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MY NEW CONCEPT OF GENERAL ACOGNITIVE CULTURE Henry Flynt [This essay was written c.

May 1962 and published in dcollage No. 3. This transcription serves to correct the typographical errors. Footnotes are written in 1992.] Of the adult (human) activities I discredit explicitly, consider pure mathematics (and structure art and games of intellectual skill), and Serious Culture/all art/literary culture/science fiction/music. I show that these activities (as such) should be repudiated. Now humans are likely in any case to resist this radical idea of repudiating these major institutionalized activities; but especially if nothing were to take their place, if the idea were negative only. Even when the activities' Serious Cultural pretensions have been discredited and repudiated, and their obvious confusions of purpose have been noted,[1] humans are likely to be interested in them still, to like them in at least one respect: for their entertainment, recreational value; for their value as "ends," in themselves. (And are thus likely to fear that to repudiate these activities without anything's taking their place would be to give up all recreation, doing things "just for fun," doing things just liked.) Now this chapter will be first, an analysis of the concept of entertainment, recreation, of doing things just liked, which will criticize the activities even as just entertainment. (And will discredit my own initial notion of "acognitive culture," as not going far enough.) I discredit these activities, show they should be repudiated, for "everybody," adult humans and creeps. Now since I am a creep, my primary constructive concern is to point out something rather than these activities, for creeps: my new concept of "creep acognitive culture." However, I am going to "do adult humans a favor" in the hope that it will keep them from just changing the discredited activities into something no less wrong and confused, and will encourage them to repudiate the activities. "Creep acognitive culture" is, to speak generally, a concept of "recreation" (resulting from analysis of the concept of recreation) for conscious organisms. Part of it is applicable for adult humans (as well as creeps), in replacing the discredited activities for them. I am going to give that general part here, in this book[2]--my new concept of "general acognitive culture." (The specialization for creeps I will give in Creep.) The specialization of this concept for adult humans I will leave to them, since that is their concern. Incidentally, even though generally applicable, the characteristics of general acognitive culture may be reminiscent of creepiness, but they will not in any case embarrass mature adults, which is where I draw the line between the adult human and the really creep. To give a better idea of the major area of life, "recreation," I am concerned with here, let me mention, along with the activities mentioned above: games, possibly athletics "for fun," conventional entertainment and recreation, and children's play. Or "acognitive culture" in my initial sense. Further, let me suggest the area with respect to its place in (adult) human life today. Naively, a worker has a job, job hours, an occupation, does work (which produces material wealth), to obtain his means of consumption. His job is a "means"; even though he may like it he is pretty much forced to do it. This can be extended to apply to the whole area of his responsibilities to society. Then he has after-hours, time when he doesn't have to do anything, and does what he does more as an end, in itself, "for fun," because he likes it: here is where recreation is included. This is when workers listen to music, read science fiction, play games, and the rest. A thing is more purely recreational the more it is done just "for fun," the more is it is not an extension of the job, a means. This can be extended to apply to the whole area of what he does just because he likes it; and the area can now be conceived as existing (presumably as a matter of

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course) side-by-side what he does "for society." All this can be said about recreation today. To arrive at the preliminaries of my concept of general acognitive culture, a certain concept of "recreation" applicable for any conscious organisms (my initial notion of "acognitive culture"), let me give some characteristics which the activities I have listed, in their recreational aspect, have in common, which would apply for any conscious organisms. No one of the activities is biologically necessary (or biologically harmful) to the organism. Probably no one is necessary for society, cooperation among the organisms. They are not technology (although they may use it). As ("mere") recreation, they are not supposed to have cognitive value (and in particular are without associated cognitive pretensions, so that they cannot be Serious Culture). (They may use believings, especially wrong ones, as "experiences," but these are not claimed to have cognitive value in any way.) They do not involve anything, in particular sensuous indulgence, which has sophisticationproving significance. And of course, they are entertainment, recreation, are things just liked. These characteristics are the preliminary, initial determination of the parts of life, of any conscious organism, which I am selecting out to consider as one area, a unity, that of acognitive culture. Having located and initially determined the area of life I am concerned with, I will now analyze, explicate the concept of pure entertainment, recreation, doing things just liked (with respect to the individual); and at the same time elaborate my new concept of general acognitive culture. Consider, for contrast, work, or the cognitive. With respect to these, there are "objective" or "intersubjective standards of value," for ex., whether a table top is level, or whether many people like a thing. One may well make a contribution to these areas even if one doesn't like the areas, or one's contribution; one can make a level table even if one dislikes the table and finds making it tedious. It makes sense to specially exert oneself to contribute to these areas, to drive oneself to work in them even though one would just as soon do something else. Now 'recreation' connotes, "general acognitive culture" is defined to be, exactly the opposite. One does the latter because one likes it (now), for no other reason. It doesn't make sense to try to do acognitive culture as objectively valuable, in conformity with objective standards. If one doesn't like what one does, it can't be acognitive culture. One can't create acognitive culture as a profession. It is obvious, then, that Serious Cultural institutionalized activities, doing things in Serious Cultural institutional Forms, such as the Fugue, cannot be recreation, acognitive culture. What is not obvious, a point of this analysis, is that the whole institution of society's providing Forms (for the individual to do things in) supposedly for his recreation and self-expression, such as Science Fiction and Pole-Vaulting (or my Linact[3]), is absurd. The notion that the Forms are the real right ones, represent the real right thing to do, are objectively valuable, inevitably grows up around them. As an example, consider the Form of "Composition," as any writing of specifications of activities (supposedly) for others to do as recreation. Compositions are primarily the writings, as opposed to doing the activities specified; their existence begins when the writings are completed. They are for "others" to do (and may never be done by anyone), showing that they are thought to be objectively valuable. The tendency is to turn out and store up quantities of them no matter whether the composer or anyone else likes them. Recreation, acognitive culture, cannot include Composition. Then there is the notion that given a Form, such as I am considering, one should do things in it whether one likes to or not, until one "understands" the Form, because one will like to then; and that the Form is objectively good if this happens. This has no place in recreation, acognitive culture. People who do things in these Forms all do so largely because they have acquired the notion that the Forms are the real right ones, are objectively more valuable than just anything. A proof of this is that the Forms are so extremely "objective," common,

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impersonal. This is why one can be unable to tell anything about the people themselves from what they do in the Forms. People have no idea of the extreme extent to which they are socialized even in what they do for recreation, self-expression. Even being a writer of any kind, a maker of objects, a creator of works, in the traditional, established, and common sense, is already extremely objective, impersonal, and indicates that one is extremely socialized. (This is what was wrong with my initial notion of "acognitive culture.") The reader may ask, if these Forms are so impersonal, what a personal Form will be like, how personal one can get. The answer will be given below. Thus, an excellent determining principle is that it's pure recreation, acognitive culture only if it's what one would have done, would do, are doing, "anyway"; "prior" (to being "advanced" enough) to "know" the real, right, objective, the impersonal things to do, not from trying to contribute to an established real, right Form. Acognitive culture is not created by special exertion. One does it "anyway" "first," and "then" it turns out to be in the category of "acognitive culture." In fact, the concept of acognitive culture is only used applying retroactively. One doesn't set out to produce so many units of acognitive culture; one realizes that what one did which one would have done anyway was acognitive culture. What, then, is the reason for making the analysis, having the concept at all? Conscientious persons who have suspected the impersonality, of established Forms supposedly for their recreation and self-expression, have had great difficulty in repudiating the Forms, in not being ashamed of not contributing to them, not feeling that they have stopped doing anything. The reason for making the analysis, having the concept, is to help these persons with this difficult step, and to show those who are to give up the discredited activities what replaces them: to show that in giving them up they have not given up doing things just liked. So that they will "take seriously," pride themselves on what they do just "for fun," doing what they like, would do anyway; rather than being ashamed because they do not contribute to the discredited activities. The analysis, concept, is to make possible an attitude so one can thoroughly, consciously do things just liked. Since acognitive culture is what one would do anyway, does entirely because one likes it, is for one's liking, it excludes entertaining others, conforming to another's likes--which are an intersubjective standard, making entertaining work. Further, on analysis, being entertained by another, another's creation, becomes questionable. Can the "creation" of another be liked by oneself, be for one's liking, represent oneself, as well as the "creation" of oneself? One may admire work by another, with respect to an objective standard, as being better than one's work with respect to that standard, but all that is irrelevant to acognitive culture. If it fits oneself who's doing the liking, if one allows oneself one's likings, then oneself is the source of value and, it would seem, will as a matter of course like one's creations best. Does it make sense for me to appreciate "great" chess players, poets, pole-vaulters (if their activities are to be regarded as recreation)? My point here is quite radical, but would seem entirely plausible. To go back, analysis of the concept of entertainment shows that separation of entertainer from entertained is incompatible with a thorough-going concept of pure entertainment; entertaining as work is discredited. This does not exclude every kind of involvement of others in one's recreation. All this leads to the idea of (one's) acognitive culture as a part of oneself--as within oneself, at least so far as specifications are concerned. This would seem to be the opposite of contributions to impersonal Forms. Acognitive culture (being what one would do anyway) would not, it would seem, consist of artifacts built up outside of, separate from, oneself, to be gone back to (for ex. recordings, writings); or specifications one would have to be concerned about remembering. If one is wanting "what one likes, would do anyway," one will have it; one shouldn't have to be

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concerned about retaining it. The reader may have been asking, 'But may not merely what one would do anyway be less interesting than the pseudo-recreation which is created by special exertion, such as Flynt's "Reproduction of the Memory of an Energy Cube Organism"?' Strictly speaking, this question doesn't make sense: how could anything be more interesting to oneself, likable, than what one just likes, than what one would do anyway "prior" to "knowing" the real, right thing to to? However, I will give a heuristic answer to the question. Asking the question shows that one has as yet no idea of what specific doings would be included by the category of "acognitive culture" as I have defined it. They may well be so different from the discredited activities, the traditional, established, common real right Forms supposedly for recreation and self-expression, as to be irrelevant to them, so to speak. They are going to be indefinitely[4] more "new," "different," interesting, just as individuality is more so than anonymity. It is a matter of one's realizing that what fulfills the supposed function of the discredited activities are things one would not have thought of as replacements for them. All this will become obvious, when one considers what specific doings of oneself meet all of the specifications, are included by the category of "acognitive culture" as I have defined it. It may further be asked whether doing just what one would do anyway won't lead to a nihilism of acognitive culture's becoming indistinct, being absorbed in undistinguished personality, life, leaving only "nature"; or a nihilism that if acognitive culture needs to happen it will just happen, a nihilism of not doing anything. Well, something disappears, namely trying to do things just liked as a real right objectively valuable Form, a profession, by special exertion. However, acognitive culture doesn't disappear, because conscious organisms in any case just do anyway things just liked, which are distinguished, and which are "then" included by the category of "acognitive culture," "people have their recreation"-the category of "acognitive culture" represents a selecting out of things which presumably the life of any conscious organism will include, for which there will presumably be a place in any life. As I have mentioned the possibility that the reader may as yet have no idea of what specific doings would be included by the category of acognitive culture as I have defined it, it might seem in order for me to describe some examples of such specific doings. Actually, however, it is just not in the spirit of acognitive culture to try to describe such examples. Real acognitive culture is not likely to lend itself to reduction to words. And trying to describe examples of acognitive culture cannot but be a tendency to make them into works; actually, there is no reason why one's acognitive culture should mean anything to another, or even to oneself at another time. Thus, although I might informally describe examples in conversation, I am not going to try to write any up. The reader who does not yet understand what specific doings are included by the category will just have to study the specifications of acognitive culture some more, and then consider what specific doings meet all of them. When the reader does understand, then he can discover the parts of what he does anyway, already does, that are included by the category of acognitive culture: they are his acognitive culture. This completes the elaboration of the concept of general acognitive culture. My proposal can now be seen to be plausible, that one give up the discredited activities, all established real right activities which would otherwise be retained as quasi-recreation; and have in their place "nothing," except one's acognitive culture, or rather recognition of it. Now this chapter is relatively short, and the ideas in it are intrinsically simple. At the same time, it is of major scope; and it is socially radical, counter to major entrenched interests, institutionalized chess, institutionalized art, Olympic games, and the rest. In the past, there has been a tendency for people to read, but not "notice," such writings. I want last to say something to counter any such

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tendency with respect to this chapter. This chapter may be short and simple, but it is what I have been led to, my complete conclusions, after years of contributing to art and post-artistic activities and thinking about aesthetics and post-aesthetic fields (in an attempt not to waste time as a result of taking the wrong things for granted). Further, it will be outrageous if this chapter is ignored, just bypassed, merely because it discredits major entrenched interests while being short and simple. ESSAY: CONCEPT ART [As published in An Anthology (1963). Errors are corrected and punctuation is normalized.] "Concept art" is first of all an art of which the material is "concepts," as the material of for ex. music is sound. Since "concepts" are closely bound up with language, concept art is a kind of art of which the material is language. That is, unlike for ex. a work of music, in which the music proper (as opposed to notation, analysis, a.s.f.) is just sound, concept art proper will involve language. From the philosophy of language, we learn that a "concept" may as well be thought of as the intension of a name; this is the relation between concepts and language. The notion of a concept is a vestige of the notion of a Platonic form (the thing which for ex. all tables have in common: tableness), which notion is replaced by the notion of a name objectively, metaphysically related to its intension (so that all tables now have in common their objective relation to `table'). Now the claim that there can be an objective relation between a name and its intension is wrong, and (the word) `concept', as commonly used now, can be discredited (see my book Philosophy Proper). If, however, it is enough for one that there be a subjective relation between a name and its intension, namely the unhesitant decision as to the way one wants to use the name, the unhesitant decisions to affirm the names of some things but not others, then `concept' is valid language, and concept art has a philosophically valid basis.

Now what is artistic, aesthetic, about a work which is a body of concepts? This question can best be answered by telling where concept art came from; I developed it in an attempt to straighten out certain traditional activities generally regarded as aesthetic. The first of these is "structure art," music, visual art, a.s.f., in which the important thing is "structure." My definitive discussion of structure art can be found in "General Aesthetics"; here I will just summarize that discussion. Much structure art is a vestige of the time when for ex. music was believed to be knowledge, a science which had important things to say in astronomy a.s.f. Contemporary structure artists, on the other hand, tend to claim the kind of cognitive value for their art that conventional contemporary mathematicians claim for mathematics. Modern examples of structure art are the fugue and total serial music. These examples illustrate the important division of structure art into two kinds according to how the structure is appreciated. In the case of a fugue, one is aware of its structure in listening to it; one imposes "relationships," a categorization (hopefully that intended by the composer) on the sounds while listening to them, that is, has an "(associated) artistic structure experience." In the case of total serial music, the structure is such that this cannot be done; one just has to read an "analysis" of the music, definition of the relationships. Now there are two things wrong with structure art. First, its cognitive pretensions are utterly wrong. Secondly, by trying to be music or whatever (which has nothing to do with knowledge), and knowledge represented by structure, structure art both fails, is completely boring, as music, and doesn't begin to explore the aesthetic possibilities structure can have when freed from trying to be music or whatever. The first step in straightening out for ex. structure music is to stop calling it

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"music," and start saying that the sound is used only to carry the structure and that the real point is the structure--and then you will see how limited, impoverished, the structure is. Incidentally, anyone who says that works of structure music do occasionally have musical value just doesn't know how good real music (the Goli Dance of the Baoule; "Cans on Windows" by L. Young; the contemporary American hit song "Sweets for My Sweets," by the Drifters) can get. When you make the change, then since structures are concepts, you have concept art. Incidentally, there is another, less important kind of art which when straightened out becomes concept art: art involving play with the concepts of the art such as, in music, "the score," "performer vs. listener," "playing a work." The second criticism of structure art applies, with the necessary changes, to this art.

The second main antecedent of structure art is mathematics. This is the result of my revolution in mathematics, which is written up definitively in the Appendix; here I will only summarize. The revolution occurred first because for reasons of taste I wanted to de-emphasize discovery in mathematics, mathematics as discovering theorems and proofs. I wasn't good at such discovery, and it bored me. The first way I though of to de-emphasize discovery came not later than Summer, 1960; it was that since the value of pure mathematics is now regarded as aesthetic rather than cognitive, why not try to make up aesthetic theorems, without considering whether they are true. The second way, which came at about the same time, was to find, as a philosopher, that the conventional claim that theorems and proofs are discovered is wrong, for the same reason I have already given that `concept' can be discredited. The third way, which came in the fall-winter of 1960, was to work in unexplored regions of formalist mathematics. The resulting mathematics still had statements, theorems, proofs, but the latter weren't discovered in the way they traditionally were. Now exploration of the wider possibilities of mathematics as revolutionized by me tends to lead beyond what it makes sense to call "mathematics"; the category of "mathematics," a vestige of Platonism, is an "unnatural," bad one. My work in mathematics leads to the new category of "concept art," of which straightened out traditional mathematics (mathematics as discovery) is an untypical, small but intensively developed part.

I can now return to the question of why concept art is "art." Why isn't it an absolutely new, or at least a non-artistic, non-aesthetic activity? The answer is that the antecedents of concept art are commonly regarded as artistic, aesthetic activities; on a deeper level, interesting concepts, concepts enjoyable in themselves, especially as they occur in mathematics, are commonly said to "have beauty." By calling my activity "art," therefore, I am simply recognizing this common usage, and the origin of the activity in structure art and mathematics. However: it is confusing to call things as irrelevant as the emotional enjoyment of (real) music, and the intellectual enjoyment of concepts, the same kind of enjoyment. Since concept art includes almost everything ever said to be "music," at least, which is not music for the emotions, perhaps it would be better to restrict `art' to apply to art for the emotions, and recognize my activity as an independent, new activity, irrelevant to art (and knowledge).

Copyright by Henry A. Flynt Jr., 1961

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Editorial notes on the text a.s.f. abbreviation for and so forth The 1963 printing may have had the word intesion which was a misspelling of intension. Philosophy Proper. Published in Blueprint for a Higher Civilization (Milan, 1975). General Aesthetics A manuscript which Flynt worked on in early 1961. Flynt did not preserve the manuscript as such. Some of the material was transferred to later manuscripts in the aesthetics series, such as From Culture to Veramusement. The section which is germane here is Structure Art and Pure Mathematics. That survives and was published in Henry Flynt: Fragments and Reconstructions from a Destroyed Oeuvre (New York, backworks, 1982). Cans on Windows by La Monte Young. The embracing title is 2 Sounds (1960). my revolution in mathematics When Flynt submitted Concept Art for publication, he did not include this appendix. The argument of this revolution was transferred to Chapter 5 of the 1963-64 anti-art manuscripts (survives in holograph, was never published), and in 1966 Mathematical Studies, etc., in Blueprint for a Higher Civilization. Academic notice of these claims appears in Graham Priest, Perceiving Contradictions, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, December 1999. The Collectivity After the Abolition of the Universe and Time: Escaping from Social Science 1996 Henry A. Flynt, Jr. CONTENTS A. Principles of Natural Sociography B. Community and Social Causation in Personhood Theory C. Inevitable Stages? D. Retroactive Signification

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E. Dissolution of Natural Society F. Recapitulation

A. Principles of Natural Sociography

Let me introduce a new term for the recounting of social phenomena: sociography. Then both Herodotus and Lefebre practiced sociography; but they practiced it in very different ways. We may call sociography before the time of David Hume (or whoever you want) legendary sociography. The modern sociography which Hume and his successors fought to establish we may call natural sociography.

Here I am forced to interject a qualification which gets ahead of my exposition. Ultimately I propose to dissolve temporally rectilinear natural society. For that reason, I cannot ask for the historical references in this manuscript to be taken literally. These references should be understood as headed by the phrase: "as conventional wisdom affirms."

The aim of this reflection is to escape from social science. But many modern intellectuals would say: "We never accepted social science as a real science to begin with. We already showed that social science cannot be a science." Such remarks are massively misdirective. The positivist and literary-irrationalist critics of social science in the universities are loyal to the social fact base and that fact base is one of modernitys hardest-won achievements. Indeed, modernist relativists are more loyal to social naturalism than they are to physics, not less. As far as I know, there has never been a published challenge to natural sociography. (Aside from the implicit challenge by the rearguard, those who defend divine intervention, astrology, etc.)

Let me ask a heuristic question. What are the conceptual boundariesin discourse on social affairsbetween

the common-sense notion of the world theoretical conceptualization?

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Social existence "already" involves conceptualization, even before philosophical thinking enters the picture. If we were to invoke ancient evidence (which I am not especially interested in doing), we would find striking examples of how social discourse is conceptualized over and above common sense. Ahistorically, notions of political legitimacy and of law transcend narrowly circumscribed common sense. Kinship. Family law. Property and contract as juridical concepts. Monetary measure of the value of goods. (Whether monetary capital is productive does not have a common-sense answer, as any student of capital theory will know.) The rest of this section will heed these considerations.

Natural sociography adheres to the following principles.

a. The social collective excludes souls of deceased relatives, not to mention superhuman beings. b. The social collective excludes animals. Animals enter sociography only as prey and as chattels. c. All miracles in social records (occurrences precluded by modern scientific laws) must be repudiated. d. All apocryphal occurrences in social records must be exposed and repudiated. e. Supernatural causes of human events must be repudiated. f. Reincarnation is not permissible as an explanation of individual "personality." That means that the Tibetan explanation of the Dalai Lama must be stripped from "real" sociography. g. Careers in the afterlife (Egypt, Tibet) must be repudiated. Thus the most obvious productive activity of ancient Egypt (and China), the building of furnished tombs for royalty, must be judged a societal insanity. h. All human needs and wants are posited as mundane, and involve opulence and pleasure. (Power and glory are also conceived as needs; but it is basically taboo to theorize about them.) i. The concept of destiny, the future as cause of the present, is invoked by some authorsbut it is not proper science.

All the while, there are certain immaterial ontologies which social science must embrace. Each of the multitude of individuals has a mindnotwithstanding that your mind is unobservable by me. Each individual engages in choice-making. (Various schools of psychology reject this as superstition; but to strip the subject-matter of mentation and choice-making would be intolerably reductionist.)

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Humans exist in a culture-saturated realm; which means a realm filled with evidence which can only be appreciated via interpretation. (Inscriptions; pictures and images; etc. etc.) A key issue at every turn in social existence is legitimacy: why, after all, should one cooperate with (or submit to) governmental authority; why should one consent to offered terms of livelihood; etc. etc.? All of this utterly transcends physics and biology; the latter sciences have no basis to investigate these dimensions.

Sociology requires the crystallization and "evolution" of polities to be given a causal rationale which is not supernatural. Even though the individual is the atomic agent in societya tenet at the foundation of bourgeois economicshis or her consciousness is causally insignificant in comparison to "conditions." Sociology is a phenomenology of political life which i) treats states as units, as systems; ii) attends to law; iii) attends (to a lesser extent) to coalescing and motivating mythologies and rituals.

If sociology wanted to proceed like a natural science, it would have to abstract from concrete phenomena to obtain ideal elements which can have multiple instances. (That is what a scientific law presupposes.) However, history inherently finds its events to be individual. Abraham Lincoln was not an instance of an abstraction which can be repeated at will (as in a series of experiments). Nonactual possibility in history is extremely problematic. (Would Napoleon have commenced such-and-such a battle if he had not had a toothache?) Does sociology seek lawson a timeline of unique events? Sociologists indeed require the polity to be a natural system which obeys "socio-natural" laws. For some, the polity is referred to physics and biology as primary realities. At the same time, sociology rests on a modern common-sense notion of the human collective, consisting of an awareness of people one never meets, and some notion of ones connectedness to them. Again, such information cannot be provided by physics and biology, which do not recognize the existence of individual minds, choice-making, culture, or legitimacy.

Some philosophers of science find a way for a unique human event to express laws. The event, although unique, belongs to a species for which an idealizing, quantifying, experimental science exists. If a great king dies from a heart attack, or from being thrown from a horse, heart attacks or injuries from mechanical shock are explicable in medical biology. [But to say that that is known to be the complete explanation is highly tendentious.] If, on the other hand, one wants a law which says that "African socialism" could not possibly have workedbecause it is not possible for a polity to skip the capitalist stagethen the law would be specific to social process: and the above solution would not help.

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There is an opportunity to be far more trenchant here. Physics proposes to provide: an exhaustive account of what is not (nonactual possibility); combined with a voluntary "trifling with nature" called experiment. But concerning our lives and history, we do not want exhaustive accounts of what is not.And the purpose of our choices is not to "trifle with nature" but to become this person. Actually, why wouldnt existential self-actualization and scientific experiments have the same characteras choices? Moreover, if human affairs comprise a unique actual career, then inanimate nature should also comprise a unique actual career. How is it that modern thought conflates instrumental choice-making with The Order Of The Universeand then turns around and segregates this package from existential choice-making? When it comes to summing the universe and human lifeand to detecting nonactual possibility or not detecting itmodern thought is a shambles. The prevailing culture tells us over and over: physical science is in good order; whereas social science is suspect (or has not yet proved itself). But nothing requires us to accept this separation of a tractable problem from an intractable one. Like a mantra, they keep repeating "all of it is nature." But then "the problem of knowledge" ought to be a single topic. When, in the name of "nature," modern thought gives us realms which are incommensurate and unsummable, it totally discredits itself.

B. Community and Social Causation in Personhood Theory

Our field of inquiry is posited to be collective human phenomena. These phenomena manifest intent; and involve meanings (in such a way that to overlook those meanings is intolerably reductionist). In other words, the phenomena involve intentions and interests and ideas. They involve how we conceive or apprehend, understand or appreciate. They involve the appearance of novelties in these respects. Such (collective human) phenomena are correlative to argumentative discourse.

