests and digests the bird, the cat's tissues are not affected in that way. But, of course, running and jumping do involve large tissue-processes too. In the cat's bloodstream, lungs, and muscles the cells change in interaction with their environments, as the cat moves as a whole. So we can understand how body and situation are implicit in each other, how the body-tissues in implying their continuing process also imply the further behavior and the behavioral environment. So of course a body-sense can be realistic. Behavior is doubled: simultaneously each bit of behavior carries forward both the tissue-body-environment implying and its implied behavior with things.
Sensation can happen only as a part of that doubled, behavioral implying and carrying forward. It is both a tissue-process (the retinal cells and the light) and a behavior-object process, the cat and the bird. The body implies both of these in a doubled carrying-forward.
So, our concept of “doubling” can apply and work here. Of course, the concept could apply in other ways, not just these three.
“Doubling” first came to say how human symbolic processes are special cases, how we sense both the hard cardboard of the picture, and the soft cat pictured on it. Now we say that human behavior and sensation is tripled:
As we hold the picture, each next bit of body-life carries forward in three simultaneous sequences: The cells in our eyes and fingers interact with their physical-organic-chemical environments: the eye-nerves fire, and the hand-muscle cells do their poison-accumulating chemistry. Simultaneously, the next bits of body-life are also the behavior of holding and feeling the cardboard. In a third way, we feel the soft fur-texture in the picture. Each next moment carries forward in all three ways. We must first see how these three differ, so that we can then understand their inherent togetherness.
I contend that we cannot well think about animals, including humans, without in some way being able to think this doubling and tripling. With the current, overall ideology, one assumes that all three levels should reduce to chemistry, but these three (tissues, behavior, and human events) are actually studied as if they occurred in entirely different bodies (differently conceived bodies) that we don't know how to relate. But the body obviously does all three simultaneously in one happening.
In evolution, each of the three greatly modifies some of the previous. Some animal tissue-processes are involved in, and imply, behavior. Some of the next implied tissue-events are not just that; they are behavior as well. In humans, some next-implied tissue-processes that are behaviors are also patterns. For instance, when we write or speak, our bodies imply (and carry forward into) the next bit of muscle-tissue process, which is also the behavior of our hands or lips and vocal cords, and also the next words. That is how words come, and new naked phrasings, and sometimes philosophical discomforts with the further implications of what is said.
People and animals act, not just on the basis of sensation. Our bodies imply behavior also with our tissues, glands, muscles, circulation with much of the whole body.
All this can seem odd, because we are not used to thinking that behavior can be inherited.
1. Inherited behavior and objects:
That animals have inborn behavior-sequences, has long been proven. For example, how spiders spin webs is inherited, also how squirrels bury nuts, and how the birds build nests and how all the animals tend to their young. For thirty years or more every conceivable way these might have been learned was tested. The controversy is now over. A very large number of such inherited “action patterns” have been documented in most species of animals. Now they constitute a well-developed science called “ethology.” But there have been no theoretical concepts with which to think about it.21(forward)
To think further about it, let us approach the question this way: Animals inherit behavior along with their bodies. At a certain age a frog jumps at a fly, without ever having seen one before. Frogs inherit not just their bodily jumping muscles, but also the complex jumping action.
Perhaps that isn't as odd as it seems at first. We inherit not just our lungs, but of course also the breathing behavior. We inherit not just our legs, but also crawling and walking. Infants eventually start crawling, they do not learn it from observing the adults around them.
Each part of a living body also involves how that part acts it has (or is) its processes in the tissues of its internal environment. Indeed, living bodies are not just structures; they are processes, environmental interactions. One cannot separate the structure from the activities, as one can with a car, by parking it. The body-structure is maintained only by its ongoing interactions on every level. Inborn behavior is not strange if we think of the actions of each body-part as inherited along with the part.
So we need to think of a living body that is not just a structure in space, with inherited behavior incongruously emerging from such a structure. Rather, the body is environmental interactions; it implies behavior with all its parts.