Let us reprise "Personhood II." In the realm of ordinary personhood, other people and culture are

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palpable to me. Other people and culture jointly constitute the interpersonal arenaor community. Society is the aggregation which is hypothesized as subtending the (palpable) community. Society is the kingdom, the race, the nation. It is an abstraction, a matter of faith, to which allegiance is demanded by palpable specific people. So society is a "grandiose Other." A grandiose Other is advanced as the ultimate source of meaning, the ultimate source of my emotional gratification and judgmental self-consciousness. At the same time, the grandiose Other is primarily speculative, and outside "my ostensible world." The universe of physics (called Nature) must be mentioned in this connection as hypothetical, inferential, derived, and grandioseas a modern god. The enshrining of Nature as a god is a precedent for the modern enshrining of society as a god. The physical universe is not claimed to be a source of meaning, however. In modern culture, the grandiose Objectivity which has priority is (to repeat) society. Society's claim on us as persons (even when we are treated as pawns) is far broader and more important than the physical universe's claim on us. Typically, the primary avowed loyalties in modern culture are to society. Extending from one's emotional involvement with other people, society becomes an object of one's passionate belief. The hypothesized abstraction seems to be a living presence: as when people march off to war for The Nationor dramatically refuse to do so. "Attachment" makes society more compelling than the physical universe. Because society is an object of passionate belief, because it becomes a hallucinatory living presence, it cannot be sharply distinguished from community (which is palpable), even though it remains impalpable (a hypothesized abstraction). So society has a close and compelling connection to the palpable phenomena of other people and culture. At certain points, personhood theory passes to a higher level of credulity and integrates its analysis with one of the preexisting hypotheses which it has discerned. This is what happens in the case of culture. Personhood theory pictures my cultural competences (e.g. English orthography) as deriving from society. Namely: culture is that palpable aspect of society which is interior to me and at the same time is an externality broader than other people as individuals. Recognizing how close society is to community in belief, I propose to be flexible with regard to whether the person is conceived in a communal or a social context. The community confronts me with symbols and offices which imply an organized collective, legitimation, manifestations of a group will, etc. One cultural phase of community life includes the community's "tradition," symbolism, ritual, etc.all of which are emotionally charged. This phase must be considered one source of my emotional sensitization or capacity. The community may force upon me a significance, and an assortment of privileges and disadvantagesso much so that I am forced to carry out this "imposed social role" or to grapple

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with it. The role may place me in competition or conflict with other people. I can also be gratified by the celebration in ritual of my imposed status (although I do not earn this gratification). I have a greater or lesser degree of autonomy, relative to the community, in respect to being supplied with pursuits and goals, and in respect to making judgments of every sort. I can obscure my choice-making by becoming a vassal of "society"of a legitimated organization or institution. I may engage in a pursuit which I suspect to be dishonest or otherwise contemptible because the community approves of it. Of course I do so to gain tangible rewards, in analogy with knowingly deceiving another person to benefit myself. But something beyond my craftiness is involved here. I maintain a knowing self-deception and vassalage in which legitimacy means more to me than sincerity.

The interpersonal arena is a source of meanings to me. My connections to the interpersonal arena in regard to praxis, emotional sensitization, indoctrination, etc. have an effect on my sense of sanity, my personal identity, my level of fulfillment, etc. Thus, the interpersonal arena can be a source of skills worthy to be sustained and regenerated. It can also be a source of acute dilemmas and destructiveness impinging upon me. In either case, the interpersonal arena is a source of problems and missions. Moreover, the problems and missions can appear in my consciousness as consequences of my skills. Having been indoctrinated with little choice in the matter, that indoctrination now surfaces in the guise of my skills, for one thing. (Examples at the level of the present discussion are language use, mathematics, music, profit-maximization.) If I do not consciously review my indoctrination, then I will carry it with me by default. Moreover, my private and idiosyncratic dilemmas with natural language, with mathematics, with art, with profit maximization, etc.and my private and idiosyncratic ventures in these fieldscan represent vital dilemmas and ventures for the interpersonal arena. But the community's destructiveness or bankruptcy may consist precisely in its inability to embark upon vital venturesand in its fostering of individual pursuits which disregard and exacerbate its dilemmas. I can undertake a vital venture or address a vital problem; or I can avoid doing so. And I can belong to a community which wants such a task addressed; or to a community which discourages attention to such a task. The possible ramifications of the community attitude, for my judgment of myself, are complicated. Inner pride or lack of it can run counter to express community approval or contempt.

Social role can submerge a person. More accurately, the social role can be said to fixate the

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individual to mutilated perception. But I then say that the social role is a sort of ideology and skill which the individual is fixated to. The submergence of the person by a cumulating social role is an outcome in which the person is guaranteed to be traumatized, stigmatized, impaired, truncated.

Certainly, in some cultures or communities, socially acclaimed and validated roles can also allow intrinsic splendor. Even so, we must not allow the doctoring of sociography (at the level of renowned individuals in history, for example) to obscure the fact that these socially approved achievements had great difficulty coming to the surface in the first placeand that they were subsequently dishonored by deteriorating communities. But to exist in fixation to a cumulating social role is always a depersonalized, mythified existenceeven when it is producing useful output. Of course, being submerged in a social role is only one of a number of ways in which existence can be depersonalized and mythified. My formulations give social roleor thematic identityor imminent characterthe guise of a selfcaused cause or looped cause. The circuit of attachment through the person-world is not a linear causal phenomenon; it is a phenomenon of scrambled or turbulent causation. It is a dynamically balanced confined turbulence. What is awful about being submerged by a social role, in the cases known to me, is precisely that such submergence is self-reinforcing. In "Personhood II," I had a reason for focusing on certain "ruinations" which individuals underwent. First, an ahistorical illustration. The culture may mutilate a child's faculties and inculcate him or her with debasementwithout pushing the child to the point where he or she demands escape as a right or becomes a precocious social critic. We again encounter the social doctoring of sociographythis time at the level of individual longitudinal records. Children do express distress, they do demand escape as a right, they are precocious social critics until they are subjugated. Higher and higher tolerances for anguish, or compensating rewards, have to be developed. In due course, the child begins to perpetuate the stigmas in him or herself. At the least, he or she acquiesces; at the most, he or she may become a well-rewarded advocate of the community. A case at a different level is specific to America and the U.K. in the second half of the twentieth century. The Seventies saw the explosion of cults and ritualized degradation in America and the U.K. Then, in the Eighties, the American Establishment launched a campaign to win back the middle class; and it became fashionable to be a Yuppie. When the recession occurred at the end of the Eighties, the Yuppie role became tarnished. So social history is superficially changeable. These ebbs and flows are not the level I should address. What we should glean in this connection is that the cults and the ritualized degradation signal the long-term trend of techno-capitalist civilization.

I include these remarks on the doctoring of sociography, and on the civilizations trend, to illustrate how early personhood theory arrived at hypothecations about society.

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The person submerged by a social role emerges as a person who is "done to." On the other hand, in a tiny minority of cases, we have the emergence of person who "does" or "does to." Why, then, is a given person one way or the other?and can he or she be switched from one type to the other?and does a person who is always one type nevertheless have a potential for the other type?

Let us work through the notion of societys imposition of the individuals identity. Medieval serfs were illiterate and never saw money in their entire lives. Today their descendents in Western Europe all read, possess money, and spend money every day. The reason why serfs did not learn to read or to allocate money was that (in effect) they were not recruited and given cultivation to these ends. There is a view which would say that the serfs, as a multitude which had been assigned the same fate, became aware that they were being taken advantage of in a common way, and fought for the cultivation (schools, etc.) which they subsequently received. This is not false (the French Revolution); but it is misleading in the extent to which it makes the serfs into autonomously rational protagonists. It does not take into account that the descendents of the serfs remained outside the controlling classthat the "toilers" have never commanded the system. The collapse of the workers' paradises makes this observation all the more decisive. It is more realistic to say that advanced capitalism continually revolutionizes technology and continually erases and replaces social relationships. (Capitalism also spurs developments such as the dissolution of the nuclear family, and feminism, which the Establishment did not calculate.) So the aggregate displays a rationale which overrides the individual. That is why the achievements and satisfactions which are possible to people are seen as results of how much cultivation the Establishment gives them. But in personhood theory, the question of why people are what they are focuses in a different way. The topic was anticipated in sections of "Personhood II." The sociological perspective is tacitly dedicated to a doctrine of underprivilege and socially engineered redemption. Somehow that mind-set fails to engage our announced problem. Let me present a shock-question to clarify the issue.

Would a Nobel-prizewinning physicist agree that he believes physics because his naivt was exploited by malicious elders, because he

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was crushed by his elders, because his elders did not give him enough cultivation? The sociological perspectivein the name of recognizing that the serf's backwardness was imposed from withouttreats the serf's effects on other people as if they were imaginary or didn't matter. It treats the serf's choices and life as if they were tuberculosisa fatal disease which a few pennies' worth of medication could have cured. Capitalist technology and centralization have created the possibility of imposing changed fates on entire populations. A member of the administrative class can regard all the choices and lives of a population as a reversible condition. Then people really are what the administrator chooses to make them by pushing this or that button. People are so thrilled by the prospect of human manipulation on this levelor by the prospect that the Establishment is due to give them cultivationthat they overlook that the sociological perspective makes all their choices and their lives chimerical (or revocable). "You did it because you were programmed improperly." How do you choose and act if you believe that your choices and actions have the ontological type of a disease, an error in past programming? And who says that the serf's life was "bad" or unnecessary? And yet people have learned to think in these termsto want to be told that what their betters permit them is what they are.

A novelty may arise in how we conceive or apprehend, understand or appreciate. That led me to the notion of an unprecedented fateof a person upholding an authentic identity-theme coming from the future. Such a person emerges as a person who "does" or "does to." Section D is devoted to this topic. The ambition to transfer social engineering to seriousness and originality, by vaccinating people with seriousness and originality, is an ill-conceived ambition. Seriousness and originality are not "done to"; they "do (to)." They are not implanted. They appear unpredictably. (Of course, my attempt to assert my sincerity and to make the interpersonal arena conducive to it may reawaken seriousness and originality in another person.) I speculate about the authentic identity-theme which comes from the future: to show that one need not assume the social engineers' cause-andeffect. One does not even have to believe that "solutions" are fabricated from past to present. Given my speculation about unprecedented fates, can average people be said to have routine fates? My considered answer is no. That is because to say that a person fulfills a routine fate cannot be distinguished from saying that that person is determined by the past, by circumstances.

Personhood theory refuses to acknowledge people as objectivities in a deterministic process. (Except to acknowledge that this conception itself is one of the characteristic nonsensical fantasies.) One who adopts the person-world outlook cannot consider his or her choices and life as a reversible mishap. Personhood theory cannot consider palpable choices and lives as chimeras or as revocable.

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The demand for a calculus of society is, in the light of personhood theory, an ill-conceived demand. The notion of the authentic identity-theme coming from the future is introduced to show that one need not assume the social engineers' cause-and-effect. We do not even have to believe that "solutions" are fabricated from past to present.

Seriousness and originality cannot be thrust upon any given person by outside manipulation. Metaphorically, escape hatches are opened by the future, as coherent novelty, in conjunction with moments in which choice is forcedmoments in which the arena of action might be reconceived, loyalty might be shifted, effectiveness and gratification might be reconceived, etc.

C. Inevitable Stages?

Marxism proves more decisively and relentlessly than any other ideology that we are robots. It then goes on to say that those of us who are in bondage should be freed. But at the level of the cogency of the ideology, if the slaves are robots, then why must they be freed? (So that there can be an exponential expansion of production? But to what end?) What difference does it make to a robot? Before my turn to personhood theory, I indulged Marxs historical materialism as a plausible explanation of the moral codes of past epoches. But this plausible contribution of Marxism has to be reconsidered. Perhaps the succession of stages in history (slavery, feudalism, capitalism) was necessary. But the person-world premise reconstitutes our understanding of what the stages comprised:

realized choice alongside external conditions of the moment; realized choice and external conditions as equal constituents of a single "world."

It should also reconstitute our understanding of their necessity. The pivotal ingredient in the transition from one stage to another is an imagination and its embrace which have no sociological explanation. The Marxist-Leftist tradition shares presuppositions of the modern Western culture of which it is

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a variant: blind faith in natural science; dogmatic materialism; the assumption that natural science and dogmatic materialism are allies of revolution; socio-idolatry. Marx wanted "revolution" to transform the economic class structure while remaining relentlessly loyal to the scientific world-view. Ironically, this program may be self-frustrating. It may not be possible for a movement which preaches loyalty to the scientific world-view to gain support in late capitalist society for an insulated overturn of the economic class structure. (As I often mention, bourgeois economics has long since rooted itself in physical science.) Capitalism may be able to assimilate to its own fabric any scheme of economic liberation which proclaims the equality of people as robots and commodities.

D. Retroactive Signification

In rare cases, the individual may "steer" toward an identity which embodies coherent noveltyin that sense steering toward an authentic identity coming from the future. This depends on the earlier principle that the phenomena involve novelties in how we conceive or apprehend, understand or appreciate. (In the present discussion, I am omitting the analysis which differentiates coherent novelty from the successful individualfrom the rewarded celebrity. Today, the case has come to the foreground of a "creative submission" which is a compensatory experience of license, irresponsibility, puerile or malign misbehavior, etc. After all, criminals such as Manson become heroes; people live vicariously through them. These episodes are not what I mean by coherent novelty. My psychology is inherently an introspective inquiry. Another principle is required which I do not expound here. The reader has to classify him or herself. The dishonest reader cheats him or herself, no more and no less. All these supporting principles are discussed in my depth psychology or in person-world analysis.) The notion of steering toward an identity coming from the future belongs in a reconstituted discipline of psychology. All the more so because the problem of predicting individual outcomes has received so much attention in psychologynot only in the highly professionalized field of psychological testing, but in impromptu and unwritten appraisals made by psychoanalysts, etc. In turn, there are repercussions for the notionso characteristic of sociologythat the individuals identity is an imposition by society. There are repercussions for the notion that greatness is a gift which society gives to the individual; and there are repercussions for the interpretation of the metamorphosis of societies.

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Retroactive signification means that a notion of deterministic evolution fails because of the emergence of coherent novelty. Even a liberal version of the scientific method, extrapolated to socio-psychology, would not be able to predict what certain people would become: because what they would become would in fact displace the reigning hermeneutic with an unprecedented hermeneutic. In other words, science would have to applaud its own death in order to predict the outcome. To use the surprising outcome to upgrade the "laws" by which you analyze the "initial data" would deprive us of the lesson which the phenomenon affords. The earlier periods "ignorance" is an essential feature of the realm being studied. Its not scientific ignorance in the sense of lack of enough data-points to fit the curve. What the future brings are knowledges which blow up the scientists entire "personality." Faculties that the earlier scientist doesnt have; successes that crush him as a person. The outcome exposes his life as a lie or sham. He is caught worshipping the wrong god. This means that the locus of retroactive signification in the first instance is one persons life: a course which is inherently individual, and which involves interests and ideas which fragment, conflict, and unite. The subject-matter is inherently about the antagonism of ideas and interests, about antagonisms in what anthropologists call culture. Retroactive signification is "psychological" and interpretative. In the perspective of retroactive signification, only the future can teach the scientific observer what the past meant. He or she couldnt have made an analysis of the past on past evidence which would have divined where it was going. It is impossible to know what the initial data mean when they appear. They are the germ of something incommensurate with his or her framework for appraisal. The scientist of the later generation responds to coherent novelty by "growing" a new sort of "personality." He sees, in the past, what a past scientist could not have seen even if more "facts" had been provided. That is not to say that the notion of the window to the future does not have riskswhich I will note as I proceed. Why wouldnt we blame Marx for Stalin, or Jesus for the Crusades? Here there is an answer: our interest is in the genuinely novel idea which arises. That this idea is put to use by selfish or psychopathic interests is important to the casualtiesand to the historianbut does not prove that selfish or psychopathic aggression stems uniquely from the idea in question.

Can the notion of destiny, here called retroactive signification, be aggregatedapplied to social totalities? I found retroactive signification to be almost vanishingly rare. It played the role of an exception to our much more usual apprehension that society shapes the individual. I asked, earlier in this manuscript, whether average people could be said to have destinies which, since they are not awesomely surprising, should be called routine. My considered answer was no. To say that a person consummates a routine destiny cannot be distinguished from saying that the

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person is determined by the past, by circumstances. History does not give us the same opportunity to contrast the rare outcome with the commonplace outcome that a consideration of individuals does. If one imagines that the rise of modernity in Europe was a rare outcome relative to societies which could be considered static or essentially repetitive, nevertheless modernity became prevalent and did not remain an individual possession. If modernity spreads and affects everybody, then it is indistinguishable from a Marxist "stage," or from a stage of civilization.

The rare individuals "career" brings forth a coherent novelty which changes the basis of "knowing." Let me first clarify the connection I make between crystallization and "the future." The novel identity progressively focusesin an individual life. That led me to say that it comes from "the future." Actually, there are cases in which the person focuses, but the public does not respond. John Philoponus. It took one thousand years for his work to be redone by successful men, and 1500 years for him to become famous. I am suspicious of transferring the notion of an individual life-course to society so that we have the notion of a societys career. Nations do not have selves; they are already chimeras. The difficulty is not that there are not candidates for coherent novelty at the level of societies. [National cultures are such candidates.] Rather, a new liability appears. I was willing to recognize contributions from individuals which were diverse and relative. If we do that at the level of nations, we end up lionizing those myths which became successful. The subjective moment is lost, and all we are left with is a dominating myth. There is nothing wrong with it, except that it has lowered the discussion to the level of social history or history-of-ideas. Then we get involved with chauvinistic triumphalism. Again: there have been many novelties at the level of national cultures which were underestimated by Establishments. But there are arguments against assigning destinies to national cultures: 1) Societies dont have selves. 2) To recognize diverse and relative contributions at the level of societies can only mean taking successful myths as the topic.

Suppose we assume that European modernity is the fruition of humanitys existence. To surround modernity with congratulation is dubious, since modernity brings terrible penalties from which we need to be rescued. Another profound difficulty: modernitys judgment of the meaning of an earlier age is not necessarily worth more than that ages own judgment of its meaning. A major lesson emerges here. The perspective of retroactive signification is always discarding the past as merely anticipatory. But isnt that too triumphalist? Past eras had their own valueswhich the future may not improve on.

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When the future has the character of a regression to the status quo ante (as it often does)possibly combined with a displacement of societys preoccupations to other axes of antagonismthen the notion that this outcome consummates a destiny is disappointing. When the future can be conceived as a regression or mere displacement, then the futures judgment of the pasts meaning can be a retreat into retardation. (Philosophys judgment of Hume, which regressed from his achievement.) Is modern natural science the fruition of Greek natural philosophy? The trouble is that we may learn far more from Aristotle if we do not simply read him to see where he agreed with "us." Ancient Judaism was underestimated by pagan lites, and so presaged coherent novelty. But what was its fruition? There is not a unique answer. To give an answer will almost automatically be invidious; unless we confine ourselves to commonplaces about the generic influence of Biblical religion. Again, that is a theme for history-of-ideas or social history. Again, to apply the notion of destiny to society would only converge with Marxs stages of history or with history-of-ideas. Surely retroactive significations liberating implications lie in a different direction.

Sociology has promulgated the cliche that society shapes the individualor even that the individuals identity is an imposition by society. Retroactive signification is credible in the individual life: that militates against sociological causation of the individual. A reconception of the way the individual is "inlaid" in society is demanded. Recall that ones private conflicts over the skills with which one has been indoctrinated can evince vital dilemmas and vital ventures for the interpersonal arena. Sociological causation of the individual is impressive only to the cynic. Personhood theory refuses to acknowledge people as objectivities in a deterministic process. One who adopts the person-world standpoint cannot consider his or her choices and life as a revocable mishap. Personhood theory cannot consider palpable choices and lives as chimerasor as revocable. In the rare case that one's authentic identity-theme comes from the future, guiding oneself toward it remains a matter of pronounced willfulness in a context of uncertainties. It is possible to drift rather than to push toward the distant identity-theme. And subjectively I often have to gamble even if my purpose remains fixed. (By upholding or relinquishing the identity-theme from the future, one guarantees or nullifies it as a future?)

The scope of "choice" includes the possibility of shaping your loyalties. Such shaping of loyalties covers

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reconceiving effectiveness and gratification; reconceiving the purpose of life; reconceiving the arena of action.

In speaking of altering your loyalties, everything up to and including the determination of reality is open. When the individual is being "attracted by" an unprecedented fate, choice in a moment of crisis can be seen as a phenomenon in which the remote future contacts the present. The crisis gives one some choice over the way one's distant future shapes one's present. The "career" which is interpreted as retroactive signification is correlative to seriousness and originalityand seriousness and originality cannot be instilled by outside manipulation. In turn, whether the individual will be cognitively protean, which is what I wanted to know, presumably depends on seriousness and originality. Because we are talking about a novelty which depends on vital dilemmas for the collectivity which the collectivity doesn't acknowledge, the person who expresses the novelty refuses the depersonalization of social role.

E. Dissolution of Natural Society

Let me now consummate the dissolution of natural society and its rectilinear career as an ontological category. Drawing on previous writings, I sketch a hypothetical civilization outside the plane of natural society. [That means appealing even more urgently to personhood theory.]

In this hypothetical civilization, the collective can freely change the laws of nature. That presupposes claims, made previously and elsewhere, that scientific reality can be superseded. There is a dispelling of deceit and gullibility, concomitantly with the awakening of faculties, and with emotional sensitization: yielding intellectual techniques which supersede the compartmentation of faculties characterizing the present culture. Thereby, new mental abilities are invented. The community is open to avenues of metamorphosis of the life-world. The comprehensively assembled "meta-technology" would be self-conscious about the inherited view of factual reality, going beyond it in an operative way. Again, my perspective is that of a novel arena which outruns what was formerly considered factual reality. (My meta-technological

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writings, etc., are a prerequisite for understanding the terminology of the requirements to follow.) The envisioned mode of life invokes dimensions of human potentiality which hitherto were supported only by different cultures. I'm seeking a unitary experience which transmits many dimensions of potentiality. My interest here is with the ramifications of these claims for interpersonal life. If metatechnology could be implemented collectively, we would accede to an uncanny life-world. To express the matter from a present-day standpoint, the new mode of life would be a waking-dream reality or enchanted reality. In order for a collective to be able freely to change the laws of nature, all persons would have to have parity of "station in life" and parity of authority in the culture. Moreover, the total of menial and routine labor would have to decrease to the vanishing point. Let me consolidate here all the consequences of direct import for the present discussion. ! One intellectual consequence is that the realism of history would be placed in suspension. The higher civilization would consign history to a lesser grade of realism. The supposed edifying effect of history is dispensable. Whereas today, we need to preserve traditional culture as a bulwark against dehumanization by the current culture, the higher civilization would mean a revival of personalistic and hallowed expression, on a new level: "soul" would not longer reside only in old languages, old buildings, old statues, old texts. From another angle, the motive for people to keep score as to their ancestral status (or lack of it) would disappear. "Consciousness" could break free of its material antecedents (circumstances). ! The higher civilization presupposes an intellectual defeat for physics; for Marxs materialism; and for all the doctrines which hold that capitalism is necessitated by physico-biological nature itself. See (A) and (1) below. ! The new mode of life is not compatible with a social order in which most people are consigned to material servitude. Not only would the sought-for inspiration not appear; the uncanny instrumental activity or meta-technology would not appear. So it's not like Pakistan and the atomic bomb (or the priesthood in ancient Egypt)advanced technology coexisting with a population of paupers or slaves. See (E) below.

The following principles are requirementsexpressed as if from within the new mode of life, in the new terminology. Parenthesized numbers refer to comments on each statement, collected in the following section.

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A. The life-world (lived experience) is understood as an integration of: substantial, operative interdependencies of awareness and objectivity; the conventionalistic grading of experiences (as to "realism"); logically impossible situations (states of the world)i.e. situations requiring simultaneous mutually exclusive descriptions in the medium of thought inherited from scientific civilization.

The principle of the personality's orientation in "reality" is: consciously to maneuver through the logically impossible world-states, manifesting instrumental mastery over objectivities inherited from the previous civilization. (I.e. scientific objectivities). (1)

B. The foregoing cannot be achieved merely by adopting a neutral, inert mental state, by positioning oneself mentally relative to propositions.* Sustainable inspiration (exalted centered activation and presence) and uncanny states of consciousness are required.

C. The principles of evaluational processing of experience (or grading of experience) which underlie a novel determination of reality are shared or collective. Only thus can novel determinations of reality be promulgated in the life-world.

D. The novel determinations of reality are linked to emotionally supportive intersubjectivity. Only thus can the novel determinations of reality appeal to a community.

E. The other persons have parity of "station in life" and parity of authority in the culture with "the self" ("this individual," myself). Only thus can they stimulate inspiration and uncanny states in "this individual."

F. The community from which people concretely originate and "learn to feel" becomes the same community that pursues mastery over scientific objectivities and gains an uncanny or ecstatic sense of the world. Inasmuch as the required shared principles of grading experience, and the required intersubjective emotional gratification, connect, a person-configuration freed from demeaned pragmatism is evinced. (2)

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G. The individual experiences "desirables" as qualitatively specific. H. The individual insists on the satisfaction of the qualitatively specific and unequal needs of self and peers for the material requisites of life. (To recognize inequality of individual needs does not mean endorsing different grades of reward. To resolve competing claims, a representative body is needed.) (3)

I. Production of the material requisites of life is planned by a representative body to shrink necessary labor time. (Automated collectivism.)

J. Individual and the collective entertain spontaneous "amusement" or "play" ("brend"), without seeking to displace or objectify it.

K. Sensuous-concrete vehicles for the collective expression of exalting values are encouraged.

L. Individual and collective are receptive to future novelty which is unpredictable and incomparable and yet is coherent or thematic. (4)

Next, the commentary, which is expressed in the old terminology.

(1) Self-subsistent objectivities, and affirmative consistent theories, would no longer be sought as foundations of reality. As far as the physical world is concerned, a fragment of what I envision is provided by my "Superseding Scientific Apprehension of the Inanimate World: The Phenomenological Basis of Physics" (1990).

(2) Here uncanniness and ecstasis are positioned as notions reactive to everyday banality. In the new mode of life such counterposition would no longer be necessary.

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(3) This statement on satisfaction of needs is pertinent so long as a separate sphere of material requisites of life can be distinguished.

(4) To the present civilization, the new mode of life would seem a waking-dream-reality or enchanted reality.

F. Recapitulation

Let me try again to specify the object of social science. A world-wide aggregate of humans on a geological or biological time-line whose future is determined by efficient causation. No author but me would remark that this object is a phantom. Nonetheless, the urgency of rotating out of social science stems from considerations in lived experience; considerations which envision a novel existence whose preconditions have begun to be worked out in theory. These are concerns unique to me which have occupied me for many years. The exposition is rambling and not yet sorted out. (That applies especially to the overhanging progressivist identitifcation of futural with superior.) But never mind that. The "society" discerned by social science is a hypnotically instilled hallucination. The notion of causation which subtends it is humiliating and enslaving. I have exposed crucial junctures at which sociological causationdeeply plausible though it may beis annulled. Beyond that, there comes a point in historical time at which the historical time-axis evaporates. The collectivity awakens from, outgrows, the imaginary order with which it had surrounded itself. Escaping "Social" Reality: Principles of a Higher Civilization Henry Flynt

(c) 1996 Henry A. Flynt, Jr. An explanation expressed in the old terminology

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Until now, modes of life have been based on the material servitude of the mass of people. Intellectual exploration, intellectual creativity, and the substance of personal freedom have been limited to minorities of the population. Intellectual exploration as a paid job has been limited to accredited social lites. The priesthood of ancient Egypt already anticipated the role of lites in subsequent civilizations. In consigning the mass of the population to material servitude, advanced capitalism shows no essential difference from ancient Egypt.[1] Intellectual creativity is pursued in a minority of the population (ranging from bohemia to academia, with the latter as the accredited lite). One might understandably predict that no matter how much "social change" occurs in the future, the pattern--in which the mass of people are occupied in material servitude, and substantive freedom and creativity are limited to minorities--will continue indefinitely.[2] What I offer here amounts to a science-fiction speculation about a civilization "far beyond Communism." In this civilization, the collective could freely change the laws of nature. That depends on my claims, made previously and elsewhere, that scientific reality can be superseded.[3] Let me provide a glimpse of what I mean. There is a dispelling of deceit and gullibility, concomitantly with the awakening of faculties, and with emotional sensitization: yielding intellectual techniques which supersede the compartmentation of faculties characterizing the present culture. Thereby, new mental abilities are invented. The community is open to avenues of metamorphosis of the life-world.[4] The comprehensively assembled "metatechnology" would be self-conscious about the inherited view of factual reality, going beyond it in an operative way. Again, my perspective is that of a novel arena which outruns what was formerly considered factual reality. (My meta-technological writings, etc., are a prerequisite for understanding the terminology of the requirements to follow.[5] See the Appendix for a bibliography.) Emotional sensitization and personal faculties are culturally correlated. Referring to past, achieved cultures, we find that the dispelling of gullibility, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the awakening of faculties, or emotional sensitivity, may not correspond. The historical record suggests that democracy and rationalism may be accompanied by all-pervading commercialism, and thus by crassness and banality; and that nobility may accompany despotism, superstition, and squalor. The envisioned mode of life invokes dimensions of human potentiality which hitherto were supported only by different cultures. I'm seeking a unitary experience which transmits many dimensions of potentiality.

My interest here is with the [implications] of these claims for interpersonal life. If metatechnology could be implemented collectively, we would accede to an uncanny life-world. To express the matter from a present-day standpoint, the new mode of life would be a waking-dream reality or enchanted reality. What is most original here is the argument that: in order for a collective to be able freely to change the laws of nature, all persons would have to have parity of "station in life" and parity of authority in the culture. Moreover, the total of menial and routine labor would have to decrease to the vanishing point.

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That, in fact, is why I insist on speculating about a mode of life which does not consign the mass of people to material servitude. And this premise cuts the other way also. It means that I cannot admire modes of life based on the material servitude of the masses: no matter whether they achieve the "spiritual wealth" of Egypt, India, or Islam--or the consumer abundance of advanced capitalism. (This is why I refuse to admire the traditional societies in which the good serfs know their place and toil away, etc. etc.) One intellectually unavoidable outcome would be that the realism of history would be placed in suspension. The higher civilization would consign history to a lesser grade of realism. There would be reasons why the supposed edifying effect of history could be foregone.[6] ***

The following principles are not claimed to be self-explanatory. Again, the rest of my work is necessary for full explanations (cf. the Appendix). The statements are requirements--expressed as if from within the new mode of life, in the new terminology. Parenthesized numbers refer to comments on each statement, collected in the following section. The life-world (lived experience) is understood as an integration of:

-- substantial, operative interdependencies of awareness and objectivity; -- the conventionalistic grading of experiences (as to "realism");!-- logically impossible situations (states of the world)--i.e. situations requiring simultaneous mutually exclusive descriptions in the medium of thought inherited from scientific civilization. !The principle of the personality's orientation in "reality" is: consciously to maneuver through the logically impossible world-states, manifesting instrumental mastery over objectivities inherited from the previous civilization. (I.e. scientific objectivities). (1) ! The foregoing cannot be achieved merely by adopting a neutral, inert mental state, by positioning oneself mentally relative to propositions.[*] ! Sustainable inspiration (exalted centered activation and presence) and uncanny states of consciousness are required. ! The principles of evaluational processing of experience (or grading of experience) which underlie a novel determination of reality are shared or collective. Only thus can novel determinations of reality be promulgated in the life-world. ! The novel determinations of reality are linked to emotionally supportive intersubjectivity. Only thus can the novel determinations of reality appeal to a community. ! The other persons have parity of "station in life" and parity of authority in the culture with "the self" ("this individual," myself). Only thus can they stimulate inspiration and uncanny states in "this individual." (2) ! The community from which people concretely originate and "learn to feel" becomes the same community that pursues mastery over scientific objectivities and gains an uncanny or ecstatic sense of the world. Inasmuch as the required shared principles

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of grading experience, and the required intersubjective emotional gratification, connect, a person-configuration freed from demeaned pragmatism is evinced. (3) ! The individual experiences "desirables" as qualitatively specific. (4) ! The individual insists on the satisfaction of the qualitatively specific and unequal needs of self and peers for the material requisites of life. (To recognize inequality of individual needs does not mean endorsing different grades of reward. To resolve competing claims, a representative body is needed.) (5) ! Production of the material requisites of life is planned by a representative body to shrink necessary labor time. (Automated collectivism.) (6) ! Individual and the collective entertain spontaneous "amusement" or "play" ("brend"), without seeking to displace or objectify it. ! Sensuous-concrete vehicles for the collective expression of exalting values are encouraged. ! Individual and collective are receptive to future novelty which is unpredictable and incomparable and yet is coherent or thematic. (7) The commentary is expressed in the old terminology. 1. Self-subsistent objectivities, and affirmative consistent theories, would no longer be sought as foundations of reality. As far as the physical world is concerned, a fragment of what I envision is provided by my "Superseding Scientific Apprehension of the Inanimate World: The Phenomenological Basis of Physics" (1990). The higher civilization presupposes an intellectual defeat for physics; for Marx's materialism; and for all the doctrines which hold that capitalism is necessitated by physico-biological nature itself. For the latter, see the Afterward.! 2. The new mode of life is not compatible with a social order in which most people are consigned to material servitude. Not only would the sought-for inspiration not appear; the uncanny instrumental activity or meta-technology would not appear. So it's not like Pakistan and the atomic bomb (or the priesthood in ancient Egypt)--advanced technology coexisting with a population of paupers or slaves. ! 3. Here uncanniness and ecstasis are positioned as notions reactive to everyday banality. In the new mode of life such counterposition would no longer be necessary. ! 4. This is much stranger than those uninitiated in economics may realize. It requires a complete rewriting of the economics of preference. Rejection of the Axiom of Pure Greed and the Axiom of Nonsatiation. Sharp distinctions between consuming and hoarding, between substitution and compensation. ! 5. This statement on satisfaction of needs is pertinent so long as a separate sphere of material requisites of life can be distinguished. ! 6. This implies an intellectual defeat, again, for doctrines which hold that capitalism is dictated by physico-biological nature. It requires an intellectual defeat for the Austrian school's "inarticulate knowledge" argument against central planning. It requires a defeat for Milton Friedman's argument that totalitarianism is inevitable in a planned economy. ! 7. To the present civilization, the new mode of life would seem a waking-dream-reality or enchanted reality.

*** Appendix. Henry Flynt, selected publications

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Blueprint for a Higher Civilization (Milan, 1975) "Vorschlag fr ein Geniebefreiungs-Projekt," in Ausgabe Nr. 1 (Berlin, May 1976) Voorstel voor een Genien-Bevrijdings-Project, pamphlet (Amsterdam, `A' Publicatie, 1977) "Extracts from Personhood's Self-Cancellation," in Art Journal, Summer 1982, pp. 119-121 "The Radicalism of Unbelief," in Ikon, Second Series, #1, New York, Fall-Winter 1982-3, pp. 112-118 "Gesprch ber 'Modalities and Languages for Algorithms' von Christer Hennix," in Ausgabe Nr. 7 (periodical), Kln, October 1983, pp. 116-123 "The Apprehension of Plurality: An instruction manual for 1987 concept art," in Io #41: Being = Space X Action (Berkeley, North Atlantic Books, 1989) "Challenge to Conceptual Artists: Early Returns," in Lightworks magazine, No. 20/21 (Detroit, 1990), pp. 11-14 "Exercise Awareness-States," in Ikon #11: The Sixties (New York, 1990) "Meta-Technology: An Analytical Sketch," in Perforations 5, Spring 1994 (Public Domain, Atlanta) online http://noel.pd.org/Public_Domain.html * statement on revolution drafted September 1981; retypeset 1996

Marxism proves more decisively and relentlessly than any other ideology that we are robots. It then goes on to say that those of us who are in bondage should be freed. But at the level of the cogency of the ideology, if the slaves are robots, then why in the world must they be freed? (So that there can be an exponential expansion of production? But to what end?) What difference does it make to a robot? (Let me hasten to reassure the reader that I am not really shocked that Marxism is incoherent as an idea.) Marx wanted "revolution" to transform the economic class structure while remaining relentlessly loyal to the scientific world-view. Ironically, this program may be self-frustrating. It may not be possible for a movement which preaches loyalty to the scientific world-view to gain support in

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late capitalist society for an insulated overturn of the economic class structure. Capitalism may be able to assimilate to its own fabric any scheme of economic liberation which proclaims the equality of people as robots and commodities. My investigations have led me to conclude that what is at stake is not an isolable pathology in economic class structure, but an entire civilization and what it knows as "reality." My investigations lead me to treat the question of (the determination of) reality and the question of social reorganization not as independent questions but as the same question. The whole Marxist-Leftist tradition is too crippled by the presuppositions of the modern Western culture of which it is a late variant: blind faith in natural science, dogmatic materialism, the assumption that natural science and dogmatic materialism are allies of revolution, socio-idolatry. It is my forecast that no tendency or movement which takes "proletarian revolution" as its program or slogan will be able to make a proletarian revolution -- so that the Marxist conception of the revolutionary project gives a direction to consciousness and action which defeats the pretended revolutionary purpose. What is paramount is the struggle for a post-Western culture (civilization), characterized by 1) a technology-beyond-technology which can overwhelm scientific technology, and 2) a way of coping with "the world" which devolves entirely from [the person-world premise].[7] Communism can only be a byproduct, almost an afterthought. I indulged Marx's historical materialism as a plausible explanation of the moral codes of past epoches. But even this plausible contribution of Marxism may have to be extensively reinterpreted. Perhaps the succession of stages in history was necessary. But our understanding of what those stages embraced [realized choice alongside external conditions of the moment, realized choice and external conditions as equal constituents of a single "world"], and of what constituted their necessity, may have to alter if it is not to be belied by the person-world premise.

* Afterward. Economics and natural science omitted Footnotes: [1] Although the worker, unlike the Egyptian slave, is a free agent juridically. [2] It could not be otherwise as long as capitalism lasts; and academic economics holds that capitalism is dictated by physico-biological nature itself. See the Afterward. [3] Apart from myself, the only person I can cite in support of this position is C.C. Hennix. [4] The psychedelic experience is a specific avenue which will be known to the reader. I deplore the way psychedelic experimentation was overwhelmed by degraded public life in the West in the Sixties.

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[5] E.g., without having my "Introduction to the Logic of Contradictions," one might imagine that the "logically impossible states of the world" I speak about could be quantum complementarity and indeterminacy. [6] Whereas today we need to preserve traditional culture as a bulwark against dehumanization by the current culture, the higher civilization would mean a revival of personalistic and hallowed expression, on a new level: "soul" would not longer reside only in old languages, old buildings, old statues, old texts. From another angle, the motive for people to keep score as to their ancestral status (or lack of it) would disappear. "Consciousness" could break free of its material antecedents/circumstances. [*] This is a departure from Blueprint for a Higher Civilization, especially "Instructions for the Flyntian Modality," p. 25, which I am still pondering. [7] Note my phrase "emotional gratification at the level of reciprocity of pesonhood" -- but (2) is not limited to this. Personhood Theory: A Sketch

I hate the label "personhood theory," but it is the only concise label I have been able to think of in sixteen years.[1] 1. Personhood theory addresses the (personal) microcosm of lived experience. It focuses on three dimensions of the personal microcosm: i. Self (consciousness) "bonded to" "objectivities" (surroundings). Both palpable objectivities (I pick up a drinking glass) and imaginative models. The boundary between these zones moves continually. ii. Self as a monitoring hierarchy. (Alertness, lucidity) Judging that you have awakened from a dream, or that the apparition you see is an illusion. Steering one's attention and action purposively. iii. Self as longitudinal thematic identity, one's "biographic" identity.

2. The inquiry begins as a journalism carried on in natural language. (After all, natural language is the only vocabulary for self and the life-journey, excluding doctrinal jargons.) However, this beginning gets drastically radicalized.

3.a. Referring heuristically to the history of ideas, we learn that belief-systems about objective

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reality--even at the common-sense level--have changed massively over the centuries. The layperson is not aware of this because the details of e.g. scientific belief in the time of Aristotle or in twelfth-century England are studied only by experts. Personhood theory is devoted to getting underneath these changing belief-systems. So it rejects the use of already-codified "knowledges" as building blocks. It proceeds entirely by unravelling "the obvious" (presumptive cultural competence). See (5).

3.b. To posit subject-object polarity as an absolute is one of the delusively plausible tenets which defines the European endeavor called philosophy. As for personhood theory, it addresses subjectobject polarity in the course of an open-ended destabilization which is not required to advocate and confirm present-day common sense.

4. The person-world premise is offered as a perspective-of-totality. Here the totality is self "bonded to" "objectivities." The claims are made for the personal microcosm--not for "my mind"-because my environs and my body are constituents. In other words, to narrow the frame to the personal microcosm is not at all to narrow the frame to mind. The analysis commits to conceiving the totality as palpably conscious (individuated palpable consciousness is always a constituent). This forces extreme realignment relative to common sense. Any conception of the totality as disjoined from, and excluding, individuated palpable consciousness is found to be an incoherent reductionist fiction. To take one example, natural science as a theory is instantly destroyed by this premise.

5. Beginning as a journalism of the personal microcosm in natural language, personhood theory requires drastic methodological departures to support the above positions. It has to be made to devolve from the presumed cultural competence of "you the reader"-- rather than building dogmatically on supposed objective premises.

6. After acquiring the analysis, one may step to a higher level of credulity and inject the personworld portrayal into the common notion of the multiplicity of minds (counterpart sentiences). (That is, imagine personhood theory to generalize about person-worlds.) All the same, the incoherence of generalizing about minds has been spelled out and remains explicit. The lattice of minds is not objectively posited. (And no doctrine ever knew a lattice of minds objectively except as an incoherent fiction.)

7. On the foregoing basis, personhood theory offers a "holistic epistemology" which finds a

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circular or scrambled causation between belief-systems, on the one hand, and self-respect, morale, and other personal affections, on the other. At the same time, personhood theory is required to dovetail with a campaign to break the framework of objectivity intellectually, without reference to the knower's interests.

8. Subject to clarification of the terminology, we address: biographic identity; character (your responsibility for your goals and preparation for life); your sense of morality and beauty; romantic affection; "attitude highs" and timelessness; comportment-to-death; dispiritedness; emotional sensitization relative to art.

9. Three overwhelming considerations made the "insane extremism" of personhood theory palatable. a. Pure scientists were telling us in the back rooms that they knew their knowledges were false and they didn't care.[2] Additionally, they had stunted their own faculties in obvious ways. More broadly, the most important precondition for the sciences, "the ethics of inquiry and judgment," was marginalized as irrational and meaningless; while at the same time (as was just said) the scientific posture on cognitive ethics, that of god-like integrity, was a deliberate sham. b. Because of the triumph of what amounts to behaviorism, there was no framework to explore personalistic subjectivity empathetically for its "phenomenology." The prevailing culture made the topics in (8) into jokes. c. The opportunity for a reconstitution of "reality" reaching deeply into common sense was already evident from meta-technology, mentioned in (7). That gave permission for the "insane extremism" of personhood theory. At the same time, it was intolerable to go on borrowing notions of the self and the life-journey from psychology and sociology.

(c) 1996 Henry A. Flynt, Jr.

[1]Also, person-world analysis, the person-world premise. [2]In no way does this observation underestimate the scientists' ingenuity or technical effectiveness.

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Personhood II: Attachment's Turbulent Causation

Henry Flynt (May 1981; revision 1991) (c) 1981, 1991 Henry A. Flynt, Jr.

CONTENTS

A. Preliminary: Ordinary Personhood B. Object-Perception and Personal Identity

C. Longitudinal Identity and Modes of Existence

D. Language and Human Self-Image

E. Language and Thought

F. Propositional Knowledge and Personal Identity

G. Attachment to an Experience-World

H. Mental Stability and Biographic Identity

I. Other People and Self-Objectification

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J. Culture as a Phase Discriminated in the Person-World

K. Community; Society as a Grandiose Other

L. The Ostensible World as a Delusion

M. Imminent Character as an Invariant to Psychedelics

N. Thematic Personal Identity

O. Fixation to a Cumulating Social Role

P. Attachment's Turbulent Causation

Q. The Determination of Personal Fate

Afterward: An Orientation for Personhood II "

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[I presented my first "paradigm of personhood" in a manuscript of December 5, 1980. I followed it with a series of critical manuscripts; then I embodied critique and elaborations in a second paradigm, Personhood II (May 1981). In this revision of Personhood II, I proceed at once to the exposition. Context for the venture is supplied by my other writings on personhood, especially "Personhood IV" (1984; 1991).]

** A. Preliminary: Ordinary Personhood

"Ordinary personhood" is the realm of functioning which encompasses the following.

There is a bonding of my direct awareness (including feelings, urges, moods) to "objectivities." I interact with objectivities fragmentarily and sequentially while conceiving them as persisting wholes. I seek logico-perceptual coherence of the objectivities, sorting them out by identifications, distinctions, memories, expectations, appellations, etc. (It may be helpful to note that objectivities have a circumstantial and hearsay character.) A definite logico-perceptual collation of objectivities is called a perception-world or perception-reality. I can act, producing change or expending effort. (Mental action, somatic action, action upon exterior objectivities are all included.)

a. I can realize a preference in action: implemented choice or willful action. b. I may act contrary to my preference: "loss of self-control." c. There is a spectrum of actions between those which are acutely willful and those which are acutely unwanted: habit, being enthralled, lassitude, etc. I can be self-conscious: direct awareness. I can fantasize, etc.: imagistic mentation, etc. More fundamental than the above: "the totality" is polarized as self and non-self (or world). The features characterizing self are centered activation, presence, drive. These features can be attenuated in a fever and in some other modes of existence.

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B. Object-Perception and Personal Identity

1. The perception-world is polarized into well-behaved perceptions on the one hand, and perceptions which are shared or replicable but which are segregated as misbehaved, on the other. The latter perceptions are called illusions, multistable figures, intermediate-zone perceptions (a phrase I coined for e.g. ringing in the ears), etc. It is normal to experience

the waterfall illusion, the crossed-fingers tactile illusion, the half-immersed dowel which seems bent, contact at the tip in tapping with a stick, double image of a dowel held vertically in the visual field, perspective-reversal of the Necker cube, the Necker cube with concurrent incompatible orientations, ringing as the after-effect of a bang, and many other examples with which I assume familiarity. These perceptions are segregated and stigmatized as perversities. In effect, the segregated perceptions carry a label which says

Why? Because the illusions are already incongruities in the mandated reality. They belie tenets such as the following.

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a. detachment of object from awareness (cf. the Necker cube); b. intersensory unity of the object (cf. the half-immersed dowel); c. contentlessness of inconsistency (cf. the waterfall illusion, the paradoxical Necker cube). [1991. The dichotomy of veridical and illusory perceptions is required in the intensive analysis to follow. But I may note that this dichotomy understates the problematicity of perception. The straightforward perceptions are achieved by tendentious selectivity and mental reversal of the sense-evidence. Veridical perceptions are something like habitual paranoid imputations to sensecontents. You continually seize on obscure cues in the apparition to mentally twist the apparition into your pre-selected theory of the substantial world. "An object in front of a wall is really a shadow on the wall if it doesn't move relative to the wall when you move." All perception involves cues which you learn to spot, a pre-selected theory of the substantial world, and a twisting of the apparitions into the theory. The dowel touched to the tips of crossed fingers vs. the dowel placed between the tips of uncrossed fingers. In the latter case, you "truly" sense one dowel; but this is false to the sensation, which is of two finger-contacts. (Hold a two-stick sheaf between uncrossed fingers: now each finger contacts a different stick, and you falsely perceive one stick.) In looking at a dowel held vertically in the center of your visual field, there is an alternative: your gaze falls "in focus" or "in the distance." Parity of the right and the wrong. And consider the cartoon of the climbing bear. You imaginatively adduce an entire bear from outline paws on a outline trunk. What is more, a different reading of the image is possible.

2. These considerations pose the question of where personhood theory is positioned (showing the answer of the 1980 theory to have been inadequate). The analysis has not yet ventured beyond my

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"mind." Yet I sense the presence of culture: which dictates to me which perceptions are wellbehaved, and which designates some shared, replicable, normal perceptions as misbehaved (even as threats to reason and logic--as with the Necker cube and paradoxical Necker cube). The discussion hasn't even arrived at verbalization, I am still talking about non-appellative sight, touch, etc., and already I am faced with culture's determined segregation of certain normal perceptions because they threaten reason and logic. It may be that this discussion pertains to one culture more than others--namely modern rationalism--which sees these illusions as threats which have to be segregated. So this discussion may pertain to modern rationalist personhood; and other cultures may have treated the personworld constituents differently. [Well, this may hold as a generality; but facile relativism is not helpful. Other cultures are just as pragmatic and as stern as ours in insisting that perception find the substantial object. Does China or India want you to believe that the half-immersed dowel is bent? I will leave it open whether I am speaking of culture in general or of the present culture.-1991]

3. I now begin the intensive expos. The standard illusions are supposed to be replicable; but my personal researches have found that a number of "unimpaired" individuals do not experience them. These individuals happen to be involved in natural science as a career. There is an obvious speculation: that the vested interest of these individuals in reason and logic is so great that they have to block normal perceptions which mock reason and logic. (I don't know if a psychology experiment would confirm my findings. I met the scientists while they were off their institutional platforms, and I challenged their vocations. They knew that if they admitted seeing the illusions, they would lose arguments with me about their lives. Nobody would consent to having their life shown up like this as an experiment.) There is a species of perceptions stigmatized as undesirable by the culture which are not interpersonally replicable. I refer to hallucination, and to fantasy so intense as to verge on hallucination. (Cultural psychiatry finds that half the population has at some time had a hallucination of a deceased relative.) This area allows an observation which complements my observation about the blocking of normal illusions by scientists. Evidently there are, or were, identifiable groups in the population for whom it is culturally more acceptable or normative to have non-replicable illegitimate perceptions. In any case, my contacts with scientists show that I want to involve this analysis in respects in which individuals differ. I don't want to be limited to my unique self/world relationship, or to a universal self. In order to lay open simple, non-appellative perception, I have to acknowledge groups of people, and to acknowledge that the present culture, specifically, mandates a slight specialization in reality as between groups. (Appropriate perceptions for scientists as opposed to housewives.) Of course mandated norms and group behavior need not be borne out by every individual. I began, in (A), with the sense-of-self, being an "I," as fundamental. Does the culture mandate that the sense-of-self should have different degrees for different groups? In speculating about social groups, I don't want to descend to facile social psychology. Moreover, the mentioned

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groups might differ at a level less elemental than selfhood. The differences I have noted could be culture-correlated character differences. All this will be developed below. Selfhood and character need to be distinguished; but they could also overlap. Let me return to the scientists who do not even experience normal illusions. The circumstance that there are shared perceptions which are approved by (the) culture seems to require no special justification. But what of the circumstance that there are perceptions which are disapproved by the culture, but which nevertheless are very widely shared, but which however fail to be experienced by a handful of zealots of rationalism? If normal interaction with the Necker cube is acquired only through being taught--or is an imposed deformation of the psyche--then the implication is that the culture vigorously instills perceptions it doesn't want people to have. As for the zealots who don't have these perceptions, are they manifesting deficiency, or repression? Considerations in (C) below suggest that they are manifesting repression.