In implying crawling, the infant body also implies the hard ground on which it crawls. Crawling is not implied by the bodies of creatures that live in water. The implying of crawling also implies the ground. So also do the frog's muscles imply the flies it jumps at, along with the jumping behavior. When the body implies a behavior, of course it also implies the environment that is part of the behavior. So the concept of a bodily implying of certain environments is already implicit in the sheer fact of inherited behavior.
Our other concepts (“crossing,” “carrying-forward” and the others) have given some conceptual specificity to this bodily implying. But can scientific concepts be legitimately and systematically augmented by added specifications? Yes; for example organic chemistry consists of chemistry with just such additions. We need to develop a science of that sort also in the current gap between organic chemistry and behavior.
This need is brought home in embryology: For example, the DNA consists of ordinary molecules. It is not known just how it (and other) molecules exert a highly, specific control over the embryo's development at certain points. Examined alone, the molecule is no different from many others. The chemical molecule is already fully determined on its own organic chemistry level. Its further specifications cannot be defined in those terms. A further science is developing here, and needs not to be impeded by the general ideology of reductionism which does not hold in practice between inorganic and organic chemistry.
Our concepts can let us think in the theoretical gap between a physical machine and animal behavior. They are also relevant in the gap between organic chemistry and molecular processes in embryology.
Let us now discuss a specific finding which our concepts can clarify:
2. We resolve an anomaly in the new studies of infants:
Recently our whole way of thinking received a great corroboration by Stern's (1985) report of recent findings with human infants. Infants can distinguish faces from other things, already on the second day. The infants are shown a cardboard oval with horizontal lines for eyes and mouth. They look significantly longer at these, than at similar ovals in which the lines are vertical. They seem to respond to the purely visual pattern of a face.
The mother is of course part of the infant's situation which its body intricately implies, and which is not something added-on to a pattern in empty space reality.
Infants can also distinguish smells. They look much longer at a cloth dipped in their own mother's milk, than that from another mother. The investigators think it is the pure smell which the infant recognizes. I disagree. I say the infants recognize their mothers. But they seem to respond just to the smell.
Most importantly for us here, the infants, one day after birth, can visually recognize something they have only felt in a tactile way. If one of two differently shaped nipples is put in their mouth while blindfolded, they can pick out which one it was when the blindfold is removed and they see the two nipples side by side. They look much longer at the one they just had in their mouths. The finding is an anomaly for current theories, because it seems to involve correlating the tactile sensation with the visual one, a unity which it is assumed they must first develop. Stern calls it “amodal perception,” the very name expressing the mystery. It seems puzzling, because we can trace the path by which visual stimuli reach the infant, and surely it isn't the mouth. The infant has never seen the nipple. How can it recognize by sight which one it sensed by touch?
The mystery about correlating the senses comes from the assumption that the body has only the sense-bits that come in, and must first freshly relate those and put them together. Actually the body implies an actual mother and in this implying, all the sense-modalities are already together and intricately interrelated.
Let me cite an instance from ethology: When an egg rolls out of a duck's nest, she rolls it back in with her bill. It is hard to do; she has to adjust to the unpredictable unevenness of the ground, steering the egg, now left, now right. This behavior is implied by her body, and so strongly, that if no egg ever rolls out, she performs this eventually anyway, without an egg. But in that case she moves her bill easily, in a straight line.
Our concepts let us think further about this example: We understand that the actual sensations from the actual egg do not occur alone. Rather, the actual sensations come into the inherited behavior-implying; they only modify and specify it. The implying is intricate and it includes and inter-relates all the ways in which it can be further specified. Any single perception of the actual egg and the actual ground is taken into that whole implicit complexity.
Now let us think about the infant. Before birth its body implies a finely prefigured interaction with an actual mother, and with a nipple. The infant's body implies its behavior in the nursing situation which includes how a nipple will be seen, touched, tasted, and smelled. Then, at birth the actual sensations happen into that implying, and they modify and specify it. Therefore a new, tactile sensation is taken into how the inherited body implies a nipple as seen and smelled, as well as touched.
The old theory assumes that human bodies have no behavioral order, and must obtain it from the outside. This may be so with objects that are not part of the bodily implied interactions. Most studies had used such objects. So it seemed that infants would have nothing to go on, with a nipple or their mother, except the actual sensations that come in. Since these come along separate avenues, it seemed that the infant must first actually sense them, in order to learn which ones go together. But, the infant's body implies the interaction with a bodily mother as a crossing of all the sense modalities. Therefore an actual sensation in any one sense modifies how the mother is already implied in all five senses.
How do space and objects for humans differ from how they are for animals? How does empty space differ from “behavior space” filled space? When an animal is at a given spot (we can define the spot in our empty space), the animal's body senses the many behaviors that are possible from that spot. The cat's muscles are crouched, ready to jump up at the bird in the tree. It feels the space as a filled mesh of possible behaviors. For the animal a spot is what it can do from there a thousand things, a crossed, pre-separated multiplicity.
When the animal moves, that changes the whole mesh. Some of what it could do before is now no longer possible, or would be done differently. There is no single Laplacian sequence of possibilities, because each move changes the whole set. If the cat first goes to another spot, how it can jump on the bird will be different than from here. Or, the cat may go to a spot from which it can neither jump nor even see the bird, but from which it can climb the tree. That also changes many other behavior-sequences which its body implies.
What seem to be mere changes in position (moves in empty space) are really very large changes for the bodily implying. We live so largely in our empty space of patterns, that it is hard to appreciate this bodily-implied filled space. But we can still recognize the filled space in certain human situations, those that are still chiefly physical for us.
We humans still live in filled space in those situations in which our actions are interrelated physically. Contrast this with most human actions: While all our actions involve patterns, most actions seem to be just patterns, usually speaking and writing. Of course we do them from out of a tripled bodily implying, as we can easily notice because any one of these patterns can change our whole bodily implying.
For example, in some drinking establishment a man moves toward you with his arm raised, to hit you. Now you sense many possibilities at once. You see the ways the man might move, and what could happen. You see and feel your paths to some of the windows and doors. You notice a table that might give you some protection, and it is also something you could jump up on, so as to attack your opponent from above. If you move to the door, you cannot use the table. If you keep it between you and him, you won't be up high. Any one of these actions changes how you could do the others. You don't have time to think of each one singly. You move. Your body implies, crosses, and focals the many sequences into one action. Of course, the focaling isn't perfect; it might omit some moves you see only later. But it crosses the many sequences so that each includes how it changes the others. You sense any one possible action as the changes it makes in what can come next. Your body gets one single next-implied action from bodily implying that crossed mesh. I call it a “mesh” because the actions are not implied separately. Each is a series of changes in the others and therefore in the whole crossed mesh. That is filled space.
For example, you are sitting in the audience, listening to a lecture. Your body feels at ease; you are free to let your mind wander, occasionally rejoining the lecture. You have some disagreements with the talk, but you will voice those later, if at all.
Now, suppose you decide that you will interrupt and raise your arm up when the speaker next pauses for a second. What a change comes in your body, even before you do it! Your whole body changes. It feels not just the arm-raising action, but how that will transform what can come after that. The speaker will stop, everyone will look at you. You will have to speak, and handle the speaker's response. You might have to say more and more. Afterward everyone will talk to you. The people at home might hear about it. That seemingly simple spatial arm-motion changes your whole peaceful situation. What we call “a situation” is the crossed mesh of implied behaviors and events.
Now, what is the difference between humans and animals here? In both cases one behavior can change how the body implies the whole crossed mesh. But your raised arm does not change anything, up there, where it reaches. The arm does not physically change how the subsequent behaviors are possible. Most human action-possibilities are not changed by the physical effects of an action. Your arm does not interrupt the speaker physically. The speaker's body does not expect a blow. We even forget that it is your arm we call it “raising your hand.” The arm has no physical effect.