[1991. I can no longer postpone the question of where this investigation is positioned: the methodological equivocations are crushing. I adopt the standpoint of my self/world relationship, yet periodically I shuttle to depositions about cultures (including those to which I do not belong), and about other people's subjectivities. In the preceding paragraph, I went so far as to discern a conflict in the culture's mandates (as if I were ascribing conflicting wants to a grammar of people's behavior). Moreover: who is my reader? In this vintage view of Personhood II, the answer is that at first I allow myself to speak of culture and of other minds as externalities with which I am unaccountably conversant. Later it turns out that I am making discriminations within my self/world relationship. (Example: I do not pronounce "sure" the way I spell it. That is my behavior, but I don't take the credit for it.) Then I explain mandated (fantasized) objectivities via these observations. It is also crucial that the investigation does not have to yield an affirmative creed. (I am unfolding the incoherence for instrumental purposes.) So there is a rotation from conventional reality-assumptions to the person-world in the course of the essay--as I speak about language, other minds, culture, etc. The definitive explanation is in "Personhood IV," and I should emphasize that it is not simple. My principles of astute hypocracy and of levels of credulity are involved. I have chosen not to sort out this version of Personhood II because that would eliminate its vintage value; moreover, the essay would become too counter-intuitive for the uninitiated reader. As a sidelight, I may mention common sense as a vernacular world-model. Common sense

a. privileges those perceptual gestalts which are held to be material realities; b. tries to abstract the world from any idiosyncratic standpoint; and c. declares my mind, and other minds, to be limited entities in the world. Natural science presupposes the common-sense world-model operationally. At the same time,

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common sense is rationally indefensible, and is known to be so.]

C. Longitudinal Identity and Modes of Existence

There is a conceptual partition of my existence into

waking, dreaming, hypnagogic hallucination, "morning amnesia" (a phrase from my "Critical Notes on Personhood"), fever, psychedelic episodes, etc. The culture mandates this partition. It demands that I keep track of whether I am awake or dreaming. But in a given state, I may not assign it to its classification; and at times I am not capable of assigning the immediate state to its classification (e.g. in the dreaming/waking dichotomy). In order to keep score, I have to view my existence in retrospect, and classify entire episodes and modes of existence differently from the way I classified them while they occurred. The circumstance that this distinction is demanded is of the greatest importance. Even if I still limit the discussion to the logico-perceptual collation of objectivities (to the way I glean substantial objects in perception, discern the insubstantiality of shadows, etc.), this collation manifests asymmetrical variation in tandem with dream/waking alteration. With respect to waking states, there is a consistency of collation from one state to the next. The waking collation is stipulated by the culture to be standard and to be desirable: my visual vantage-point never moves outside my body; shadows never detach and become objects; etc. Collations in dreams, hypnagogic hallucinations, psychedelic episodes, etc., are variable and idiosyncratic. The culture construes them as threats to reason and logic and demands that they be segregated. The segregated states are assigned a label which says

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Again, these considerations pose the question of where personhood theory is positioned, and show the 1980 theory to have been premature. That theory pretended that my existence could be a continuum of waking states only, so that it was only required to portray the waking, or standard, or desirable logico-perceptual collation of objectivities. But that was a misrepresentation; and the theory is now faced with the following choice. If the paradigm is a paradigm of the immediate moment, then collations and indeed the entire "synthesis of a world" are so different as between dreaming and waking existence that more than one paradigm is required just for one ordinary person. But if all of one ordinary person's existence is to be covered by a single unified paradigm, then that paradigm must allow for variations in "the system of synthesis of a world" in short-term personal history. But then, even though the discussion is focused on the immediate moment, I am already confronted with personal history and retrospection or memory. I claim (or am directed by the culture to claim) an extrusion "behind" the immediate moment which is all "me" and only "me" even though it incorporates drastic variations in "the system of synthesis of a world." (And that is not even to mention that in dreams my identity as myself can be compromised or confused even in the present moment; and that in fever and morning amnesia my selfhood can be thinned out or shut down.) That is not all. I am required to make the retrospective judgment that a mode or episode of existence was a dream even though I judged the state to be a waking state during its occurrence. I am required to make conceptual, judgmental connections of my present with my extrusion behind the present (longitudinality), and to characterize whole phases of my existence as something different from what they were as they occurred. Here we have the phenomenon of delusion in the conventional sense. The culture requires me to confess that my whole existence can be a delusion (as often as once every night). But mightn't my whole existence at any present moment then be a delusion? The culture assigns this question a label which says

Viewed from another angle, I can make an observation similar to one I made about illusions. The culture vigorously instills in me the capacity to ask a question it doesn't want me to ask. And there is a further parallel with illusions. A handful of individuals remember no dreams. Once again, some of these individuals are scientists, and there is an obvious inference that they have to block phases of their whole existence which threaten reason and logic (which are equated with the waking "system of synthesis of a world"). Perhaps other individuals who never remember dreams are uncomfortable with sexuality; etc. I propose that scientists who don't experience illusions or remember dreams are manifesting repression rather than deficiency. But this is extraordinary. It means that scientists mutilate their basic perception: that they perform a feat as remarkable as cancelling all shoes out of reality or cancelling all eating out of reality. As for the

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majority of people, they are, if anything, in a stranger condition: the culture forces them to undergo phases of existence which it doesn't want them to have or notice in some respect.

D. Language and Human Self-Image

1. Let me focus on language as one of the objectivities. Language is a peculiarly configured heterogeneous phenomenon, of quite a different order from the objectivities I have already discussed. At one level, language consists of "physical events" whose important feature is that they can be duplicated--the tokens. At another level, these tokens occur or are produced in patterns (cf. moves in chess). At yet another level, "comprehension of a message" requires the addressee routinely to associate ideation to the token-pattern with which he or she is confronted. A fourth feature is that changes in pattern correspond not only to differences in ideation but to different "modes of address": statement, question, command, definition. And one mode of address, the statement, has two alternative functions. It can picture or portray (narrative fiction). It can also claim or avow.

If I write on a chalkboard "There is a chalkboard in this room," a curious circuit is established: from patterned smudges on a chalkboard, to associated ideation on the part of whoever reads, back to the chalkboard or the reader's perception of the chalkboard (establishing that the proposition is authentically descriptive or "true," according to traditional wisdom). Of course this account is simplified, one-sided, and unfashionable; but it focuses some important peculiarities of language.

Here I may have to affirm that I am talking about the person-world in modern rationalist culture. Modern rationalist culture is comfortable with things or objects, and with "social" phenomena as thing-to-thing relationships (e.g. a command to close the door has been understood if the addressee closes the door). Modern rationalist culture is phobic toward subjectivity, thought, mind. Thus, accounts of language relentlessly seek to exclude ideation from the linguistic process--and to exclude name/referent connections also. Language is conceived solely in terms of its thingist extrusions; images are provided of language as tokens, token-patterns, and behavior. Of course these rationalist images of language are misrepresentations. For example, the circumstance that an addressee does not obey a command does not at all prove that he or she has not understood the command.[1] And if language were no more than token-patterns, it would not

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be capable of describing token-patterns. (The rules of chess cannot be formulated in chess moves.) But what is most instructive is that so misrepresentative an image of language could have achieved any plausibility and acceptance at all. Natural-language use is a remarkable species of activity which connects subjective mentation, perception, and subjective intentions (cf. lying) to physical events, and their patterns, and overt behavior. The point is that the physical events are sufficiently separable from the subjective ideation that scientific linguistics can pretend that there isn't any subjective ideation, and not be ridiculed into oblivion.

[1991. This essay does not treat language, as common-sensically believed to exist, exhaustively. On one hand, language is a phenomenon of consciousness. It involves ideation of meanings and the speaker's wants. Indeed, with respect to conscious understanding, language is comparable to despair or romantic affection in being a "generic subjectivity." On the other hand, no individual's mental contents account for language as common-sensically believed to exist. In that perspective, the individual merely "borrows" natural language, which has a grammatical agenda that remains opaque to native speakers. But to pursue the alienness of language to the speaker in the obvious way would, again, stray from the person-world orientation. This alienness has to be treated as I will later treat culture. A further consideration--the existence of natural languages which I know of but don't know--exposes the person-world orientation as highly counter-intuitive. Again, "Personhood IV" is devoted to confronting these junctures vigorously.]

2. There is an arcane aspect to the speaking person's involvement with ideation which I wish to discuss here. The scientific linguist says "I want to talk about token-patterns but not about subjective ideation." But how can this demarcation, this non-interdependency or noninterpenetration, be contrived? When I count a row of objects silently, then token-patterns are subjective ideations. The conscious "observation" of a pattern in a congeries of simultaneously present, persistent things is subjective ideation. Indeed, at some point I will have to recognize that patterns in things are assertionally imputed. Cf. the six-bar image in which any of three patterns can be seen, and which the initiated can see without pattern.

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Then, mere patterns cannot make claims about--i.e. describe--patterns. And when the linguist identifies the printed number series

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

with the vocalization of that sequence or the silent reading of that sequence, he or she declares language to be a phenomenon in which a manifestation of simultaneously present, persistent things is the same as a succession, of discrete sounds or subjective mental events, which appear and disappear in time. In the scientist's self-interpretation, this "knowledge" that "they're the same" must subsist and be validated without subjective thought. We are supposed to know that a manifestation of simultaneously present, persistent things is a succession of subjective mental events which appear and disappear in time--without any involvement of subjective thought in this uniting of incomparable phenomena. But the lesson is that the claim of language as a thingist structure presupposes wildly imaginary reality-types. Let me anticipate and mention the case of different selves claiming the pronoun "I." The full meaning of this locutory protocol cannot be explicated by scientism. The culture's replies to the observations in this subsection are

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and

3. The challenge for person-world analysis, then, is that language connects physical events to subjective thoughts in a way which lends credence to the denial of that connection. It is not enough, to support the culture, that there should be a a medium of communication (and avowal). All recognized media of communication (including music as well as speech) must be capable of being pictured as physical events independent of subjective thought. The culture requires communication and doctrinal loyalty without thought and mind. If the medium of communication did not have a separable thingist facet, then it would continually, blindingly belie the thingist ideology of the culture. The culture cannot subsist on the basis of means which straightforwardly and candidly perform their functions. It must have means contorted to seem so different from what they are that we finally, impatiently, say "they are required to be not what they are." Can the tortuous conformisms which are being elucidated be supposed to subsist without stress, force, or fear?

E. Language and Thought

I turn now to the involvement of language in my immediate existence and state-of-action. Through language, I name phenomena, formulate expectations, etc. Via language, I make factual judgments (or espouse beliefs) about objectivities--thereby further determining the objectivities. I may conceive my beliefs to be guesses; or I may conceive my beliefs to be assured facts (yet I can find them to be refuted on their own terms by subsequent occurrences).

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1. Consider the future, the next moment--the future toward which urge and action are directed. I have saved the topic for now because avowed expectations, and thereby a future conceived as a future, are inseparable from linguistic expression. (Do animals have avowed expectations, do they make express predictions?--as when a cat crouches beside a mouse hole?) An avowed expectation is not arisen when one merely enacts a future in fantasy non-verbally: what the latter lacks is assertion (and the capacity therefor). If discomfort impels action, without verbal thought, a representation of a future has not arisen. Experiential memory can be taken as assertive, but that is because the past is taken as being already decided. So the experiential or non-verbal memory is conceived as an echo relative to an assured actuality, an episode lived through. As for the future, and non-verbal anticipation or projection, they are not taken as having the relation of a decided event to an echo. The notion of remembering the future--i.e. of rigorous pre-cognition--is a minority notion, not found in the consensus. The mainstream, as I know it, conceives of non-verbal anticipation or projection of a future as being fantasy and nothing more, until it has been implemented and can be represented as a past.

2. Consider the claim that language solves the problem of intersubjectivity, that it guarantees that observations are communicated. Suppose I and another person stand before a house. Suppose the other person says "I see a house." The culture's preferred interpretation is that this interpersonal corroboration proves the objective reality of the house. But the culture also gives me the capacity to speculate that the other person is lying to please me. Or to speculate that the other person sees what I would call an elephant and calls it a house.[2] Pragmatically, we curb such miscommunication by prolonged cross-checking. But in the moment--or in principle--the alternatives are indistinguishable. The culture assigns this observation a label which says

Again, the culture has instilled in me the capacity to see a gap which it doesn't want me to see.

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3. As another aspect of language, let me focus on the relation of conceptualization to perception in connection with the significance ascribed to logical consistency . For a concept x to be wellestablished, there must be a decision program which splits the world or the multiplicity of picturable (possible, intensional) entities in two, and attaches x exactly to one section and non-x exactly to the other. Non-x is the exact reverse, in a partition of everything, in which x is the obverse. To say this is to proclaim that x and non-x do not apply simultaneously to any entity which may be under consideration. Such is the basis of the culture's tenet that x is not non-x or that "x-and-non-x" is an empty concept, a null concept.

Language has an arbitrary, stipulative character in the sense that the word "prestidigitation" is expendable relative to the word "legerdemain," etc. At another level, however, language is not "optional" at all. Conventional thought requires stable, agreed-upon distinctions. The community indoctrinates its new members in language as an integral part of enculturing them generally. Thus, there emerges a close correlation between linguistic categories and the individual's ingrained interpretations of sensation--what is called perception. In the process of enculturation, perceptual distinction becomes deeply correlated with linguistic distinction. Recognizing this correlation, linguistic distinctions can no longer be considered "mere" stipulations. [Again, I am unaccountably making social psychological declarations. The discussion would have to be derived differently to become uniform with the person-world standpoint.--1991]

Relative to a given concept x, we have a conventional, ingrained, perceptual and linguistic program to attach x, or else to withhold x and attach non-x, to everything we may encounter, every picturable entity. But in certain cases, we are confronted with a picturable entity which, our decision program tells us, we must simultaneously call an x and a non-x. That is, our ingrained perceptual routines tell us we must simultaneously call it an x and a non-x. The choice of labels here is not optional or whimsical; it is as mandatory as appellative judgments can be. A case of such a picture, or visual image, is the waterfall illusion. (And we are back to misbehaved perceptions and B.1.c.) One's perceptual routines are disoriented; one's capacity to use concepts at all and to keep reality tidy begins to crumble. The experience of a logical impossibility in the waterfall illusion cannot, again, be dismissed as a mere effect of whimsical appellative stipulations. While any given word is arbitrary relative to the existence of foreign languages, etc., in practice our capacity to use concepts at all results from a community consensus which is linked to our most ingrained perceptual routines. To repeat, inculcation of logic connects with the designation of illusions as misbehaved perceptions, as treated in (B).

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F. Propositional Knowledge and Personal Identity

1. Aside from the action of illusions as conceptual-logical anomalies, natural-language conceptualization is pervasively inconsistent in the sense that inferential extrapolation of any concept at the level of assertional discourse, relative to culturally mandated doctrine as a whole, will yield contradictions. In the present account of concrete, substantive features of the personworld, we continually encounter incoherencies--whose propositional expressions comprise paradoxes. At the level of doctrine as a separate activity, common sense (the culturally mandated conceptual medium of ordinary apprehension of the world and ordinary interpersonal interaction) can be codified. Numerous contradictions in common sense are listed in my "Paradoxes of Common Sense" (1988). I find the culturally mandated conceptual medium to be a disguised biased inconsistent system: naive inferential extrapolation will yield inconsistencies everywhere. Some of these inconsistencies are welcomed or at least tolerated, while others are suppressed; but the self-image of the medium is that it is not inconsistent, or that it can be repaired and made consistent.

Thus, it is indispensable to the culture to deploy a conceptual system which quite literally violates its own foremost logical principle that x should not be non-x. It was very difficult for me to admit how the bias of the inconsistent system was maintained, that is, how wanted contradictions were divided from unwanted contradictions. The rationalist culture's mystique suggested that the "grading process" would have to be described by hundreds of pages of intricate symbolic logic. What the culture's orientation did not encourage me to recognize was that the mystery of grading is a matter of barefaced lying defended by naked interpersonal coercion--yet that now seems to be the main secret of grading. As this account proceeds, I will mention numerous methods by which culturally mandated incoherencies are sustained.

2. One abstract incoherency in particular repeatedly comes up. Space and time are identified although they are qualitatively incomparable. Already this identification was invoked when I said that my past "extended behind" me. Perhaps movement can be offered as a basis from which these correlations which equate space and time can be derived. But in any case, the identification of qualitatively incomparable aspects of experience is not something that can ever be "proved to be true." (It goes without saying that many other aspects of time, such as the procession of the present moment, are occasions of paradox.)

3. Let me briefly consider abstract knowledge, as an aspect of language and conceptualization. I

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take mathematics as the case in point. How is it established that it is proper to use the same numbers to count qualitatively different species of entities? In particular, what is the relation of the "real-world" enumeration which metamathematics must use to count token-occurrences in mathematical expressions to "real-world" enumeration generally? Then, to count a row of objects, orally or silently, is to pair a manifestation of simultaneously present, persistent things with a succession of events which appear and disappear in time. How is it established that the result of this procedure is meaningful? Or consider 1/0, 0/0, and 00. An individual who pursues mathematics in seclusion, naively performing the indicated operations on the basis of an initial understanding of the symbols, probably will not arrive at the solutions to 1/0, 0/0, and 00 mandated today by the mathematics profession. Authority is required to stipulate which answers are institutionally significant.

4. From the beginning, when I was only talking about non-appellative perception, I said that one strives for logico-perceptual coherence of the objectivities. By now, it is clear that such coherence is never remotely achieved. Yet one typically does not judge oneself to be insane; and one typically feels that there is an adequate degree of coherence of the objectivities; because the gibberish one espouses is culturally approved gibberish. One who is under the action of interpersonal approval can live so amicably with barefaced lies as to crazily experience them as constituting coherence. We are already confronted with extreme phases of knowing selfdeception in tandem with the culture.

G. Attachment to an Experience-World

1. A situation in which objectivities are conjoined with my feelings, urges, expectations, and anticipations fixates me on a system of factual judgments and a system of actions. In more detail, the situation fixates me on a logico-perceptual collation of objectivities, on a system of factual judgments, on a method of ascertaining facts, and on an action-system or praxis (including skills, judgments of feasibility, etc.). I can be fixated by anticipation (involving discomfort, fear, or hope), by emotional dependence on other people, etc. This situation may be called an attached state of consciousness (as distinguished from detachment). Attachment does not have to be allencompassing; I can be attached in part and aloof or contemplative otherwise. Attachment must

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not be thought of as the outcome of a pragmatically calculated choice; it is altogether involuntary while it occurs. Roughly, an attachment-content consists of a logico-perceptual collation of objectivities, a system of factual judgments, a method of ascertaining facts, and skills and judgments of feasibility. Attachment-contents would vary from person to person. At the same time, there would have to be considerable interpersonal congruence--otherwise there would be no human mutuality. As I say throughout, enculturation's aim is congruence. [Here again I unaccountably speak of selves other than mine.]

In regard to the "factual aspect of perception," to say that I am fixated on a logico-perceptual collation of objectivities is to say that I habitually "impute contexts of objectivity" to my sensations. When I see a parked automobile, I automatically assume that it is an object, with a reverse visual side, with tactile solidity, etc. Indeed, by mentally denoting the apparition as an automobile, I use language to express just these assumptions. [And here I have finally come to the problematicity of straightforward perceptions as mentioned in B.1; and to the example of the "climbing bear."]

2. Although it is normal in the waking state to be attached, it is also normal not to be attached, so that the option of suspending a familiar, habitual belief is available if I want it. Indeed, when confronted with a dowel partly submerged in water which appears to bend at the water's surface, I have been warned that I will find an exception to the prescribed belief that "sight and touch will correspond and thereby prove that my senses apprehend a single objectivity." When I have the option of suspending conventional beliefs, then I can modify the conventional determination of reality by exercising this option. But in dreams and some other states, I completely lose this option of suspending belief. I call the difference between a state in which attachment is partial, and a state in which it is allembracing, a difference in "cognitive morale."

3. In an attached state, I am impelled to realize preferences in action, based on anticipation and on the factual judgments and the praxis to which I am fixated. I am imminently forced to formulate preferences on the basis of guesses and to realize these preferences in action. While a condition of "operating on automatic pilot" is possible for me (habit?), I am here forced off automatic pilot. The ideology of determinism which says that my preferred action is predetermined by prior objectivities is meaningless and useless to my praxis here. This is where so-called empirical freedom of the will comes in--but my characterization is a great improvement on "freedom of the will."

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I can rehearse for a future situation in fantasy.

H. Mental Stability and Biographic Identity

1. Not only can I observe and denote; I can "observe" and denote my functioning.

I can pass judgment on myself with respect to my performance and my level of satisfaction.

a. I can judge whether my actions are effective, and can judge what achievements are feasible for me. (Pragmatic self-judgment.)

b. I can judge my level of fulfillment, especially according to the standards provided by the beliefs I am fixated on. I can judge e.g. whether I act out of intimidation, or out of loyalty and affirmation. (Cathetic self-judgment.) But I must add that the discussion has shown that there is a whole layer of intimidation which is palpable but which is nevertheless overlooked or "not counted." An illustration is the scientist whose dreams, and experiences of illusions, are amputated from his life.

c. I judge whether I am "sane." Here "sanity" is used in a vernacular sense as pertaining to my composure regarding my cognitions. "Insanity" is a feeling of cognitive insecurity and panic, possibly accompanied by disordered desires and moods and conative futility. (So I am not concerned with the man who smugly believes he is Napoleon and rationalizes all external evidence to the contrary.) My judgment of my sanity involves whether I am maintaining the pretense of logico-perceptual coherence of objectivities; whether my desires and moods are sufficiently coherent; and whether I can act effectively more often than not. It can also involve sophisticated issues of my relation to

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the community which will be stated in L.5. It is not usual, incoherent thinking which makes one feel insane. Rather, having usual thinking exposed as incoherent may make one feel insane. Yet such an expos will not discompose most people because they don't take matters of principle seriously--a topic I will address intensively in later sections. Tampering with personhood immediately places sanity at risk.

2. I have a biographic identity: a remembered personal history, and a projection of my future. But we have already encountered the issue of personal identity relative to personal history and memory; and we saw that the persisting personal identity was complicated by such modes as fever, morning amnesia, and above all dreaming. What is now the lesson? That the 1980 personhood theory corresponded to the the personal identity which the culture mandates for me: the fiction that "my life" can be a continuum of waking states only, so that "the system of synthesis of a world" which is consistent through my waking states is the only personal identity I have to cope with. As for the phases of my existence which clash with this solution, the culture assigns them a label which says

3. Out of context, the phrase "knowing self-deception" seems paradoxical. But paradoxical or not, by now it is beginning to seem the most frequent feature of personhood. So far, I have discussed culturally mandated self-deception; but there is also knowing self-deception as a personal variation or idiosyncratic adaptation. One important and extreme procedure of knowing self-deception is to obtain gratification from mental play-acting. When a personally motivated representation of your identity is concerned, you engage in a representation of yourself which you know is untrue to the present (and to past and future as well). (A Walter Mitty fantasy.) But also, a group of people can engage in mental play-acting with respect to impersonal doctrine. My phrase for this [as of 1991] is a shared pretense or consenting sham. Culturally supplied doctrines seem pervasively to have the character of consenting shams. Where these culturally approved fantasies are concerned, the mere

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circumstance that a doctrine is a manifest lie or that an activity or enterprise is a manifest fraud is not an objection to it. The manifest lie is accepted as a source of gratification. The individual lives amicably with the lie. The lie is sustained by non-"cognitive" motives. Other procedures of knowing self-deception are presented as personal adaptations; but certainly they can be systematically encouraged in groups of people. a. I can suppress painful self-consciousness by frantically affirming what I doubt or disbelieve, or by repressing what I suspect. b. Instead of acting upon objectivities to get what I want, I can withdraw to gratification in fantasy, or imaginary gratification. c. I can becloud the imperative of implemented choice-making, in order to dull its risks and loneliness. (One of the most vivid risks is that of subsequent self-condemnation if my choice proves to be regrettable.) Affirmation and denial of choice-making are both intensified by repetition, by habituation.

I. Other People and Self-Objectification

1. It has taken a long discussion to reach the stage where it is appropriate to focus on other people. I can identify other people as objectivities. One implication is that I interact with other people fragmentarily and sequentially, and only thus; nevertheless, I sort them out as persisting wholes. Given other people as objectivities, I can additionally conceive them as conscious, willful counterparts of myself. Other people have consciousnesses which are counterparts to my own but to which I have access only by the actions of their bodies (e.g. speech). It is implausible to deny other consciousnesses, because I identify so many of my thoughts as penetrations of myself by the others' consciousnesses. (This is the issue of culture, which I will focus on below.) But then other people have mental lives in which I do not participate and whose conclusions can be withheld from me. Other people, whom I encounter as elements within "my" world, have "worlds" of their own which meet mine but are in another respect wholly outside mine. I conceive of other people as objectivities among other objectivities, and yet as being persons to themselves, and as "locations" of minds which can meet my mind. (I may further conceive of other people's implemented choices as being determined in advance by objectivities--so that they, who are counterparts to me, are in a deterministic process while I, in the moment of realizing choice, am

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not.) These notions are massively incoherent. And they force me into even more extreme incoherencies in order to apprehend another person's death. A case which further complicates the conception of other people is any encounter I may have with the mentally deficient. In this case, it is no longer "obvious to common sense" that other people are counterpart sentiences to myself. Here is a zone in which the culturally mandated interpretations are less confident. But observe further that any other person manifests variations in sentience: when in stupor, shock, illness, sleep, etc. That I can conceive the other person as sustained in spite of these variations in sentience is notable too.