We live mostly with our tongues and fingers, by speaking, signing checks, and making seemingly simple spatial motions. Each of these does change how the others are possible. But they do not change each other by being physically related.
We do eventually also eat, sleep, and have sexual intercourse. But these now happen only in certain patterns, and not in others. This is not “the mind.” If the patterns are wrong, our bodies can lose their appetites. We can now deal with what remains of the assumption we have been tracking from the beginning: In what exact way is it true that anything human can happen only within patterns, only within distinctions?
We seem to act and perceive things within patterns. We sense ourselves in their empty space and we call that the “outside.” Since the patterns are not physically connected there in space, we mostly do not see our situations there. We only feel the crossed mesh of our actions; therefore we call it “inside.” We see empty symbolic pattern-space because most of our actions seem to be just pattern moves like talking or signing our names. We only feel our situation and how such moves change it.
Such patterns now do always obtain, and in that exact sense human events happen only within patterns. But as we saw, they do not constrain what is newly implied next. They constrain only if we move logically (and even then they work-in the implicit intricacy.)
Human nature and situations cannot be understood as patterns and opaque bits of the five separated senses. These are sophisticated human products. Both before and after they develop, there is a bodily sentience that is not opaque, but an intricate implying. This non-opaque sentience has rarely been considered.
Actually, patterns are tripled. Each makes a change in the tissues and each is a physical move with things, as well as changing the human situation. Each pattern or patterned event carries forward the whole mesh of possibilities which our bodies imply. Patterns are always tripled body-environment interactions. That is why we can think with, and about, that bodily implying which exceeds patterns. Now, this is no paradox. The patterns exceed themselves because they are their working-in their carrying-forward of the wider bodily-environmental process.
Intricate implying functions very noticeably in speech and thought. It functions along with all patterns and all concepts. So we can let it function also with conceptual patterns about these functions. Then the concepts do not limit. Rather, they carry forward. Such concepts function-in, and say, how implicit intricacy continues to function with them.
Kant is certainly right in the exciting insight that the thinking and the experienced things have to be understood together as inherently interrelated internally to what each of them is. But this inherent relation consists of more than separable forms that are common to both, and imposed by one on the other. (back)
But Kant had divided this separate, active, imposing unifying off from everything sensible and knowable, which seemed passive, merely organized, ordered, patterned. Section B will show how patterns bring this division. (back)(back)
Therefore the saying is wider and much more than the distinctions which can be crossed out. Derrida misleads (although it is a good defensive move) when he makes it seem that assertions can and need to be retracted as if otherwise the distinctions would (or could) resurround new sayings. They cannot, and it is wrong to say that they can. (back)
Today the difference between these words is often overlooked. People tend to use “distinction” to include form and rule. Thereby they unknowingly do what I propose to do knowingly: They let the word work to say the slot at the end of the whole string, after the others have already worked. But people are not aware that their word “distinction” now functions as more than a distinction. They do not grasp how it functions as a slot, nor how to think further with a slot.
Although currently the word “distinction” says all three, they do not have a common form. The form of each undoes the others. But in the slot they are all already at work implicitly. Whichever one comes, it comes after the others. They have been competing and contemporary with each other since Greek times, so that in history too, each comes after the others.
If they say the slot, each says more, differently than the others. That cannot be forced, but if it happens it cannot be avoided. (back)(back)
11For example, why not make Derrida's word “displacing” self-instancing? He says that in history the later distinctions simply displace earlier ones. Thereby, he denies Heidegger's “openness.” That was Heidegger's most important term.
Instead of that Big Term of Heidegger's, Derrida asserts that there are only the distinctions themselves; each new set merely displaces the previous. As we see, in Derrida's work Heidegger's “openness” is displaced by Derrida's term “displacing.”