2. Through reflection, I may conceive of myself as a counterpart to other people. I become an objectivity to myself. (And I can imagine that my implemented choices are determined in advance by objectivities--even though this notion is useless at the moment of realizing choice and is a denial of that moment.) Thus, I am supposed in the end to conceive of myself as one object in a "world" of objects. This notion is violently incoherent at the most elemental level. Only the pressure of the culture keeps me from feeling insane (in the sense of H.l.c above) as I espouse this notion.

3. I may be in overt conflict with another person. I can be emotionally dependent on another person; and on his or her conscious reaction to me. Thus, I may judge myself by comparison with him or her, or by acceding to his or her judgments of me. I can obscure my choice-making by becoming another person's vassal. I have one degree or another of emotional sensitization or capacity, which must be attributed to my interaction with other people. I may seek gratification through solidarity and intimacy with another person. I can knowingly deceive another person. I judge whether another person is knowingly deceiving me. I judge whether another person's self-deception is misleading me. Past involvement with another person which was emotionally stressful can have involuntary echoes in the present. Here is an example. I may have a public quarrel with another person, and I may cope with that quarrel by pursuing it in my fantasy as well as in public action. Then that

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person may die or otherwise become irrelevant as an "actual" antagonist. But I may continue the fantasy-quarrels--even though common sense says I will never again see this person outside of fantasy. My sincere opinion of another person's qualities can be sharply different from his or her presumably sincere opinion of his or her qualities.

J. Culture as a Phase Discriminated in the Person-World

1. In the foregoing discussion, I have repeatedly related constituents of personhood to "culture" as their source--a source which is often antagonistic or coercive. It is now necessary to focus on culture, both to clarify a paramount influence in the person-world and also to extend and complete the account of the interpersonal arena. "Culture" is comprised by those phenomena which are in one respect my "skills," but which I want to credit to other people and through which I meet other people in consciousness. [1991. Here, then, is the rotation to the person-world promised in B.3. Culture is drawn in to my self/world relationship.] A favorite example is English orthography. I know English orthography fairly well, and conform to it to make my written communications less irritating, but I consider it perverse, and do not wish to suppose that I am the origin of it. Similarly with the natural language generally. I hear other people talk, and it is a "skill" of mine to supply thoughts to their utterances; I credit the thought-content to the other people and not myself. [1991. Well, as I mentioned in D.1, natural language as common-sensically believed to exist has aspects which no individual authors. Here I abstract from that complication.] Similarly with practical mathematics. Similarly with creeds and ideologies which I may reject, but pretend to espouse in casual encounters because other people expect them. I "know" to remove a hat when entering a building; and how to tie a Windsor knot. I know that I must obtain "the" answer to 1/0, 0/0, or 00 from an authoritative textbook or professional mathematician, rather than trying to compute it on the basis of definitions learned in elementary school. I see a man wearing a clerical collar, and it is one of my "skills" to recognize that the collar makes a statement which is not purely idiosyncratic to its wearer. Indeed, culture has a meaning which generalizes beyond the specific people I encounter. When I hear people speak Chinese, which I do not understand, it is nevertheless a skill of mine to recognize that they are conversing, and that their language is Chinese. The significance of this

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foreign language extends beyond the specific people I encounter as its users. There are Chinese books, newspapers, etc. [1991. Again, the existence of languages I don't know is a sharp challenge to the person-world orientation. Not until "Personhood IV" do I address that challenge head-on.]

2. By emphasizing that aspect of culture which is alien or hostile to me, I emphasize that I cannot afford to deny that this phase of my person-world is special. "Culture" is comprised by my skills, by constituents of myself; but they are skills I don't wish to claim the balance of responsibility for. On the other hand, it would be a dangerous oversimplification to leave the impression that culture is merely regrettable. All of my skills have a cultural aspect. My self-expression and selfassertion may consist in evolving personal variations and recombinations of the culturally supplied procedures. But even my personal variations are influenced by my assessment of the community's situation; and my personal variations are contrived with the intent that they will feed back into the culture and the interpersonal arena. I am getting way ahead of the immediate topic, but it is urgent to establish a viable attitude toward value judgments of culture. Culture is like "people," or "life," or "the world." I may experience culture as hostile; it may be self-protecting and nurturing of me to define it as regrettable. But it is unavoidable as a raw material; and the quality of my self-assertion is a matter of what I make of this raw material, of the astuteness of my selectivity toward it and my compromises with it. Take, for example, my natural-language skills. Of course the natural language is extremely traumatized and deleterious; but merely to proclaim that it is "bad" is too easy and changes nothing. The natural language is a medium in which we find ourselves willy-nilly. To understand that it is deleterious is self-protecting and nurturing. But a mere proclamation that it is "bad" does nothing to release us from the natural language's consequences. An effective struggle against the natural language can come only from the dedication to make sophisticated compromises with it, to employ it to struggle against the "mode of life" supporting it. We can be delivered from the debasing culture only by acceding to an enchanted community/higher civilization. But poseur extremism is not to be identified with that accession. Only dedication will gain results of substance. The issue is not whether to compromise, whether to turn inherited media against themselves; it is rather the astuteness, the sophistication, the placement of the compromises. The issue is to understand the difference between an extreme proclamation without action, and a drastic action which nevertheless can succeed because its risks are mostly matters of phantom barriers erected by cultural indoctrination.

K. Community; Society as a Grandiose Other

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1. Resuming with ordinary personhood, other people and culture are palpable to me. Other people and culture jointly constitute the interpersonal arena--or community.

2. I now arrive at the issue of "society." Society is the aggregation which is hypothesized as subtending the (palpable) community. Society is the kingdom, the race, the nation. It is an abstraction, a matter of faith, to which allegiance is demanded by palpable specific people. Indeed, in mentioning society I am for the first time mentioning a "grandiose Other." Each of the grandiose Others is supposed to be the ultimate source of meaning, the ultimate source of my emotional gratification and judgmental self-consciousness; but is at the same time primarily speculative and outside "my ostensible world." The universe of physics must be mentioned in this connection as hypothetical, inferential, derived, and assuredly grandiose. However, it is emphatically not claimed to be a source of meaning. (That is the locus of a screaming incoherency in the modern rationalist outlook. Scientists make officious, sententious, unctuous moral pronouncements; but their intellectual stance provides no basis whatsoever for them to do so.) In modern rationalist culture, society has priority among the grandiose objectivities. (Codified in theory by figures such as Comte, Marx, Spencer, Pareto, and Sumner.) Society's claim on us as persons (even when we are treated as pawns) is far broader and more important than the physical universe's claim on us. Attachment makes society more urgent than the physical universe. (Except that for a diabetic, for example, belief in insulin is more important than belief in the United States.) Grandiose Others of the past included

the personal Deity or Heavenly King (Judaism), supra-mundane worlds (polytheism; neo-Platonism), cosmic consciousness (Vedanta). Here again, context already narrows the discussion. The latter Others have already lost credibility for modern rationalism. Person-world analysis would agree with the rationalist debunkers here, if nowhere else. Conceptions of supra-mundane worlds are unavoidably extrapolations of conceptions of community and society. I may "renounce Man for God," but not without encountering Man first. Also, the deity who has served the actual function of religion has been a heavenly father and king. Even the god of the philosophers had to be a person who made laws. (And we come upon science's embarrassing secret, perhaps best codified by Leibniz: that without God's guarantee of sufficient reason, there is no physics, not one physical occurrence anywhere. Secretly, modern rationalism has not advanced beyond God; it is desperately wedded to God. But I never said that modern rationalism was cogent. Meanwhile, the avowed loyalties in modern

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culture are to society.) 3. Extending from one's emotional involvement with other people, society becomes an object of one's passionate belief. The hypothesized abstraction seems to be a living presence--as when people march off to war for the Nation. That is attachment. Because society is an object of passionate belief, because it becomes a hallucinatory living presence, it cannot be sharply distinguished from community (which is palpable), even though it remains impalpable (a hypothesized abstraction). So society has a close and compelling connection to the palpable phenomena of other people and culture. For the only time in this investigation, let me derive the palpable from the hypothesized--and say that culture is that palpable aspect of society which is interior to me and at the same time is an externality broader than other people as individuals. Recognizing how close society is to community in belief, I propose to be flexible with regard to whether the person is conceived in a communal or a social context. 4. The community confronts me with symbols and offices which imply an organized collective, legitimation, manifestations of a group will, etc. One cultural phase of community life includes the community's "tradition," symbolism, ritual, etc.--all of which are emotionally charged. This phase must be considered one source of my emotional sensitization or capacity. The community may force upon me a significance, and an assortment of privileges and disadvantages--so much so that I am forced to carry out this "imposed social role" or to grapple with it. The role may place me in competition or conflict with other people. I can also be gratified by the celebration in ritual of my imposed status (although I do not earn this gratification). I have a greater or lesser degree of autonomy, relative to the community, in respect to being supplied with pursuits and goals, and in respect to making judgments of every sort. I can obscure my choice-making by becoming a vassal of "society"--of a legitimated organization or institution. I may engage in a pursuit which I suspect to be dishonest or otherwise contemptible because the community approves of it. Of course I do so to gain tangible rewards, in analogy with knowingly deceiving another person to benefit myself. But something beyond my craftiness is involved here. I maintain a knowing self-deception and vassalage in which legitimacy means more to me than sincerity. 5. My judgment of whether I am "sane" (H.1.c) can involve two aspects of my relation to the community. a. Culture amounts to a system of ideology-saturated interpersonal, even social, relationships in my mind. Normally it is a matter of habit for me to maintain the (sham) coherence of that system. But if this sham coherence is subverted by an "indigestible" experience or idea, then I undergo a "personality-death" and the entire society undergoes a "personality-death" inside my mind. My sanity is placed in doubt. b. Certain sorts of condemnations by the community of my inclinations, my urges, the "possible personality" which represents my penchant and loyalty can challenge my sanity. 6. The interpersonal arena is a source of meanings to me. My connections to the interpersonal arena in regard to praxis, emotional sensitization, indoctrination, etc. have an effect on my sense of sanity, my personal identity, my level of fulfillment, etc. Thus, the interpersonal arena can be a source of skills worthy to be sustained and regenerated. It can also be a source of acute dilemmas and destructiveness impinging upon me. In either case, the interpersonal arena is a source of problems and missions.

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Moreover, the problems and missions can appear in my consciousness as consequences of my skills. Having been indoctrinated with little choice in the matter, that indoctrination now surfaces in the guise of my skills, for one thing. (Examples at the level of the present discussion are language use, mathematics, music, profit maximization.) If I do not consciously review my indoctrination, then I will carry it with me by default. Moreover, my private and idiosyncratic dilemmas with the language, with mathematics, with art, with profit maximization, etc.--and my private and idiosyncratic ventures in these fields (e.g. I might seek to prove that 1+1 != 2 or that intrinsic pricing is a delusion)--can represent vital dilemmas and ventures for the interpersonal arena. But the community's destructiveness or bankruptcy may consist precisely in its inability to embark upon vital ventures--and in its fostering of individual pursuits which disregard and exacerbate its dilemmas. I can undertake a vital venture or address a vital problem; or I can avoid doing so. And I can belong to a community which wants such a task addressed; or to a community which discourages attention to such a task. The possible ramifications of the community attitude, for my judgment of myself, are complicated. Inner pride or lack of it can run counter to express community approval or contempt.

L. The Ostensible World as a Delusion

The ordinary ostensible world is a delusion in the following precise sense. My ostensible world-that is, the perceptions and beliefs which inform it--are palpably affected and sustained by emotions of anticipation, by emotional dependence on other people, by morale, by esteem, by realized choices (volition), by knowing self-deception, etc. In this sense, one's ostensible world is the resultant of deformations. One unwittingly undergoes a deformation of perception and attitude (which one does not feel as illness). Nevertheless, as I have done here, the deformations can be analytically exposed and introspectively recovered.

M. Imminent Character as an Invariant to Psychedelics

Let me return to the individualized or idiosyncratic constituents of personhood. But I shall now treat constituents which presuppose explicit consideration of culture and community in order to

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be comprehensible. Perhaps I am not introducing new constituents here. I may be making a different selection from constituents already described. I may be selecting certain tendencies in the person-world because they involve issues of pressing interest. Let me borrow the word "character" as a word for a facet of personality, and give it a new definition specific to this discussion. Imminent character consists of certain inclinations which inform my realized choices. (I am stretching "imminent" to mean in-the-moment.) One way of delimiting character is to mention that it is a constituent of the person-world which the psychedelic experience is unable to affect (unlike sense-of-self and perception-world). The following questionnaire elucidates some alternative inclinations.

a. Referring back to G.1, am I able to differentiate my sensations from my habits of imputing contexts of objectivity to them--from the assumptions which I impose by appellation? [Can I realize that the cartoon does not show a climbing bear?] Further, can I refrain from carrying assumptions imposed by labelling over to previously unclassified sensations (such as the psychedelic experience of twinkling air, or such as any hypnopompic hallucination)?

b. Do I assert autonomous cognitive norms? Or do I equate truth with what convinces the group, with group beliefs?

c. Do I manifest a capacity for painstaking effort?

d. Do I seek to asset my sincerity and concern in the interpersonal arena--even to force my sincerity into the interpersonal arena which it is not especially welcome? Do I refrain from asserting my sincerity in the interpersonal arena, out of fear or weariness? Am I willing for all my interaction with other people to consist of play-acting dictated by them, or to consist of disengaged manipulation? Do I manifest my sincerity only in fantasy, only in imaginary gratification? Do I pay attention to other people in a way that goes beyond disengaged manipulation (do I "grant other people's right to exist")?

e. Do I make a distinction between what the community wants and what it needs? If so, how do I proceed as a consequence?

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f. Can I function self-satisfactorily in the face of community norms which are hostile to my penchant and loyalty? [1991. Well, this trait is common to a genius and a sociopath. I am not providing sufficient conditions for worthiness here. (Language, after all, is a crude medium of determination.) I am indicating traits which under certain interpretations are crucial to my undertaking.]

g. Do I already have a hunch "that the 'synthesis of a world' can be effected with a different system," that is, that the totality could be appropriated according to a different principle? Or do I already have a glimpse of a gratification which everyday existence, or the established compartmentation of faculties, denies to us? And what is the state of my emotional sensitization?

h. Am I capable of admitting, if I should find myself in danger--in conjunction with having an illusion shattered--that I was partly responsible for creating the illusion and the danger? Can I admit a mistake in judgment while not equating that mistake with my whole self? Or do I have to believe that the only reason I ever find myself in danger is because other people betray me?

i. Am I able to plough through disillusionment to an outcome which is absurd and extreme by conventional standards; and then to review that outcome repeatedly until I can extract a new cogency from it?

j. Do I express the attitude that "nothing makes any difference" and that "I don't care about anything?"

N. Thematic Personal Identity

There is a level of self-consciousness at which my whole, thematic identity is at issue. Earlier, I explained some conventional sources for the concoction of this identity--and I say "concoction" advisedly. My life is a venture, a sojurn, which has a meaning or outcome to me, or fails to have

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one. I have a personal history toward which I feel regret or satisfaction, and a future of which something must be made.

1. I have said that (in an attached state) choice-making is forced upon me. I am impelled to realize preferences in action, based on anticipation and on the factual judgments and the praxis to which I am fixated. I am imminently forced to formulate preferences on the basis of guesses and to realize these preferences in action. In the moment of realizing choice, my choice may be cued by perceived "external" conditions of the moment. But my realized choice cannot be reduced to, that is, derived from a perceived external condition. Realized choice and external condition are alongside each other; they are equal constituents of a single "world."

2. My choice-making can explicitly pertain to my whole, thematic identity. But choice-making at this level is occasional, not continual. Choice-making is usually frivolous or pragmatic. (The existentialist notion that all choice-making is implicitly the actualization of a whole, thematic identity is an example of a vogue making an easy, empty universal out of a phenomenon which is significant only when it is specific and explicit.) Already my capacity to admit a past mistake in judgment without equating that mistake with my whole self--and my capacity to plough through disillusionment--implied that I have a whole, thematic identity.

3. As far as choice pertaining to my thematic identity is concerned, one avenue of choice concerns how I conceive the arena of action, and thus how I shape my loyalties (how I reconceive and redirect my loyalties). A concomitant avenue of choice concerns how I conceive effectiveness and gratification, and then pursue those conceptions. In more detail, my past can manifest distinguishable thematic identities which may be incongruous. In other words, different identity-themes can be possible for me. I am forced to formulate a preference for one identity-theme as opposed to another and to realize that preference in action. An identity-theme may represent intimidation from without; or it may represent my penchant and loyalty. For convenience, let me call the latter my authentic identity-theme. My authentic identity-theme can be already disclosed; yet I can repress it because I assume that other people will censure me for it. I can also disregard it, or at least fail to uphold it, just because it takes special effort or painstaking effort to uphold it. Whether to uphold my authentic identity-theme is a dilemma in which one or another realized choice must occur. To pursue my authentic identity-theme means that I must be vigorously willful in a context of uncertainties. After all, it is also an option to drift. And, subjectively I often have to gamble--notwithstanding that my purpose remains fixed.

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O. Fixation to a Cumulating Social Role

I come to another topic which requires me to be unaccountably conversant with more than my self-world relationship. It is commonplace for a person's whole thematic identity to be a matter of attachment to one's social identity as it has cumulated in the past. One is overwhelmed by the significance society thrusts upon one. One is overwhelmed by the pursuits, goals, and cues for one's judgments which society thrusts upon one. I have already said that culture is a part of yourself for which you are not exclusively responsible. But the dynamic balance of attachment can be such that your self is submerged by parts which come from society and for which you are not exclusively responsible--by the assortment of privileges and disadvantages which society has thrust upon you. Your self is submerged by what has been done to you by your intimate associates and by the more impersonal community--and the assessments of the "venture of living" which you have formed therefrom. This submergence of the person by a cumulating social role is one alternative in which the person is guaranteed to be traumatized, stigmatized, impaired, truncated. It is a specific feature of personhood theory that it demands this conclusion. Certainly, in some cultures or communities, socially acclaimed and validated roles can also allow intrinsic splendor. (Even so, we must not allow the doctoring of history to obscure the fact that these socially approved achievements had great difficulty coming to the surface in the first place--and subsequently were dishonored by deteriorating communities.) But to exist in fixation to a cumulating social role is always a depersonalized, mythified existence--even when it is producing useful output. Of course, being submerged in a social role is only one of a number of ways in which existence can be depersonalized and mythified. "Mortification of the self to please God" is another way--which, however, has already been sidelined by modern rationalism. Imminent character, for the person submerged by a social role, is necessarily a zone of desperation and impairment. The dynamic balance of this desperation and impairment can be analyzed, but it is not assured that such analysis can change anything. In the cases I am aware of, the desperation and impairment consequent on being submerged in a social role are destructively self-reinforcing. In the remarks to follow, I want to bear witness to my experiences with academics and other "aware" people. I want to characterize them as I found them; neither idealizing them nor scorning them. To begin with, as I said, scientists amputate their perceptions to protect their belief-system. Unfortunately, this condition is self-reinforcing: just the perceptions which would give the lie to their belief-system have been expunged.

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A published account of a personal crisis was Zdenek Mlynar's Nightfrost in Prague (New York, 1980). Mlynar was a Czech Communist official who, after the invasion in 1968, was removed to Moscow with his colleagues. During the invasion, he had realized that he could be shot at any time. In Moscow he was subjected to stress negotiations to force him to authorize a permanent Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. He began to have visions, and underwent an instantaneous conversion from Communism without logic or analytical thinking. The outcome of his crisis was that, after seven years in limbo, he escaped to Vienna and (evidently) became a NATO intelligence officer. Today, world public opinion would laud his defection. I cannot quarrel with his disillusionment. Yet his salvation was as banal as the Readers' Digest. An experience verging on the supernatural propelled Mlynar to become an officer of techno-capitalism. That capitalism is the older and continuing basis of the dilemmas which my undertakings address. My view of Mlynar and of the generality of "aware" people I have known is that analysis is not likely to uncover escape hatches in the dynamic balance of their desperation and impairment. Even an experience verging on the supernatural--one far beyond any pressure I could bring to bear--only taught Mlynar that salvation means being an officer of global capitalism.

P. Attachment's Turbulent Causation

The preceding section poses a problem of explanation, a problem which has been implicit throughout this manuscript. A social role's submergence of a person is cited by personhood theory as a cause of

amputated perceptions, emotional numbness, mutilation of faculties (the science/poetry and science/occultism dichotomies in modern rationalist culture), "success"-directed striving (in the American sense), etc. More accurately, the social role is said to fixate the individual to mutilated perception, for example. But I then say that the social role is a sort of ideology and skill which the individual is fixated to. These formulations give social role--or thematic identity--or imminent character--the guise of a self-caused cause or looped cause.

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Let me try to resolve this. The circuit of attachment through the person-world is not a linear causal phenomenon; it is a phenomenon of scrambled or turbulent causation. It is a dynamically balanced confined turbulence. What is awful about being submerged by a social role in the cases known to me is precisely that such submergence is self-reinforcing. Shame can live with itself only by glorying in shame. To expand on this conclusion, it is appropriate to mention some of the "ruinations" of social identity. 1. The culture may mutilate a child's faculties (again science/poetry and science/occultism) and inculcate him or her with debasement (secularism's world consisting exclusively of things)--and yet not push the child to the point where he or she demands escape as a right or becomes a precocious social critic. (Yet we encounter again the social doctoring of history, this time biographic history. Children do cry out, they do demand escape as a right, they are precocious social critics until they are subjugated. Higher and higher tolerances for anguish, or compensating rewards, have to be developed.) In due course, the child begins to perpetuate the stigmas in him or herself. At the least, he or she acquiesces; at the most, he or she may become a well rewarded advocate of the community. By the time one becomes an adult, though, one must have experienced enough diversity and enough responsibility to begin to know manifest degradation and mutilation for what they are. An undercurrent of shame appears; one begins to suspect oneself, if not to despise oneself. If one's abasement is then suddenly spotlighted by somebody else's acts of courage and splendor, one's shame may be magnified and become a matter of crisis. But there is another possibility: that because of the mutilation of one's faculties, acts of courage and splendor will be invisible to one. In a crisis of shame, the person submerged in the social role of e.g. the renowned and well-paid professor of economics can only flee his shame by affirming and advocating debasement and mutilation. Moreover. It is commonplace for all academic personnel to be exposed while they are graduate students to the idea that their discipline is a hoax; and for them to react, after a period of faltering, by redoubling their efforts to rise in the profession which they now know is a fragile, protected swindle. (A good satire on this is found in Joel Kovel, The Age of Desire, Ch. 1). 2. Consider American middle class elements in the Seventies who flocked to cults and to entertainment which ritualized degradation ("punk"). The normal course of life of these middle class elements led them into occupations (or, more generally, into a culture) consisting of hoaxes, silliness, and impoverishment. At the same time, they were too intimidated and unimaginative to attempt a genuine escape. Consequently, we must conceive them as despising themselves. They sought stupefaction, and they sought rituals of shame and mortification. In this way, manifest hoaxes, silliness, and desensitization became sought-after-experiences for the urban middle class in the Seventies. (I don't want to demean this manuscript by naming names; I assume a reader familiar with the history.) The individual was encouraged to become a swindler (a cult member, for example); or to conduct rituals of shame. Ultimately, people ritually abased themselves because they were rewarded for doing so, and in order to express their shame.--And they knew that they were sordid because they occupied and sustained themselves by ritually abasing themselves. Ritual abasement became a preferred experience; and people knew that they were sordid because they preferred ritual abasement. Social history is superficially changeable. The American Establishment launched a campaign to win back the middle class in the Eighties; and the latest thing was to be a Yuppie. Then, with the recession at the end of the Eighties, the Yuppie role became tarnished. These ebbs and flows are not the level I should address. Let me summarize what should be understood here. First, the cults and the ritualized degradation were only the most graphic symptoms of the lasting trend of techno-capitalist civilization. Secondly, we should ponder the cults and the ritualized degradation

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whether they are in vogue or not. Negatively, they revealed personhood in an exposed manner. (If I defile myself in a public ritual, what am I that I can do this?)

Q. The Determination of Personal Fate

1. Let me refer back to (N), and to my choice-making regarding my whole, thematic identity. There is a case which evidently is extremely rare; but which deserves mention because it is hopeful. In retrospect, I may judge that my thematic identity is far more vivid and well-organized now than anything I could have imagined or even understood earlier in life. Furthermore, it may be that my thematic identity has no overall outside cue, paradigm, or promoter--so that I am unlike people who accomplish something they did not expect because they are pressganged by the consumers of their talent. I may then claim that the thematic identity which represents my penchant and loyalty comes from the future: from a systematic and coherent but incomparably novel future. This notion is supported if the thematic identity is tied to a pressing task (confronting an acute dilemma) which is an implication of my skills (an implication of the culture) but which has no community acknowledgement or sponsorship. In the rare case that one's authentic identity-theme comes from the future, guiding oneself toward it remains a matter of pronounced willfulness in a context of uncertainties. It is possible to drift rather than to push toward the distant identity-theme. And subjectively I often have to gamble-even if my purpose remains fixed. The dilemma of whether to uphold an authentic identity-theme coming from the future is a crisis which compresses one's future into one's present--a moment in which future and present touch each other. The crisis gives one some choice over the way one's future shapes one's present. (By upholding or relinquishing the identity-theme from the future, one guarantees or nullifies it as a future?) [1991. I include this speculation because I am looking for escape hatches. It's rather romantic-and never before articulated. It may exceed the restriction to palpable phenomena which I have endeavored to uphold in person-world analysis. Retroactive signification. Unprecedented fate.]