Now if I ask what the term means, doesn't it mean the displacing it does? In Derrida's arguments for this “displacing,” the word does (to Heidegger's term) the displacing which it says. Of course it also brings its scheme, (only one thing in a given spot; one thing ejects another by taking its spot). Now I can ask:
Of these two, which surrounds (determines, constrains, displaces, ..... ) the other? Is it the old space-form of displacing that surrounds the new working of the word and cannot be overcome? Isn't it rather the displacing which the word does, which surrounds, re-uses, and reworks its old scheme? But then Derrida is mistaken. New saying cannot be re-surrounded. (back)
The phrase “what a sentence says” instances this. What the phrase says is not just a commonality. It also always occurs in some context (for instance at some juncture in an abstract argument), and so it always functions also as the implicit intricacy of that instance. It carries the intricacy of its instances with it.
The phrase “going on” here also instances this. It says one pattern: By going on, the differences emerge. But this includes the intricacy of, for example, its three instances here: If “going on” is said about the poet, it does not say the same thing as if it is said about how the therapy client goes on, or how we go on philosophically, here. From the same phrase we would go on differently in each of these instances. Traditionally concepts were supposed to contain only what is the same in many cases, as if that could be separated from the implicit intricacy. It was assumed that a philosophical going on is only analytical, only the common pattern, only “about” . Poetry and therapy might go on in their way, but for us as philosophers poetry and therapy would only be the topics about which we philosophize in terms of samenesses, as if their ways of going on were only part of our topic, as if a topic does not affect how we go on about it. But let us not accept this.
It is not a calamity, not the end of philosophy, if concepts are more than patterned samenesses. Philosophical concepts can and do bring a same, but they can also let the implicit intricacy continue to function. (back)
In therapy you also maximize the bodily quality of the mood: “tense?” “jumpy?” 'heavy?” (you find it!). More exactly, “like walking in a sea of glue.” Lovely poetic metaphors are frequent in therapy too, although cliches can now carry your ..... forward, whereas before they would have gotten in the way.
In therapy you let the ..... imply steps of resolution. Every pain is an alarm: It implies that something ought not to be as it is. A pain implies its not being there its healing. The sense of a life-problem also implies its direction of solution. It is never only what is wrong, because the wrongness is the stoppage of how life inherently implies its moving on. It will find intricate ways to include many things, but it will not permit us to simplify our situations by ignoring it.
Therefore, in therapy certain questions hover implicitly. As the poet you did not ask into the ..... “Why am I like that?” “How could I be more myself?” “What is this mood trying to do?” “How is this mood a stoppage of how I could be?” “What life-forward energy is stopped in this mood?” These questions hover implicitly in therapy even when you first just maximize the ..... . Soon you say “Ah, I'm not just despondent about it, rather I want to stay despondent: it lets me stay and live in the relationship even though I know I have lost it! Oh, it feels soggy and like I'm hiding out from what?” You experience vast relief even though you know more steps must follow. Your whole body changes. Where would the poem be now, if you hadn't written it?
It should be obvious that any of these sentences can be cross-applied too. They could say more and differently if they work in further intricacy. What remains true is not a sentence but what it says taken where it says it. (back)(back) (back)
We will soon take up this “crossing” and the “focaling” which enables crossing to make sense. It is possible because situations are already focal crossings. (back)
Images need not be copies of what we have seen. They can be new and more intricate. In my therapy example the image of a house lifted up on stilts is actually a crossing: The childhood action of walking on stilts between power-wires was crossed with much else. Notice that such images are not just visual; other sense-modalities cross with the visual to fashion something quite new. In Section B we discuss the crossing of sense-modalities. Here the tactile sensation of being supported, the bodily feel of being lifted up, and the sense of danger these all cross in the new image of stilt-like girders going into the round. This bodily-felt image brought breathing space and nurture to that, in her, which was struggling, between life and death.
If you apply a variety of diagnostic or theoretical analyses to that therapy segment, you will see that this new bodily-sensed image also took account of all those. In such images the things in visual space are crossed and focaled with other dimensions in ways we usually consider impossible. In Section B we will discuss that.