2. Let me now resume my discussion of the person submerged by a social role. That person emerges as a person who is "done to." In contrast, the person who e.g. upholds an authentic identity-theme coming from the future emerges as a person who "does" or "does to." But why is a given person one way or the other?--and can he or she be switched from one type to the other?--and does a person who is always one type nevertheless have a potential for the other type?

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This question requires thoughtful distinctions. Medieval serfs were illiterate and never saw money in their entire lives. Today their descendents in Western Europe all read, possess money, and spend money every day. The reason why serfs did not learn to read or to allocate money was that (in effect) they were not recruited and given cultivation to these ends. There is a view which would say that the serfs, as a multitude which had been assigned the same fate, became aware that they were being taken advantage of in a common way, and fought for the cultivation (schools, etc.) which they subsequently received. This is not false (the French Revolution); but it is misleading. It does not take into account that the descendents of the serfs remained outside the controlling class--that the "toilers" have never commanded the system. The collapse of the workers' paradises makes this observation all the more decisive. It is more realistic to say that advanced capitalism continually revolutionizes technology and continually erases and replaces social relationships. (Capitalism also spurs developments such as the dissolution of the nuclear family, and feminism, which the Establishment did not calculate.) As a result, the achievements and satisfactions which are possible to people come to be seen as results of how much cultivation the Establishment gives them. But in personhood theory, the question of why people are what they are focuses in a different way. The topic was anticipated in (O) and (P). One reason why I turned to personhood theory was that presumably clear and blunt presentations of the invalidity of the scientific outlook, and of elements of post-scientific culture, were simply shrugged off by the "aware" people (the cognoscenti, the intellegentsia, academia, bohemia), and remained invisible even after campaigns to publicize them. What, then, was the nature of the "aware" people's adherence to the intellectual status quo which made them impenetrable to whatever I (or Hennix) had to say? Attempts were made to transfer sociological analysis (such as the one above about serfs) to this question. It was said that people were not "geniuses" because they had been deprived in childhood--they had not been given sufficient cultivation--their "genius" had been suppressed. People were waiting to explode with "genius" once the right button was pushed. As I said at the end of (O), all of my experience in the matter runs counter to this. It would be unwise of me to assume that the reason why the "aware" people shrug me off is that the Establishment did not give them enough cultivation. Somehow, the sociological perspective, which is tacitly tied to a doctrine of underprivilege and socially engineered redemption, misses the point. Let me present a shock-question to clarify the issue.

Would a Nobel-prizewinning physicist agree that he believes physics because his naivet was exploited by malicous elders, because he

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was crushed by his elders, because his elders did not give him enough cultivation?

The sociological perspective--in the name of recognizing that the serf's backwardness was imposed from without--treats the serf's effects on other people as if they were imaginary or didn't matter. It treats the serf's choices and life as if they were tuberculosis--a fatal disease which a few pennies' worth of medication could have cured. We have been living with sociology ever since Comte, and we don't realize how odd it is. Capitalist technology and centralization have created the possiblity of imposing changed fates on entire populations. A member of the administrative class can regard all the choices and lives of a population as a reversible condition. Then people really are what the administrator chooses to make them by pushing this or that button. People are so thrilled by the prospect of human manipulation on this level--or by the prospect that the Establishment is due to give them cultivation--that they overlook that the sociological perspective makes all their choices and their lives chimerical (or revocable). "You did it because you were programmed improperly." How do you choose and act if you believe that your choices and actions have the ontological type of a disease, an error in past programming? And who says that the serf's life was "bad" or unnecessary? And yet people have learned to think in these terms--to want to be told that what their betters permit them is what they are.

The ambition to transfer social engineering to seriousness and originality, by vaccinating people with seriousness and originality, is an ill-conceived ambition. Seriousness and originality are not "done to"; they "do (to)." They are not implanted. They appear unpredictably. (Of course, my attempt to assert my sincerity and to make the intepersonal arena conducive to it may reawaken seriousness and originality in another person.) I included the speculation about the authentic identity-theme which comes from the future to show that one need not assume the social engineers' cause-and-effect. We do not even have to believe that "solutions" are fabricated from past to present. Having speculated in Q.1 about such a thing as unprecedented fates, could average people be said to have routine fates? My considered answer is no. That is because to say that a person fulfills a routine fate cannot be distinguished from saying that that person is determined by the past, by circumstances. I entertained the notion of an unprecendented fate because a novelty arises in how we conceive or apprehend, understand or appreciate. According to Hennix, the "aware" people (the Ph.D. physics candidates) are not really inert or smug. They are torn by deep inner conflict and terror (or inadequacy). We don't see that, because they unstintingly conceal it. They resolve their anguish by doing the understandable and presentable thing at any given moment, whatever that may be. Hennix, then, does not see stagnancy tied to sheer lack of "genius." And yet one would expect Hennix to insist on the role of genius.

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3. Let me resume the definitive pronouncements of personhood theory. Personhood theory refuses to acknowlege people as objectivities in a deterministic process. (Except to acknowledge that this conception itself is one of the characteristic nonsensical fantasies.) One who adopts the personworld outlook cannot consider his or her choices and life as a reversible mishap. Personhood theory cannot consider palpable choices and lives as chimeras or as revocable. The demand for a calculus of society is, in the light of personhood theory, an ill-conceived demand. Again, I included the speculation about the authentic identity-theme coming from the future to show that one need not assume the social engineers' cause-and-effect. We do not even have to believe that "solutions" are fabricated from past to present.

Let me make some last comments about the question of seriousness and originality.

a. Stigmatization is typically self-reinforcing. The conformist opportunist has to be displaced to a whole different environment even to be able to acknowledge his or her shame. And then he or she may be destroyed by his or her self-visibility.

b. Seriousness and originality cannot be thrust upon any given person by outside manipulation. Metaphorically, escape hatches are opened by the future, as coherent novelty, in conjunction with moments in which choice is forced--moments in which the arena of action might be reconceived, loyalty might be shifted, effectiveness and gratification might be reconceived, etc.

CRITICAL NOTES ON PERSONHOOD Henry Flynt

(c) 1996 Henry A. Flynt, Jr.

Part I. Objections to Personhood Theory

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[1] Personhood theory originated in reaction to the totalizing objectification of modern science, an objectification which left no place for "the experience of consciousness." Personhood theory proposed to posit consciousness or mental phenomena as elemental. At the same time, personhood theory proposed to avoid taking mind as an autonomous substance. Originally, personhood theory reflected a certain hope that the observation that self, consciousness, subjectivity, and world, objects always appear conjointly, as a bond, could furnish a solution. But what that hope missed was that some of the objectivities which are most important ideologically cannot by even the most liberal standards be defended as immediates of any personal "world," and can only be included in the personal world as derivative and hypothetical beliefs. One does not see society, history, or scientific objectivity (at the subatomic level) as an apparition in front of one's face.!And there is a still more severe objection to that original hope. To acknowledge consciousness as elemental does not bring an end to controversy but rather initiates controversy. There can be many ways of apportioning the personal totality which acknowledge consciousness as elemental and which superficially are equally plausible. And it is not inevitable that the personal totality be apportioned: there is radical unbelief or namelessness. Personhood theory cannot be justified as an account of the way persons are. It can only be defended as a penetrating scrutiny of the way one sort of person pictures self, alongside of engagement in coping or managing. ! We have the notion of a personal world characterized by a stable self-objectivities bond. But this notion is challenged by such phenomena as closing one's eyes, periodic unconsciousness, relaxation in a low-stimulus environment, sensory deprivation. Merely closing your eyes is a violent qualitative alteration of the self-world pattern. Being temporarily blinded is even more dramatic. Yet we take these disruptions in stride: by invoking the concept of the common objective world?!Closing eyes relative to acting, doing, effecting. In acting, one relies heavily on memory or expectation, whichever one wants to call it. Picking up an egg: how hard to press and to heave. Have memory of sight-touch correlations in addition to memory of tactile sequence of actions (how many paces to cross a room, etc.). If I am deprived of the visual side, I attempt to carry out the tactile side with the correlated visual side present as a shadowy mental model, a schematic visualization. In so doing, I implicitly invoke an objectivity which persists when one of my senses is suppressed: the common objective world?!But doing may not be the main issue. The point is the qualitative transformation of the passive self-world pattern. There is a Self or Mind which is constant through drastic qualitative changes in the "world" side of the pattern. Does it make sense to say that Self arises conjointly with World when Self persists while World undergoes violent qualitative changes? Argument that self is not bonded to world or conjoint with world or in an encounter with world?-Since self is not bonded to a qualitatively ("modally") definite and persisting perceptual field. Self is independent of the given field of the moment. Or do I have two selves, a seeing self and an unseeing self? (But in actuality I do not divide up the personal totality like this.)!In fact, arguing for personhood theory, I do not manage via the notion of a selfcontained mind passing through a landscape of things like a ghost. Self-conjoined-toobjectivities has some similarity to the self-picture by which I cope or manage. !Returning to the account of my mode of acting when my eyes are closed, a methodological principle must be stated. These investigations demand that consciousness be taken as elemental. We always stand on both sides of the subject-object dichotomy. Thus, we cannot accept

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behaviorist psychology's claim to be the only valid method of investigating the personal use of perception, memory etc. in acting. Indeed, since we take consciousness as elemental, only first-hand evidence concerning personal functioning--or assertions capable of a first-hand test--can be accepted. Only evidence which has what psychology pejoratively calls an introspective component can be accepted. The evidence of behaviorist experiments cannot, as such, be accepted, because it is strictly second-hand; that is, the "scientific" psychologist proposes to ascertain how another person consciously manages or copes by observing exclusively from without how he or she accomplishes a given task in a controlled environment. In other words, I am directly disputing the contemporary tenet that empirical psychology has made introspection obsolete. Personhood renders purely non-introspective methods suspect, for conscious functioning is not a projection of behavior seen from without. That is also why investigations of how animals cope with being temporarily deprived of vision by behaviorist animal psychology cannot be primary evidence in this investigation. ! When I lie down and close my eyes to go to sleep, only the certainty that I can regain the world I have stripped away makes the deprivation acceptable? Children's reasons for wanting lights on while they sleep. E.g. the child fears being in total darkness because he or she fears that his or her sight may not return when the light does. Is the child's agnosticism always a source of anxiety, or is it only so in children who have been specifically habituated in "irrational anxiety"? ! Attempt to defend personhood theory from the challenge of closing one's eyes. Personhood theory is a journalistic account of how I manage or cope in terms of action and "psychic" stability--a journalism of the delusion from within the delusion. Thus, when getting a drink of water, if I close my eyes while doing it, the system of praxis and beliefs to which I am attached by thirst, etc., takes this qualitative shift in the perceptual field into account. But this defense doesn't explain the real issue, the passive issue of the constancy of Self through a complete qualitative change in World. My Self or Mind persists as a constant while the perceptual field mutates dramatically. What about blinking and stroboscopic lighting? As the different fields alternate more and more rapidly, I don't have the discrimination to compartmentalize the event series as qualitatively different states. Psychic stability requires me to perceive the event series as a special sighted state. Psychic stability is the overriding factor: although these mutations of the perceptual field are drastic, I don't perceive them as drastic. ! Dividing up or analytically decomposing the personal totality. Conventional thought requires me to distinguish my body from the rest of the corporeal world. There are my mind, my corporeal self, the remainder of the totality. But why not a division in which tables and chairs are numb parts of my body? Boundary between my body and all corporeality outside my body. ! Periodic unconsciousness. When you receive general anesthesia for a dental operation, you jump-cut from one episode to another, and have to depend on the dentist to tell you how long you have been unconscious. I have an existence without consciousness whose details I have to learn from without. I am also told from without of conscious episodes which I have forgotten. The need to posit periods in which I have an existence without consciousness. Dreams are determined as "mere illusion." My existence in periods of unconsciousness is given parity with my existence in periods of consciousness, on the basis of information about me from other people as outside observers. !Periodic unconsciousness--my consciousness periodically ceases to exist. The only proof of my existence is information from other people. And yet idealism/solipsism would claim that other people are only an illusion created by my Mind. Or: I have to posit a latent consciousness which I do not experience--a latent consciousness which is not conscious. !Contrary to my first assessment of the issue, the claim that my identity persists

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through unconsciousness poses a more severe obstacle to personhood theory that it does to Eastern thought. I have an existence at a time when the self/world pattern is virtually nonexistent. This is not a minor incoherence. It is an outright negation of personhood theory. If I insist that I exist when I don't have any personhood, then personhood theory loses its point. Either the gigantic paradox of total objectification is unavoidable; or the weight of the argument supports the speculation that my Mind is an autonomous, intermittently existing substance?! Modern philosophy has produced various opinions about the structure of the personal totality. How do various philosophies treat a mental visual image or visualization? Husserl says that both a perceived table and a table-visualization are objects for the subject, objects of consciousness, in exactly the same sense? For Spengler, the table-visualization is "Alien" (das Fremde) even though it is a phenomenon of my mind--because it is a spatial apparition. Even though it is a phenomenon of my subjective mentation, it is impersonal.!In my early radical empiricist analysis, I differentiated the table-visualization from a table-perception on the basis that the former is interior qua mental; and on the same basis, I classified it together with e.g. feelings--both are subjective mental occurrences. ! Did personhood theory reflect an indulgence of Husserl's belief that noesis/noema polarity, or the self/world polarity or split, is an absolute? How did I become involved with this belief which I would have seen through at the time of Philosophy Proper, Version 1 (1960)? In the state of radical unbelief, there is no basis to claim subject-object polarity within experience or sensation, or subject-"objectivities" polarity within experience. Radical unbelief dissolves any subject-object polarity in the personal world. Personhood theory begins with a totality polarized as a "self" facing a "world." But literal empiricism or radical unbelief exposes this polarity as a delusion. When I manage or cope conventionally, I conceive myself as a self demarcated from and confronting a world of objectivities. But this polarization, this structure, is derivative from the beliefs with which I surround the "sensory apparitions." It is belief which converts "non-mental experience" into perception of an object by a self--into a self "raping" the object. Without conventional belief, none of this structure is present. In the totality of literal empiricism (radical unbelief?), a visual-chair-experience (and already this appellation compromises the literalness of the empiricism) is neither me nor not-me. There is none of this so-called perception; there is no "I" engaged in raping objects which have an independent life. The "mystery" that "I in fact only see one hemisphere when I perceive a sphere" is eliminated when one admits that the "sphere" exists only in belief. A perceived sphere is a visual hemisphere plus a belief. !On the other hand, the foregoing nullification of mysteries is not easy. To renounce the ontology of objects would be to renounce all culture and communication in their conventional sense. !For literal empiricism (radical unbelief), there is no "me" confronting and raping a "world." There aren't any "perceptions." What is more, the post-Kantian proof of the object is just an insincere rationalization of the conformist life-world. The genuine challenges to empiricism come from another direction, as we shall see. The intentionality which Husserl discovered, the noesis/noema polarity, is induced by belief. What I wrote on "transcendental arguments" in Blueprint for a Higher Civilization, [2] pp. 33-5, conceded too much to Husserl. I agreed that "If there is experience, there must be subject and object in the experience." That is just what I should have refused to agree with. !The reason I got involved with this myth of the polarization of the personal totality into subject and object, self and word, or whatever, is that I wanted an account of the process of a thematic self confronting objectivities, i.e. managing or coping in the conventional manner. ! In "Philosophy of Personhood and Dignity," 1980 typescript, page 16, I pondered using the experience of having one's dignity threatened as a transcendental argument. A threat to

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one's dignity could serve as a revelation of the non-immediate in the immediate. I proposed that ontology be centered on dignity. But how could I have humored such a rationalization? From a conventional viewpoint, getting sick can produce a profound general change of attitude, somewhat analogous to threatened dignity. But I would not write a philosophy of being sick; or propose an illness-centered ontology. So why the expedient of a dignity-centered ontology? It is unprincipled to use states of demoralization which attach you to certain beliefs as validation of those beliefs unto eternity. !Actually, there is another reason for getting involved with the issue of dignity besides invoking it as a solution to the long-standing philosophical enterprise of "proving the world." I want to know what the personal world has to include in order for dignity to be at stake in it. The equivocal and charged word "dignity" is unimportant; it is to be eliminated in favor of various explications. (See Part V.) In turn, this knowledge gives me a superior analytical framework through which to understand concrete phenomena which require people to be viewed as wholes or to be viewed in terms of their whole thematic identities. (See Part II.)! A crucial issue which arises in connection with personhood theory is whether is it possible to replace the common objective world with some other framework which still purports to produce an organized, identified world. Many illustrations can be given which seem to show that the common objective world is an immensely more convenient and efficient framework than personhood. Many examples in the foregoing discussion could be cited as arguments for the greater workability and efficiency of the objective-world framework. Compare the treatment of perceptual prosthesis in personhood theory and in the objective-world framework. The visual field is different according to whether I wear or remove my eyeglasses. Wearing my eyeglasses, I see a table before me; if I remove my glasses, I see a blur. Or, without my eyeglasses, I see a blur before me; if I put on my glasses, I see a table. Am I to understand that the table changes? Actually, this question is unfair to personhood: it is an integral feature of the personhood perspective to declare that I make the table into an objectivity--to do so is normal functioning. But personhood wishes to classify objectivities as relatively more palpable or relatively more hypothetical. Which is the palpable entity and which is the hypothetical entity, as between the blurred table and the focused table? Loosely speaking, I fail to achieve perceptions confirmed by other people unless I wear eyeglasses. What framework is there to explain what the glasses do, other than physical optics? Consider the action of a magnifying glass, a periscope, a telescope, a microscope. Or consider the use of a rearview mirror. What is directly seen, and what is "perceived" only as inference or hypothesis? These questions may be challenges to dogmatic metaphysical empiricism and to Husserl's doctrine of perception. If I look at a sphere with a mirror as backdrop, so that images of front and back are available to me simultaneously, is the imputation of a back to the sphere no longer hypothetical? If what I see in the mirror is hypothetical, is what I see through my eyeglasses hypothetical? Where do my body and directness (my perception) leave off, and prosthesis and inference begin? !Consider seeing the earth from an airplane, or from a space capsule. "Direct perceptions" which are possible only because of massive scientific technology. But also seeing a valley from within it versus seeing it from a mountain top. !How better to collate the phenomena of shadows than by postulating that these phenomena are images produced by obstructions in light beams?!What about conjuring, legerdemain? Should I identify the conjurer's performance with actuality because I cannot perceptually discriminate between the one and the other? Should I change this judgment if the conjurer shows me how the trick is done?!Or consider the case so often discussed in Indian philosophy of a coiled rope in a dark corner which I perceive as a snake. If at a second glance I see a rope, should I conclude that the object changed? (Incidentally, Indian thought seems to agree in this case that I am in

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error when I perceptually judge the object to be a snake. Indian thought fails to square its objectivist position here with its overall thesis that the world is an illusion created by my mind, with no independent laws.)!When I become ill, my entire personal world becomes "abnormal." When I recover, the world's normality returns. Should I imagine that the world changed--or that there was an objective world which remained the same while I changed?!What is a medial researcher to make of paralysis if the framework of the common objective world is excluded?!I should say again that some of the above questions are not fair to personhood theory. Personhood theory declares that I normally manage or cope by "making" objectivities, by relying on beliefs which "establish" objectivities. The genuine difficulties are as follows. First, the distinction between palpable and impalpable, direct and inferred, becomes questionable. Secondly, it seems far more convenient and efficient to postulate that the objectivities are primary, than to maintain that I derive them. !In addition to the doctrine of the common objective world, we must consider Freud's doctrine that each person has a hidden consciousness, an unconscious consciousness or hidden mind. Reality is claimed for an individual idiosyncracy which is unobservable (in that sense, "non-immediate") to the individual. Personhood theory must classify the Freudian unconsciousness as a mere hypothesis. (But it is an attractive belief to explain the content of dreams, mood-changes, involuntary daydreams, and other subjective phenomena in emotionally disturbing situations and under the influence of psychedelics.) In other words, the Freudian unconscious demands that we ascribe more substance to it than personhood theory is willing to. W ! hat is at stake in the foregoing ruminations is the possibility of a genuinely post-scientific culture, the possibility of a counterattack on scientific depersonalization which is more than a withdrawal into compensation and petulance. We know that the totalizing objectification of modern science is monumentally incoherent. Why, then, does it seem so much more workable and efficient than personhood theory, say? What are the chances of finding a framework which produces an organized, identified world without depersonalizing us (understanding that the traditional makeshifts of religion and metaphysical idealism are not acceptable)?!Physics is a depersonalizing objectification extrapolated from the matter side of the mind/matter dichotomy. Psychoanalysis is a depersonalizing objectification extrapolated from the mind side of the mind/matter dichotomy. Particle physics and psychoanalysis make claims for atomic structure and for the unconscious which are extremely cleverly worked out. With electron microscopes, you can see molecules. In dreams and in the "psychopathology of everyday life," you see the unconscious. !A reply: to be convinced that you have seen a molecule when you use an electron microscope, you have to make an act of interpretation, correlated with a theory of how the device works. !What are the incoherences of objectification? I have to believe that my existence and my experience are only shadows of an inanimate substance, a real reality which is always other than me. A science popularizer said that we are "intricate molecular machines." Just so. If I am to be aware that I am only an "intricate molecular machine," then I have to be at some impossible imaginary point of observation, outside the molecular machine which encompasses my self, to draw this conclusion. This human self-image is intolerably alienated. Dogmatic materialism and totalizing objectification are dangerous to your "mental health." There can be no higher civilization unless we can break this world-view. !But can there be a less mystified, less reductionist, less alienated framework which is more workable and efficient than the objective-world framework? Or is the only alternative to totalizing objectification the piecemeal, specialized investigations of meta-technology?!* !Actually, I am imposing extremely high expectations on the new framework. The objective-world framework did not arise as a homogeneous, all-embracing world-view. It took several hundred years for science's piecemeal pragmatism to encroach on other ways of coping until it embraced all of

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reality. Alchemy, the forerunner of today's chemistry and biochemistry, was quasianimistic. Alchemical animism was eliminated in stages. There had to be successive campaigns against vitalism, teleology, the impossibility of synthesizing organic compounds, the impossibility of synthetic life-forms. !In this manuscript, biological speciation through natural selection of random micromutations--and single-tree eucaryotic descent--will be abbreviated as "Darwinism." Around 1980, as a result of work of Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldredge, and others, it became possible for biologists to say publicly that there is little positive evidence in detail for Darwinism. Evidently there was a tacit conspiracy among paleontologists during the preceding one hundred years to pretend that the evidence supported Darwinism. Indeed, a subtlety is involved in Gould's and Eldredge's disclosure. What allowed the discrepancy to be disclosed was that Gould and Eldredge thought they could explain it away: in other words, their motivation was more damage control than intellectual honesty. Other cutting observations about Darwinism had been made earlier by Karl Popper and Garrett Hardin. Hardin observed in Nature and Man's Fate (1959) that Darwinism had been inspired by Malthus, and was a generalization of the ideology of competitive private enterprise and incremental social reform in Victorian England. !Why was Darwinism upheld as an orthodoxy even though it failed to match the evidence and various criteria of scientificity? Recently, that too has been written about. Let me offer that Darwinism was the beneficiary of favoritism, because it was the least vulnerable proposal to explain the origin of the present biological species naturalistically. But this in turn means that the forces promoting secularism and naturalism--the drive towards secularism--was more powerful than is supposed by canard. Darwinism has been a scientific bluff used as a stopgap to wean the public from the parochial supernaturalist explanations of the biological species in the Old Testament etc. Now, after one hundred years, secularism is so well established that admitting the vulnerability of Darwinism is not likely to bring an end to secular biology. !Obviously, the case of Darwinism contains a lesson about how new frameworks--in this case secularism/naturalism--become established. If the scientific outlook was universally valid, then the origin of human beings had to be the result of the blind activity of matter. Darwinism was a superficially plausible mechanism in which the blind activity of matter produced the biological species extant today. This model served as a bluff. The powerful social forces promoting secularism, scientific depersonalization, and institutionalized science would not forego the model just because it was empirically disconfirmed. Even the presentation of theory-dictated conjecture as fact, as in the equine phylogeny at the American Museum of Natural History, was accepted. !In contrast, the expectations I am imposing on the post-scientific framework are extremely high. In part, this is because I think that science is so sophisticated that only a framework which yields some decisive advantage other than consolation can challenge it. The new framework should allow, say, a powerful technology of awareness/objectivity interdependencies which science cannot achieve at all. But the new framework may be extremely inefficient for transistor technology, say. To uphold the new framework, it might be necessary to run a bluff in areas in which scientific technology is most efficient--until we had accumulated a lot of experience in coping "unscientifically." Also I am not allowing for the possible need for going through several stages in which old and new frameworks are mixed. !* !* C ! hallenges to literal empiricism!Evidently I am treating "literal empiricism" as the least credulous condition, or as the irreproachable condition. What challenges can be directed against literal empiricism to the effect that it underestimates the conventional world? The attempt to "prove the world" in the tradition of Kant's "Refutation of Idealism," the "proof" which says that experience requires a subject and an object, therefore objects must be real. Certainly this challenge is not compelling. (It's a pun on the German word for experience.)!

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Spengler suggested that even within subjective immediate phenomena, even within direct experience, some phenomena are impersonal--indifferent and inert; while others are absolutely personalistic. All phenomena which are emplaced in space, or possess extension, are impersonal. Moreover, spatial phenomena are completed, lifeless, and quantifiable. A perfect example of an impersonal subjectivity would be a visual-tableexperience. Evidently the claim is that a visual-table-experience is more estranged and indifferent than empiricism can acknowledge; or that there is a contrasting zone of experience which is more personal and intimate than empiricism can acknowledge. Let me reply. Modern Romantics have sought to argue that people are not things. But they have maintained with equal stubbornness that things are things. They cannot apprehend experience without conceiving it as polarized between a living, dynamic self (a "soul" as Spengler calls it)--a "me" which is in here--and an object-zone which is "out there" and possesses the inert, indifferent autonomy of an objectively real thing. The object-zone is somewhat like apparitions on a shell surrounding "me." This myth is given a further twist by Sartre when he discovers that the indifferent object-side supplies all of the content of experience; and that the self is empty. !The dichotomy which Spengler finds in subjective immediate phenomena has its source in the beliefs which make e.g. a visual-tableexperience an object or objectivity. Beliefs give the experience the alien autonomy which opposes it to my "soul." Without these beliefs there is no basis to see in experience a zone of things which menace oneself in their soulless inertness. Spengler's dichotomy is an elaboration of portions of the Occidental myth which it has not occurred to him to question: this is evident in his pronouncement that e.g. a visual-table-experience inherently lends itself to quantification, more so than "life" or "self."!Hennix: Is a toothache Proper or Alien, das Eigne or das Fremde?! If I glance at a wall with an inscription on it, I perceive more than the inscription--I instantaneously and "automatically" associate a meaning or significance to the inscription. "I perceive more than is there." I have different species of reactions depending on whether the inscription is e.g. my own name, a word in a language I don't speak, or a mark such that I don't know whether it is a code or not (e.g. a Zebra label when they were new). [On the other hand, let me not underestimate my capacity to doubt the meaningfulness of common linguistic expressions as a matter of principle.] ! If I pass by a familiar place and a familiar object is absent, I have a dizzying perception of a deficit. This perception is instantaneous, prior to any search of my memory to identify what is missing. Evidently the perception superimposes a memory-related belief or judgment on the positive content of the visual field, in an inseparable way. Again, I see more than is there, more quickly than I can bring skeptical detachment or selfconsciousness into play. ! Once I was lying immersed in water and leaned back, and my toes surfaced. All I saw was a pale blob of flesh rising out of the water, and I jerked back in fright. But in the next moment, I realized that I was looking at my own foot, and I relaxed. This case demonstrates that a genuinely undetermined apparition evokes fright and disorientation. What is more, in the case in question I made a snap judgment of the apparition, and reacted emotionally and behaviorally. These responses are instantaneous, and as such are inseparable from the perception. !The reason why I can suppose as a philosopher that cognitive judgments are appended to, and separable from, experiences is that the experiences in question are expected or familiar. But in surprises, and frightful surprises, there is a noticeable cognitive judgment which is made more quickly than skeptical detachment can come into play, and is thereby inseparable from, or intrinsically integrated in, the perception. !The claim might be made that survival demands that the organism make vital judgments instantaneously, prior to self-conscious contemplation. !Moreover, when I "did a second take" and decided that the blob of flesh

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was my foot, the judgment calmed my emotions. Adoption of a belief had the effect of neutralizing the snap judgment and the emotional and behavioral responses integrated in the initial perception, and returning cognition and emotion to neutrality. This even suggests that a snap judgment of harmlessness is latent in the placid perceptions which usually constitute the data of my philosophical reflections. !To recap, a genuinely undetermined apparition will probably evoke fright and disorientation. What is more, "knowledge"--habituated conventional interpretations or judgments--can lessen the fright. ! For completeness, I mention the claim that it is possible to have perceptions expressed as "ice looks cold" or "velvet looks soft." Evidently what is claimed is that a conclusion or inference is intrinsically integrated in the perception. Such a perception may be called "recognition." Here again I see more than is there? Also for completeness I mention what I call intermediate-zone apparitions: I see spots, my ears are ringing, the room is swimming. These apparitions cannot be classified in my dichotomy of mental and nonmental experiences? ! I have mentioned perceptions in which seeing more than is there, or making a snap judgment, is instantaneous and is thereby intrinsic to the perception at the moment. But there are altered states of cognitive morale in which one loses one's capacity for skeptical detachment or self-consciousness over a sustained period. Examples of such states are dreams and psychedelic experiences. ! In a fever, or under the influence of psychedelics, the personal totality can undergo attenuation or disintegration in the zone of the self or "me"--the zone Spengler identified as the soul. That is to say, there is a loss of presence, centered activation, drive. A zone of the personal totality which is called self or "me," and which normally goes unnoticed, is made noticeable by virtue of being threatened in certain rare or disregarded states. An unexpectedly intimate zone of the personal totality is found to be variable. What is more, in dreams, self or self-identity undergoes all sorts of anomalous variations. Recalling Spengler's notions, it could be claimed that the placidity of common experience depends on a stability of an intimate zone of experience which empiricism is too undiscriminating to acknowledge. !* !In most of the above cases I have made the characterization that "seeing more than is there" is an inescapable aspect of the perception in question. It might be argued that these cases are evidences of transcendent phenomena in the immediate. The very occurrence of involuntary and instantaneous imputations of "more than is there" might be taken as proof that there is more than is there. Our very capacity for such imputations might be claimed to project beyond, or transcend, "what is there." Cf. Heidegger's pronouncement that Man lives always ahead of himself, oriented toward the future. (The "there" is already here. Man is already living in the "there.")!But I have always understood that there are perceptions in which imputations of significance or objectivity are involuntary and instantaneous. Only in retrospect can one exercise skeptical detachment toward these imputations. Indeed, in dreams I lose the capacity for skeptical detachment for sustained periods. Conjointly, I involuntarily impute contexts of objectivity in my experiences from moment to moment over sustained periods of time. But any claim that these cases "prove the reality of the world" falls completely flat. !If imputations of contexts of objectivity in experiences could prove the reality of the world, what would be proved most of all would be the reality of dream-worlds. It is in dreams that the phenomena being invoked are most vivid. But this is the opposite of the result wanted by the conformists and apologists. The irony is that the conformists and apologists who want a provable world do not at all want to prove that the dream-world is that world, that objective reality. Indeed, the apologists have an immense stake in claiming that dream-worlds are mere subjective illusions, and are not even slightly part of the public objective world. So attempts by conformist, apologetic philosophers to seize

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on the occurrence of "gullibility" to prove the public objective world are nullified by a trap which these very attempts create for themselves. The case in which the happenings operate so as to best support the arguments that the apologists wish to make is the case which the apologists must suppress to maintain orthodoxy. !What do all my intricate imputations of objectivities in a dream prove about objective reality? The answer of the apologist must be: nothing at all. My perceptions in dreams do not even intimate any genuine objectivity or constitute any genuine objectivity whatever. The apologist must maintain that imputations of objectivities in dreams do not establish any transcendence or non-immediate whatever. No contortion of self-deception "breaks outside" to an objective reality: even the apologists are compelled to maintain this. The fact of my capacity for gullibility or "seeing more than is there" proves exactly nothing about the supposed objective reality surrounding my immediate experience. !* !The only challenge to literal empiricism which is at all deep is provided by perceived motion. What is the interval of time required to observe the occurrence of motion? Must it be long enough to extend outside the present instant and to encompass a distinguishable past and future? Then since past and future are non-immediate, the perception of motion would have to involve perception of non-immediates or imperceivables. On the other hand, suppose we try to confine the observation of motion to a time-interval so short that no past or future is involved. We might have to make the time-interval a fraction of a second. And extremely short intervals of time are not immediates either. Extremely short intervals of time are constructs beyond perceptions. !To express the point in a different way, how much distance does a motion have to traverse, and how much time does it have to occupy, before one has to appeal to one's memory to claim that the moving object was previously in a different position? If you concentrate, and try to test this point, you can narrow the breadth of the "immediate." Is the transfer of perceived movement into memory a moment-by-moment transfer, an instantaneous transfer?!To say "I observe motion" is already a contradiction, because it means that the present instant must be stretched out long enough to establish that the moving object assumes distinctly different positions. So there is a claim that times other than the present are perceived immediately. Yet they cannot be, for past and future can only be "apprehended" as memory and anticipation. !?: Even these difficulties would not arise if one were not trying to organize a world or explain a world.!Evidently what is being debated here is properly called "radical unbelief" rather than empiricism. I don't claim that empiricism makes sense as an affirmative metaphysical system: because it doesn't. If "there is nothing but immediate experience," then there would be no language in which to express this state of affairs (and I already understood this in 1960). The import of the foregoing discussion is negative. Empiricism and unbelief do not underestimate conventional reality. Ordinary personhood has no constituent which properly, affirmatively establishes objective reality.!* !* E ! xcursion in geometry and philosophy!The considerations in this manuscript have ramifications concerning the philosophy of geometry. We may ask what the location is of my mind in the space of indifferent physical entities in my environs. And further: If I can only see one side of a sphere at a time, and have to add the other side (to complete the sphere) by an act of faith, then solid geometry is just as much an imaginary geometry as nonEuclidian or four-dimensional geometry. (A plausible example of an observation which encompasses three dimensions: specifying a point above a horizontal surface such as a table?)!We are finding that Spengler had a point, notwithstanding anything I said in rebuttal of him. Visually interpreted geometry is something one constructs in exterior environs which have been counterposed to, and divorced from, the consciousness or self. The notion of extension is plausible only in the environs. If space has to include both environs and consciousness, it becomes obviously indefinable? Given our indoctrination, there is a difference between "soul" and environs in that the concept of spatial location or

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extension is plausible for one but not the other? Then, three-dimensionality is not an immediate for sight, only for touch if at all? !I began to stumble across these issues in "The Fundamental Reconstruction of Physics," without pushing far enough. How is it plausible that I can construct a visually interpreted two-dimensional geometry, a logic of positional relationships in the visual field? I have to fantasize a stable field, abstracted from the consequences of closing my eyes and shifting my eyes (and also from visual perspective, if I want a strict two-dimensional construct). But color, which is a quality of the visual field but not of the "soul," is also not a property of the tactile field (environs, object-zone). And spatial position (and color) can be a feature of mind (mentation or ideation) when visualizations are taken into account. Geometry is an abstraction which is grotesquely mismatched to the contours of experiences. Visualization: I reproduce the visual environs in my mind, and positional relationship becomes a feature of ideation. But this conclusion continues to make the realm of positional relationship into a shell surrounding me or a screen in front of me which my "soul" observes. Where is this observer's position incorporated in the network of positional relationships? Spengler did have a point about our indoctrination. We come to treat extremely artificial concepts as obvious. The self/world polarization versus the observer/screen polarization (which can be reproduced in ideation). Dependence of the observer/screen polarity on the visual modality. "Jive Space-Out," my electric violin solo which gives a synesthetic impression of space and emptiness. (Reverberated declamatory triple stops, repetition, increasingly long pauses.) To what degree is the extendedness of the "object-field" peculiar to the visual modality? Configuration of the "object-field" for the tactile modality. Observer/field polarization in the tactile modality? Reproducing this polarity in mentation? Where are feelings and moods in the positional network?!What the "empiricist reply" to observer/screen polarization should be. One may speak of visualizations, emotions, self-observations as "self"-aspects. But as far as consciousness or selfhood is concerned, it may as well be considered to be "out there" with "my" table-apparition. More properly, the "out there" notion is nonsensical. !Always test schemes of objectification against dream-worlds. Nobody wants to claim that the self/world or observer/screen polarization occurring in dreams manifests any objective "out there" whatsoever. "Feelings are in here, visuality is out there": why aren't the feelings "out there" with the visuality, i.e. why don't feelings permeate the personal totality? A child says "the room hurts," not "I have a toothache." [So say the textbooks.] !"Where is consciousness located?" versus "Where is mentation located relative to the non-mental zone?" If I could visualize intensely, I could duplicate the non-mental visual field in ideation. Space is never concrete; it is always an abstract model superimposed by thought on perception? !Euclidian geometry requires not only the ability to observe or visualize positional relationships, but also the ability to do, to make pencil and paper constructions. Cf. Hilbert's Foundations of Geometry.!In 2, I noted that three-dimensional space occurs as a shadowy conceptual model which orientates one for action. The three dimensions are dimensions in which action is possible. On the other hand, this information is of no value in substantiating any formal geometry. !Enumeration; magnitude; positional relationship. Positional relationship presupposes enumeration, i.e. a stable multiplicity of distinctions. I may have the ability to recognize positional pairs and triples without explicitly counting them. At what point do we switch from accepting impressionistic recognition of the degree of multiplicity to demanding a protocol of verification, i.e. explicit counting? Explicit counting must be carried out in time, using tokens which appear and disappear in time. (The empirical possibility of mathematics depends not as much on stable notationtokens as on evanescent notation-tokens, since explicit counting is carried out with evanescent tokens.) How about counting positions by writing numbers beside them? If one were enumerating positions by observing numbers written beside them, all that

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would matter would be to discern the greatest number. But don't you have to verify, through a temporal procedure, that there has been no cheating in the assignment of the written numbers? E.g. a wall with 947 numbered points on it. It is the implicit dependence of positional relationship on stable multiplicity, which in turn is verified by a temporal procedure of enumeration, that caused me to reject Spengler's dichotomy, which assigns quantification exclusively to extension and space. !(For professionally indoctrinated mathematicians, let me repeat the point made in "The Fundamental Reconstruction of Physics." Mathematicians have become virtuosos at extracting numerical networks from spatial arrays. But they have become so absorbed in this problem that they have forgotten that they have no rigorous procedure whatever for the inverse shift. Mathematics has no protocol whatsoever for constructing the array of positions in the visual field corresponding to a given lattice of numbers. "Imaginary geometry," which began as an exception, has become the whole of geometry. Mathematics has no procedure whatever for interpreting geometries in perceived space. The operational application of geometry in physics is carried out entirely by unformulated intuition.)!* !* ! When the portrayal of the ostensible personal totality is developed as in "Personhood II," the result is a massive dogma. People can read this portrayal and recognize themselves in it. However, the totality of the portrayal extends far beyond the moments of life or consciousness. When I am raking leaves or simply relaxing, I am largely wordless and do not conceive myself as this vast, intricate structure. Personhood theory is a generalized compilation which goes far beyond the moments of life or consciousness. Personhood theory is a massive collection of "information"; and this massive collection is not an immediate for us. We do not necessarily experience ourselves in this panoramic, detailed way. The circumstance that we do not go around with the panorama of personhood theory in our attention is a basic objection to it. Acts of belief are required to attribute this vast superstructure of detail to ourselves. (Indeed, we may not experience ourselves as in personhood theory at any time. The twentieth-century formalistic scientistic man, to whom I will return in Part V, may not recognize himself in the mirror of personhood theory at all.) ! Personhood theory, as a doctrine, is extremely dependent on and sensitive to language, to verbal embodiment. The distinction between "urge" and "desire" comes from the dictionary; it is not thrust upon me by experience. Personhood theory gives names to moments which do not necessarily appear in experience with names attached to them. But this objection, at least, has an answer. I'm not claiming that the names have priority over the experience, or that the attaching of names is the goal of the activity. Personhood theory originated using words as a means to grapple with problems of non-intellectual epistemology, if you will. The words have worked surprisingly well; the possibilities of expressing the inexpressible were underestimated. Personhood theory is not a project of accumulating abstract certainties. On the other hand, the modesty of this answer is a little out of date. Now that the search for a framework (producing an organized, identified world) which can overwhelm the objective-world framework of science is on the agenda, the question does arise of whether personhood theory is more viable in general than other frameworks. It is no longer enough for personhood theory to be a makeshift controlled by specific problems--even though that is the way it had to be developed. ! One of the most obvious objections to personhood theory is that it is a regression to a medieval anthropocentrism which is shameful given our contemporary knowledge both of the scope of the universe and of the possibilities of manipulating life and computing machines. The theory would identify consciousness with our human trivia, with the trivia of human biology. How shameful to make an absolute of our little niche in the cosmos. But to give personhood theory its due, it makes an extremely radical challenge to this

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contemporary clich. We are little as biological entities in the astronomical universe. But personhood theory rejects this approach to our self-definition. ! A reader's objection to personhood theory. Why must my investigations produce an organized, identified world at all? Why must I produce another ready-made global framework? And why must I advance ideas which presuppose or endorse thematic personal identity? (Such identity could also be called longitudinal or global personal identity--identity over the person's whole life.) !The following argument prepares for Part V.! Many of the issues which surfaced in the foregoing discussion could be ridiculed as issues of the metaphysical structure conventionally attributed to the human psyche--the issues which preoccupied some modern philosophers. Positivism and scientism have already declared that we are better off dismissing these issues as traps? The issues are only imperfections of natural language? Why would not a "superior medium of thought" start from an extraterrestrial standpoint beyond all these issues? Perhaps the foregoing disputes keep us from acceding to the superior medium of thought. Perhaps personhood theory fetishizes the metaphysical structure conventionally attributed to the human psyche. Why should conventionally acknowledged human structures be taken as the frontiers of "thought"? Perhaps personhood theory fetishizes our human limitations. Why could there not be extraterrestrial sentient beings who had the advantage of us while not being human?!Compare the situation when I encounter a fellow human who generally is more advantaged than me or has the advantage of me. Just in practical terms, what if I had an analogous encounter with a sentient non-human? My philosophy provides the insight that non-immediate or transcendent standpoints are nonsensical. Should that induce us to rule out the quest for a preferred existence outside mundane life? !If meta-technology does not portray the panorama and detail of whole human identities, perhaps that means that it is nearer to the superior medium of thought. Perhaps meta-technology is operative without requiring as much credulity as personhood theory does. Less can be more, can mean less mythology (if the "less" is not reductionist.) Meta-technology omits an undesirable burden of assumptions carried by personhood theory. !Dignity is a dubious aim: if it is an attribute of thematic personal identity and requires you to give credence to your longitudinal identity. The affirmation of your longitudinal thematic identity is not as worthy as the capacity to "rotate" the ostensible world or cultural determination of reality. Whoever has the latter capacity is in a position to make him/herself disappear to him/herself (without reductionist half-fantasies). !* !On the other hand, it can be argued that all elements of meta-technology introduced so far presuppose the person-world to underlie them. (But it still doesn't follow that it is productive to specialize in personhood.) What about promulgating meta-technology, seeking its adoption culture-wide? To attempt to convince another person--to persuade a person of an idea or secure a person's comprehension of a cultural artifact--presupposes enough of the constituents of personhood that personhood's level of credulity is tacitly presupposed. To despair of other people also presupposes their (inadequate or selfattenuating) personhood. !Some readers advised me to proceed as if I were oblivious to the matter of audience. But meta-technology is removed from the audience by the extent of an entire new civilization; it does not feed into any role in this culture. (Check the cases in which a "pioneer" seems to attract a public spontaneously by just being splendid, and you will find that the pioneer's role was already a cultural clich.) The communication of meta-technology has to be consciously contrived. My personal contact with whatever potential audience there is has elicited a whole new level of bizarre behavior--which may be called cross-cultural obscurantism. I cannot refrain from bringing this behavior within the scope of the manipulation and analysis which I am developing. !Meta-technology as a sorcery of chaos: who and what is the sorcerer?!* !Some of the preceding defense of personhood theory is only tentative. Part II (conclusion) and Part V of these notes will say more about the role and rationale of personhood theory. !* !* A ! lertness-only mysticism !One Buddhist sutra argued that sense-awareness cannot, in

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principle, be reduced to any conjunction of its physical requirements. The physical requirements, which are all indifferent entities or properties in the knowing subject's personal space, are incommensurate with the core of awareness. Well-made as this point is, it manifests Eastern thought's determination to strip world from alertness, to isolate alertness (from world) as a substance. "Alertness only." There is no instinct that comprehension needs content as well as alertness. !Well, perhaps I am unfair. Eastern thought knows that "comprehension" commonly has a content. That is why it developed the practice called "meditation," whose purpose is to still mind and empty it of content (which is judged to be a contamination). !The task is to explain and counteract cultural depersonalization and cross-cultural obscurantism, as well as cultural exhaustion and ritualized self-abasement. The problem of addressing these topics with an analytical framework which does not make us into shadows of a hidden reality has never been posed before. !Eastern thought may be able to acknowledge that comprehension commonly has a content; and yet claim that such content can be stripped away from mind. But this approach cannot serve the task of personhood theory. I want an immanent critique of the usual palpable totality. I want an account of comprehension when it has a content--not when it doesn't.![1]The numbers are not text locations. They number individual arguments against "Personhood II," a previous selection in this web site.[ ! 2] Milan, 1975. CRITICAL NOTES ON PERSONHOOD Part II. Case Studies in Personhood

A. Methodological disparity in Personhood II

The exposition in "Personhood II" [The Person-World Premise II] divides into two parts, (section)A-(section)L and (section)M-(section)Q. [Referring to the 1991 revision. Let me note that (section)J in the 1991 revision originally followed what is now (section)L.] These parts display quite different methodological orientations. In A-L, generally understood constituents of personhood are analyzed in an adverse way. The effect is to decompose them. I elucidate pitfalls in generally acknowledged constituents of personhood. I seek to decompose the conventional constituents, to expose them. I make an adverse critique of distinctions posited by the culture. I show that constituents corresponding to common-sensical and scientific realities are not "solid." In particular, I show that personal identity is concocted by the juggling of waking states, dreamed states, unconscious states, memory, etc. In M-Q, I have no wish to analyze the constituents under consideration adversely. The distinctions under consideration are distinctions which I have invented. The constituents which I posit--imminent character and thematic identity--are exempted from my adverse analysis. Instead of decomposing the constituents, I uphold their stability. Why? Because I wish to invoke them as explanatory structures. I am appealing to their causative effectiveness, so I have no wish to depreciate them. I am interested in "character" and "identity" for their effectiveness in buttressing given adjustments of the person-world. Character provides a level of consistency of the individual. It seems to hold the individual in a vice-like grip. Character and identity come across in M-Q almost as immutable first causes.

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Why single out global and longitudinal structures as first causes? ("global": the highest level of integration of the person-world; "longitudinal": life-long.) If mundane reality in general is unstable and delusive, then why should global longitudinal structures like character and identity be stable and actual and be able to uphold the mundane reality? In personhood theory, character becomes something of a mystique. Imminent character is a constituent which I have invented to explain certain consistencies of the individual in large choices and actions. The notion of character is supposed to throw into relief certain preferable or regrettable qualities of the individual. But this is a proposal specific to me: imminent character as the key to being cognitively protean. The perspective of the public arena, institutions, and historiography is quite different. In the latter perspective, success is the only merit. The most important personal quality is to go with the winning flow, to swim toward the "light" of fame, to attune oneself to the successful flow. What is important about the individual is his or her symbolic value in the collective or public context of the moment. That is the primary constituent. To inquire about the inner person or private person is disapproved as diversionary. From this point of view, imminent character would be denounced as an anti-social fabrication. [1991. There will be a tendency to read the passage here as a satire on a peculiarly American fetishism of success. But that omission of the rest of the world would be far from what I intended. In fact, the primary target of the last paragraph was the way that lives (and in particular lives in the public arena) were judged in the Marxist tradition. People's value was in the political symbols which they could become--in the political symbols into which propaganda could make them. And that was closely parallel to "success"--especially if achieving symbol-value meant lionization and high office for the individual. Beyond that, my remarks were directed to the highest echelons of academic science. Theoretical physicists are entrepreneurs: choosing research programs precisely to maximize fast career payoff. Indeed it was the American commercial sphere which developed the flagrant enshrining of success as a goal. But that does not mean that other spheres do not have closely parallel orientations, even though they would not use the language of American commercialism.]

Let me try to formulate the conflicting orientations of A-L and M-Q more sharply. In A-L, I take the immediate moment as primary, and make an adverse critique of the individual's concoction of longitudinal identity or global identity.[1] I suggest that it takes a continual expenditure of energy to keep longitudinal or global identity together. (It also takes a continual expenditure of energy to walk.) But in M-Q, I take a facet of longitudinal identity--or at least of momentary global identity--as primary. I attribute to this facet the power to shape factual perception, etc., in the present moment. I make the person the slave of longitudinal or global identity. Character or thematic identity acquires a life of its own; and can act to shape factual perceptions of the moment.

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Frankly, the result is quite contradictory. Yet I am not being arbitrary. There is realism in both of the orientations--whether I can sort out their relation to one another or not. A-L is more or less a compilation of lessons from meta-technology. It is the attempt to answer the objection that the instabilities of the person-world could not be read out from the personhood paradigm of December 1980. M-Q is an attempt to sum up phenomena which I began to ponder at the time I wrote "On Depth Psychology and Psychotherapy, Part II," and "The Theory of Ordinary People." In talking about "retroactive signification" ("unprecedented fate") and "ordinary character," I sought to be straightforwardly honest abut phenomena which are too compelling to ignore. In the concrete cases which personhood theory has been developed to account for, character seems to exercise an iron control of life's adventure. [For whatever it is worth, let me give an illustration. Sun Buddhas Moon Buddhas and Be Here Now are two books which express the religious perspectives of two Americans who traveled to the East as adults and converted to Buddhism--namely Elsie Mitchell and Richard Alpert. What I find so striking is that they each found Buddhisms which were continuations of the persons they were already--Buddhisms which are different to the point of unrecognizability. If you say "of course," then you are saying that religions themselves have no power to mold converts. I feel like saying: No experience publicly available today can change the qualities which define these people in my eyes. Alpert is still the quintessential flamboyant, sensation-seeking hustler. Mitchell is still the quietly respectable, insipid do-gooder. Everything that happens to these people will only feed into personal styles already established. I don't even think a kidnapping like the one Zdenek Mlynar recounted in Nightfrost in Prague would change them. It could be argued that the different outcomes for the two converts were produced by different milieus. Mitchell converted in the cool, Watts Fifties; Alpert converted in the freak-out Sixties. But Alpert published in 1971; Mitchell published in 1973. Both were Harvard academics, passing through that same milieu as young adults. They did not come from markedly disjoint socio-historical compartments.]