In footnote 12 I showed how one can cross two notions. Crossing happens in our thinking too.
“Crossing” can also help us with our earlier question, how we know which of a word's many use-contexts obtains now. These use-contexts cannot just lie next to each other: In any one of these use-contexts we would know that the word is not used as it would be in the others. So each use-context is a crossing of the others. Any word thus brings a crossing of the situations in which it can be used, and it must then still always cross with this situation in which we are implicitly.
The concept of “crossing” also helps us think about metaphor (Gendlin, in press). The regular use of a word involves the crossed multiplicity of its old use-situations and this situation. When a word works in a new way in this situation, its old, already-crossed use-situations are further crossed in one more. For example, the word “crossing” works as a metaphor. Its space pattern of an ‘X’ is already crossed with its use for hybrids in zoology, so that the one use is taken account of in the other. Then it crosses the crossing of those usual situations with ours here, to say the implicit intricacy of crossing.
The usual theory of metaphor assumed that one can cross two situations, to let a word from one say something in the other, but it did not ask what situations are such that they can cross. Here we see that any one situation is already a crossing, and in many ways: It is a crossing of word-uses, of alternative actions, effects on other situations, and of past and present.
If implicit intricacy consisted only of patterns, we could not understand anything. There would only be the imposition of some forms on others, or a compromise which could only be misunderstanding and distortion. Instead, our deepest cultural and personal learnings and values deepen further when they function in crossing with (making sense of) another person's meanings. It lets us think how human nature is cross-cultural, and how Gilligan's (see Chapter 1) co-feeling is possible without common forms in advance. These understandings are crossings, not common forms. (back)
Pathology cannot be understood, if we don't first understand how the past can work in various manners in the present, and how it can change its way of working as it works in the present. (See my “Personality Change” and A Process Model, VIII.) (back)
The direction of bodily implying moves toward rightening itself, (but “right” now works from here): Implicit intricacy implies a rightening of itself. For example, the room is warm; you feel “hot.” This is no neutral “is” of temperature, that would need a value-judgment put on it. To feel hot is to want it cooler.
To see that a picture hangs crookedly implies its straightening. Straightness is familiar but an artist standing before an unfinished design that has never yet existed also senses what “it needs.” So, too, we sense a pain as implying its being gone. Also the psychic pain of some long-gone events: it still implies that what happened should not have happened. Part of the truth of its having happened is that it should not have happened, and that also functions in implying steps of carrying forward and healing what happened.
To sense a problem is the focal implying of a step toward solving it. We can sense something “wrong,” only because an implicit rightness has already functioned. Anything wrong has a direction of rightening, even if it seems hopeless, and even if we have no idea what “right” means. Even when we do know what “right” means, still the implicit rightening is not just what we think we know. We must choose, keep, and bring what we believe so that a step can cross it with a lot more.
The not-yet-formed step may resolve the problem. Or it can lead to a further step, and then again one next, and then one more the non-Laplacian series I mentioned under concept 1). We have no way to make the focaling now include the whole series. But we can think and want the whole series in advance with however many non-Laplacian steps. Before a next step, and even before a ..... comes, we can think anything as a slot for a focaled rightness. Then that functions in our further thinking, surely not as if the whole sequence had happened, but still as more than just one step. (back)
The old distinction between “universal” and “particular” hides this, as if concepts drop out their instances and are just bare patterns. The pattern-sequence may make a seen or heard pattern as such, but that can happen only in a doubled sequence in which the body's implying of countless sequences is carried forward.
We want to think the concept of doubling (and any concept) not only as its pattern, but also as our bodily-sensed carrying-forward of the crossed situations which it brings (is, lets us think, lets us sense, ..... ). (back)
These findings require so much change in so many other concepts, that only a whole body of new concepts can bridge it. That cannot happen just with ethology alone. It must happen from a crossing of many other findings and situations that imply new concepts. (back)
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