1 Character is like a framework on which response to new perceptions, etc., are draped. The direction of causation: does factual perception support character or does character shape and control factual perception? Let me acknowledge considerations other than character which maintain the consistency (or "stagnation") of the person-world. a. Conformity. Feeding on cues from other people. The individual's alignment or dynamic balance with cues from other people. b. What your "factual perceptions" tell you. Hennix: Being submerged in a social role is a miasma of constituents--without linear causation from primary to derived constituents.

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B. Social role

In M-Q, I say that to merge with a social role is always depersonalizing, no matter how "decent" or splendid that role may be. This pronouncement needs further explanation. Why is it that even a Gandhi or Einstein is depersonalized in living as public property? The answer is a rather narrow consequence of personhood theory which has to be elucidated at a rather abstract level. It expresses the curious radicalism of personhood theory. There are two parts to the answer. First, an individual who fits snugly into a social role, who lives as a public prop, is a person whose perceptiveness has to arise perfectly matched to that of the collective, the public. There is no reason, in the individual's thoughts, to make a distinction between following one's impulses, and doing what the public approves (or at least understands--if you represent one side in a conflict you cannot be approved by all but you can be understood by all as the symbol of your side). There is no reason why acting out of principle should become counterposed to public understandability. Another way of saying the same thing is that the culture provides an assortment of stereotypical roles and of stereotypical conflicts or controversies--like the column of boxes on a multiplechoice questionnaire. The person who is merged with a social role is the person who can comfortably define self by checking off the boxes--who can define self as a linear combination of orthonormal stereotypes. Viewed from a certain angle, the individual in question is defined by seeking public understandability and success. The individual who is merged into a social role must react to anything which swims into his or her field of attention via considerations such as:

Will it grab the relevant audience? Will it "sell"? [sic--figuratively] Is it professional? Will it confirm or jeopardize my professional status? Will it crystallize the fancy of the public, i.e. does it have fad potential? [Once again, let me caution against reading this as a satire on American commercialism. My primary targets were the Left and academic science. The only thing peculiarly American about the questions is their candor.] To the "social" person, public understandability, enshrinement in the public record--going with the winning flow, achieved symbolic value in the public context of the moment--is indistinguishable from reality or life. The "social" person relentlessly screens everything with respect to whether it will enhance or diminish his or her standing in the multiple-choice questionnaire. To fail to be officially endorsed and chronicled--that is the most horrible fate there is.

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Am I suggesting there is something bad in all this? The "social" individual has to route his or her entire life through an intermediary, a master control: societal understandability, notice, approval. There is no independently self-seeking act; quality is indistinguishable from success. Thus, personal existence is a mere shadow of society--a grandiose Other, a hypothetical Other. The person's existence is depersonalized in a strict technical sense. Self-image, way of coping, make the person revolve around an Other of which the self's subjectivity and immediacy are only a shadow. No, I cannot claim that there is something bad in all this. I am not contesting the person's public achievement. I am saying that depersonalization is its other side. I will elaborate below in "Gloating venality," and in "The sorcery of destiny."

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I now wish to portray a few specific adjustments (or configurations) of the person-world with a degree of detail that cannot be read out of Personhood II. These configurations are evidently within the limits of ordinary personhood, but constitute very specific configurations. They are configurations which are most clear-cut in immature or disadvantaged individuals (or in professors of science). But I argue that these configurations also, by extrapolation, characterize the person-world of the "average person." What we find is a sort of humiliation that compensates by blustering. The condition is definitely culture-correlated; that is, it is imposed and fostered by the existing community. It is concomitant with shrunken comprehension and other fetters which prevent the individual from being "cognitively protean." Shame, the need to bluster, etc., as constraints on cognition. I have sometimes quipped that the ordinary person is the ultimate research frontier. Here I am trying to express what the average person has to live with every moment but cannot put into words or even bear to try to put into words. At the same time I am trying to characterize the shrunken comprehension or fettered cognition which is fostered specifically by this civilization and which is thrown into relief by pressing the issue of meta-technology. A further methodological comment is in order here. Why is it that ordinary people constitute an especially difficult research subject? In a sentence, because I want to view them from inside with a conceptualization which they don't comprehend. In more detail: I have already expressed the difficulty of researching ordinary people from one side: we have to discern immediates of the average person's personal totality which he or she doesn't want to see and doesn't have the perspective to express in a series of principles. But the other side of this obstacle is that I am trying to analyze the average person from the introspective standpoint, when in fact I am quite removed from the average person and can't perform his or her introspection. Only the average person can confirm the analysis; and he or she must change before he or she can bear to entertain or consider the analysis. It is another unreasonable methodological juncture of personhood theory which is built into the phenomena themselves.

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C. Ignorant petulance

The state of ignorant petulance or oblivious helplessness is most clear-cut in a child: say in a child's attitude toward being forced to attend school. The child has the capacity to like, to dislike, to say "I want," to say "I won't do." The child lacks capacities of comprehension, impartiality, generalization. The child resents, without understanding or wanting to understand how the object of his or her resentment got there and who benefits from it. Ignorance--lack of comprehension of what he or she resents--is bliss. The child may play hooky or run away; but he or she cannot seriously contest school as an institution. The child's world revolves around impulse gratification. He or she copes with the imposed regimentation and indoctrination through petulance. Comprehension is constricted by immature self-absorption and subjectivism. He or she cannot form the question "Why school?" (The attitude I am portraying is not specific to youth as such but to ignorant petulance as such. Some children rebel against school with much more insight than I am portraying here.) To repeat, in this case the child copes or responds to the imposed burden with petulance. What is more, he wants admiration for his petulance, supposing that by being petulant, he "kills" school. Now that he has killed it, it becomes all right for him to submit to it. "Since my defiance and bluster have killed the teachers, I no longer lose face if I take orders from them for ten years." And the child wants admiration for this "insurrection."

The point of dwelling on this byway of childishness is that it is the model for the humanistic response to science. It is the model for the humanistic response to modern objectification, modern depersonalization, and cultural self-abasement. The humanists are unable to ask for the "why" of modern culture in a way which gets us beyond the abasement. Rebellion takes the form of petulance. Activities fantasized as alternatives to science and other sophisticated, consequential institutions are pathetic. Admiration is demanded for mere petulance.

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D. Continually insecure esteem

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If a person is the target of unfair and inaccurate disparagement, the obvious advice is to tell him or her to stand firm and cultivate autonomous self-respect. Be an autonomous doer in the world, enduring mundane existence without being dominated by unfair and inaccurate disparagement. But for members of various disparaged groups, this advice is not feasible, and in that respect it is not even pertinent. The case which I know from personal contact is that of Southern "white trash" and the white "juvenile delinquent"; but we must suppose that the situation is still more acute for others. The disadvantaged individual may be constantly off-balance from systematic disapproval of traits which he or she cannot control or choose. Also material disadvantages: the level of benefits and occupations assigned to the person. The barrage of disapproval, in the context of low material social position, throws him or her off-balance. The person is actively being prevented from building an inner refuge from disapproval; and there is no outer refuge from disapproval. Disparagement keeps the person off-balance, and there is no secure base on which autonomous self-respect and autonomous personal projects can be developed. The chip on the shoulder, also surliness and bluster. (But I can't leave the commentary at this stage. It's like the liberal theory of "prejudice." A dominant role is being attributed to non-dominating influences. I really don't have any business being an armchair psychologist, but: the child's experience with his or her parents would seem to be far more important than his or her experience with hostile strangers in deciding whether he or she will be able to achieve autonomous self-respect. What is more, the helplessness I am portraying presupposes an inherent personal deficit as well. The person who can recognize a talent in him/herself that doesn't depend on popularity always has an anchor for esteem. Books as friends, that sort of thing. Let's get the topic in focus. What is pertinent is not this or that explanation of the misery of the underprivileged. What is pertinent is, indeed, continually insecure esteem--how it feels and how one acts from it; and it is easy to imagine this condition in connection with the socially underprivileged.) When autonomous self-respect is not a feasible goal, there are concomitant cognitive lacks, constraints on comprehension. One is unable to concentrate on matters which are not selfabsorbed--to follow a dispassionate, impartial line of activity or a high level of generality. Having started with the underprivileged, I find that a different version of continually insecure esteem characterizes the average person. The average person is not necessarily being abused by a section of the community for a trait he or she was born with. But the person has a contiguous problem. In order to gain social approval, he or she has made terrible, self-lacerating sacrifices. (I will return to this point in a subsequent section.) The person foregoes any chance of "sublime self-assertion" as I call it. (And that is irrespective of whether sublime self-assertion comes as an actively heroic posture or as a compulsion, a way of life which one is fated to.) "Most people spend most of their time doing things no rational person would freely do." Now he or she must continually struggle to justify self-lacerating, self-mutilating concessions. As I will observe below, the average person is analogous to the boys in Imperial China who had themselves castrated so that they could begin a political career as eunuches in the Imperial court. But more than this, emotional dependence on other people (on society?) is an end in itself. To get more approval by making "concessions" is an end in itself. These "concessions" also bring

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material rewards: wealth, property, control of other people. (Given competition and conflict in human wants, it becomes an end in itself to have the means to enforce your will over another.) But having to face and to rationalize one's self-mutilating "concessions"--one's surrender of sublime self-assertion--keeps the average person's esteem continually off-balance. To recommend that the person cultivate autonomous self-respect, and be an autonomous doer in the world, does not strike the average person as feasible or pertinent. "If you knew what I'm going through you wouldn't say that." (Yet this analysis is one-sided. See "Thoughts on Dignity and Consecration" (March 1981) for the average person's sense that he or she, and not the shabby geniuses, has the best of life's bargain. Van Gogh was insane with envy for his brother's normal family life, etc.)

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E. The seeker of therapeutic reassurance

Let me speak of a certain class of quasi-bohemian "poetry people." The individual feels chronically abused and cheated by parents. The individual feels empty. A lifetime of not doing what he or she wanted to do. Now, he or she is not able to find any cues within as to what he or she should be doing. In addition to being poetry people and semi-bohemians, nobody has ever made these people set aside their personal turmoil in order to think about general, impersonal problems. But they are convinced that they could not compete at that intellectual level, that they lack resources at that level. Then, they think they are not doing well enough in the search for love, identified with romantic relationships. Psychotherapy has crystallized this group into a market by creating a genre of inspirational-moral self-help literature.[2] The people in the audience arrive at the point of acknowledging vulnerability. They want to get beyond people "running games," and find something "real": by which they mean inspirational instruction which is not a cult and which doesn't necessarily tell you what you want to hear--yet which is not impersonal, not concerned with intellectual principle. These people do not flee their emotional hurt into a sterile absorption such as chess. They want to dwell in emotional tussling in the form of fictional sublimation--and in the form of therapeutic process. So, their program is to admit their hurt; and then to get a new inspirational-moral idea which will lead them to "love." (Jourard: the solution is gushing candor--on the part of someone already absorbed in personal emotions.) They demand that a literature of ideas should tell them how to take care of themselves, how to love themselves--and thus how to love.

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They insist that ideas should address a personal hurt with personal reassurance--not asking them to examine shared intellectual tenets. Their emotional trauma is an emergency which blots out everything else. They don't have a realistic idea of how large is the number of people who are sufficiently composed to attend to impersonal questions. They don't have a realistic idea of how much effort the human race has devoted to general, impersonal, even abstract topics--or of how widely the results of those inquiries have influenced collective life. Most of these people would never be prospects for "philosophical anthropology." (To use the archaic, pedantic name for general and impersonal discussion of the consensus human self-image, discussion at the level of intellectual principle.) But some members of this group would be prospects, if it were not for their absorption in personal emotional hurt (and the validation of that absorption by the therapeutic literature). The therapeutic literature becomes an infra-philosophy, which makes philosophical anthropology unreal to the audience in question. Incidentally, the therapeutic balm doesn't work. The person obtains an inspirational enthusiasm, which fades. Then he or she gets another enthusiasm. As I first argued in "Remarks on Neurosis and Psychotherapy" (1976), actual personal stabilization, improved judgment, and the ability to apply oneself to impersonal missions come from moving to new milieus and from the arrival of unexpected opportunities. (Far more than from post-mortems on one's past, or from intellectually vapid moral instruction.)

* What is relatively more basic here is not that psychotherapy is sought as salvation. It is salvation itself: the taking of the purpose of cognitive seeking as a personal hygiene of happiness. (How to take care of yourself, how to love yourself, what you should next do with yourself, how to find romance.) One seeks a happiness for oneself, arrived at inside, which is neutral to the rest of the world, which leaves the outside unexamined. One asks for a life-philosophy in which one gets happiness by narrowing the entire achievement and scope of life to personal self-remediation and adjustment, without any examination of consensus intellectual principles (not to say change in them). In Asia, there are established religions with this orientation. For that reason, Western therapists and Eastern gurus become interchangeable as saviors to the reassurance-seeker. The goal of cognitive seeking is, from the outset, personal spiritual perfection. The only thing you want from knowledge is a road straight to your individual bliss. It is inside oneself that the answer will be found.--And yet the seekers are phobic of solitude. As I just said, the enthusiasm fades. The seeker must find another enthusiasm. The seeker needs to be saved again--and it cumulates into a life-long cycle.

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* Focusing on psychotherapy's differences from Eastern religion, the former proposes to fill the spiritual vacuum left by science with a "science of the soul." And concomitantly, it offers a whole new ethic or life-philosophy. At the same time, it claims as an advantage that it is modern and rational. It claims to make no value-judgments; it claims that its advice is that of scientific medicine. This "theory of the soul" grows out of a preoccupation with personal pathology and treatment. The science of the soul has nothing to say to the person who is not mentally ill. If you aren't mentally sick, then rationalistic culture doesn't offer your soul any attention.

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F. Gloating venality, and its stresses

In offering meta-technology to various audiences, one of the most striking reactions I have elicited comes from professors and scientists. Professors and scientists explicitly admit to dishonesty and venality. Here, then, I will elaborate the dictum in "Personhood II" that shame can live with itself only by glorying in shame. When I offer my arguments that logic, mathematics, and physics are fraudulent and stunted to the professionals, their reaction is "we already knew that but we don't care and we are going to try to suppress your expos." [Or, I have since learned, to reserve the purely negative side of the expos for one or another in-house radical to make a career of it. They play hardball when they're hungry for success.] A mathematician told me "Of course mathematics is a hoax but it is the only thing in the world I can do well." A physics student told me "I just want to make a lot of money." An engineer told me "I happen to like the security of the common objective world whether it is intellectually defensible or not." It would be indelicate for me to name names; I have to live with these people. My academic credentials are in economics, and I found the same attitude there. Then, in Part I of this manuscript, I carefully defined "Darwinism" and noted that it has been known for a long time by professionals to be on weak footing. Darwinism has been maintained as an orthodoxy in conjunction with the profession's misrepresenting its degree of validation. Every time I confront the savants in private, I find that they are even more certain than I am that the positions they avow publicly are false. Why do they do it? The declared motives are prestige, status, and above all, money.

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What sustains the savants' loyalty to ideas which they are confident are false? What am I to make of the fact that the reasons they give for refusing to consider meta-technology are so venal and mercenary? Certainly, loyalty to a hoax can result from fear and from involuntary limitations. The savant can be a prisoner of his or her culture: faculties or angles-of-view necessary to understand a new idea can be stifled by the enculturation process. The threat of punishment, as much or more than anticipation of reward, may cause the individual to mold and merge him or herself to the demands of success. The professional who announces at an inopportune time that his or her colleagues are lying might be ostracized and cut off from financial support. He or she will be at risk of oblivion. Beyond these outside sanctions, ideas transcending the given civilization challenge the savant's conviction that he or she is sane, that his or her overall integration of perception, belief, and morale is true or realistic. But if these threats are determining the savants' conduct, none of them admit it. The savants I know do not admit to fear or self-doubt. They present themselves as fully mature men and women, fully in control of their reality, acting as they do because they know exactly what the options are, because they know exactly what their actions mean and what the consequences are. Indeed, one of the most extraordinary traits I have noticed in the savants is their posture of great maturity as human beings. They vastly prefer to admit to being opportunistic, mendacious, deceitful, meretricious, mercenary than to being naive. It is terribly important to them to declare they they control their reality, that they are not snivelling, irresolute ingnues. One of my readers wanted to view the savants' deficit of seriousness and originality in terms of social underprivilege and childhood deprivation. He wanted to demand that the government give the savants a handout of seriousness and originality, in analogy to a public assistance check. I'm glad that this was said, because it is such a valuable object lesson. This reader was morally obtuse. Were the savants asking for a handout of originality and seriousness? Talking to the savants is very much like talking to the Field Marshal of a country which is at war with yours. The enemy Field Marshal knows that you don't approve of him. He isn't crushed by your disapproval at all. He doesn't admit to a weaker will or lesser awareness or less mature desires than you have. Rather, he proposes to annihilate you. That is the impression made by the savants. I can't win an argument with them, because they always squelch me with the quip "I'll cry all the way to the bank." But there is a respect in which the Field Marshal is a bad analogy. The enemy Field Marshal doesn't deny that I have assets worth fighting him for. But the savants express condescending pity toward me, for wandering in the wilderness, for not having the instinct to make my ideas saleable, for getting nothing out of life. I'm saying more than I expected here. Unlike the enemy Field Marshal, the savants are "factually" oblivious and ignorant. The incentive, the reward and opportunity for further reward that inspire my conduct are invisible to them. They don't see that I have a well-considered project now. What is the proper approach for personhood theory in addressing the "obscurantism" of the savants? It is not to try to make the savants feel guilty--to appeal to their better instincts--because their esteem is based on not having any better instincts. Rather, the task is to investigate the following. What personal context, or scope of the human condition, is required for people to be

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mendacious, meretricious, and all the rest of it, to gloat over their meretriciousness, and to tell themselves that their posture is mature and that it is their detractors who suffer from shrunken comprehension and childish wants? And in particular, what are the stresses--the sacrifices, the self-lacerating "concessions"--involved in this posture? A good analogy for the savants is the boys in Imperial China who had themselves castrated so that they could begin a political career as eunuches in the Imperial court. The Chinese eunuch was proud of his choice and the position he subsequently attained. It is not our role to expect him to feel regret or guilt for having mutilated himself. Our role is to observe that this success is not frictionless, but has to be maintained by continual violence and torment directed against oneself. The constituents of ordinary personhood are facets of self-laceration which are integral to gloating venality. The issue is auto-traumatization. Furthermore, it is the task of personhood theory to carry the scrutiny of auto-traumatization beyond the superficialities of physical mutilation or other self-imposed stresses which any psychiatrist could identify. I am looking for phenomena at the level of total morale and "sanity" as they relate to culturally prescribed perception and cognition. The material in the immediately preceding sections showed the direction for investigation. What is the context--cultural, cognitive, epistemological, ontological (if you want the traditional terminology)--which is required for the savant's venality to subsist? I look not at obscure medical symptoms but at obvious ramifications of morale--and their "ontological" bases. What can we learn about the ultimate reality of the universe from the fact that the people selling the ultimate reality of the universe are crooks? Basing your esteem on your judgments of yourself as despicable must involve some sort of friction. Saying "I like myself because I am a rat" is after all quite circuitous and unintuitive and must evince a very contorted context of morale. What about the squelcher "I'll cry all the way to the bank"? What this quip really means is that money is the bribe for a life which is otherwise reproachable.

When the savant says, "I don't care if it's a lie, I'm glad it's a lie," he or she is functioning in a world-totality in which the possibility of lying has to be installed or established. Here we approach a serious and deep subject-matter for personhood theory. What are the interrelations between

a) the ontological-epistemological-cognitive preconditions for a lie to occur; and

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b) the necessity of lies to gratification and self-esteem--the indistinguishability of "life" or "survival" from a career of lying--when lying (in some obvious aspect) implies deceit and shame?

In regard to (a), lying presupposes language. What is this phenomenon called language, whose contribution to "life," as the opportunist knows it, is solely to provide a medium in which lies can be expressed? The savant boasts: "I am a liar, a cheat, and a fraud. I am proud because I am despicable. Nothing matters to me and I don't care about anything." What is the nature of this "I" which has to exist so that there will be an "entity" of which mendacity, meretriciousness, and desensitization can be predicated? What is the nature of responsible caring--which is required to exist so that the opportunist can sneer at it and be too desensitized to feel it? The ordinary savant boasts: "I am always venal." But what is this claim of ego-constancy over time? Is the ordinary savant venal in his dreams? What, indeed, are his dreams? Or is he one of the mutilated people who can't remember any dreams? Is the savant venal when he is one month old, one year old? If he is meretricious at one year old, does he claim that he was meretricious in the same sense as he is as an adult? Does the mathematician claim that he "believed mathematics because it was false" when he was one year old? Or does he concede that there was a time when he was so naive that he could not affirm lies as ends in themselves? (Another explanation: the savant is ego-constant because he is truncated--confined to venality. But here is where personhood theory is instructive. It is implausible that anyone is born affirming lies in order to glory in shame. Innocence does not behave in that way. Glorying in shame is reactive.) The ideologists of modern scientific civilization proclaim that they are objects in a "world" constituted exclusively of objects--that they are intricate molecular machines. But if it were so, then the individual would "have no (awareness of a) world." In this sense, the belief is a privative ideology. Generally, one acquiesces to privation if one believes one has no choice or one is getting the best of a bad deal. What has to happen to make total objectification seem unavoidable or the best of a bad deal? Having thought through the preceding, we can ask whether venality is spontaneous, or whether it requires a continual juggling act to support it. Is there an effort of being venal; does venality require the suppression of spontaneous counter-impulses? (Cf. (section)I below for the juggling act.) Then, the orientation of opportunistic improbity must be judged to be an ideology. [Clarification: It's an ideology for the savant who reveals that he espouses his discipline even though he knows it's false, because he knows it's false, and insists that he is in no way naive.] What kind of selfediting and self-processing does one have to perform to live up to this ideology?

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* The cynicism which professional scientists express to me in private is too instructive to be discarded. I don't see why we shouldn't press the issue. The following proposal is not sarcastic. It is viciously clever, and you might misperceive it as sarcastic. "The universe exists so that I can be a rat." We have found that this is the bottom line of mathematics, physics, etc.--admitted in the inner sanctums of the professions. At the same time, the new physics claims to be the total explanation of the real world; to depict the fundamental reality of which every phenomenon in the universe is a derived "resonance," if you will. How, then, do the explanations of physics account for this posture which I discover in the physicist? How do quark chromodynamics and quantum cosmology explain the human posture of the physicist who says "I know quark chronodynamics and quantum cosmology are false and I don't care"? A physical explanation of a physicist who believes physics because it is false (because he is crying all the way to the bank) might be called a self-reflection of physics' invalidity. If one performed the necessary substitutions and cancellations in this self-reflected physics, would physics be resolved into the liar paradox? Would it be a liar paradox of the second degree? In the next section, I will identify outcomes which science can predict only by approving its own death. Somebody said that a complete mechanistic description of the universe would have its validity depend on whether somebody believed it, because whether somebody believes it is a part of the whole that the description must account for. The description is not valid independently of whether somebody knows of it or believes it. But the present case is beyond that: physics is being asked to model the reality that "it exists because it is false." Perhaps the answer would look like this: "The quarks are debilitated and withdrawn."

2 The preceding considerations suggest a new objection to Freudian psychology. I was reaching for this objection via a different route in earlier manuscripts. According to Freud, the child is nearer to an animal than the adult, and manifests feral impulse gratification, greed, grasping selfabsorption, cruelty, incapacity for impartiality, etc. But in the first place, I suggest that the infant's tropism of survival is being confused with "immature behavior" which is in fact learned--at an early age--and is a response to rebukes and cruelties which reflect adult cynicism, power relations, resignation, etc., and which seem arbitrary to the infant. I spoke earlier of ignorant petulance as being most clear-cut in a child. But I don't believe that ignorant petulance is truly infantile, instinctive, or feral functioning. It is a way of coping which the child has inferred from

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his or her encounters of adult frustration and conflict. Freud goes on to say that all of the individual's decencies and aspirations are sublimations of brutish impulses which are imposed by the socialization process. But the considerations earlier in this passage throw this favorable assessment and endorsement of the socialization process into grave doubt. The infant manifests naive survival tropisms. The child manifests an ignorance of the culture's taboos (which ignorance I cannot condemn as brutish even if the culture does). Occasionally the child tries being genuine. On the basis of the foregoing considerations, I would have to say that socialization takes this "raw material" and superimposes upon it a regime of cynicism, self-loathing, conscious and willful opportunism, dishonesty, hypocracy, improbity, venality, resignation, despair, etc. On the other hand, I must say that children who are raised in environments which are considered to be ideal by various sorts of "liberals" and "progressives" do not turn out to be systematically superior by any standards I accept. For a child to be told that he or she is being made into a model child probably has the effect of making him or her into a naive conformist or proxy for his or her elders. The source of the qualities I want to support is evidently too mysterious to be within the scope of any known system of manipulating the upbringing of the child.

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G. The sorcery of destiny

I first suggested that fate might have to be considered an independent causative influence in a person's life in "On Depth Psychology and Psychotherapy," Part II (August 1979), typescript page II-16. In that manuscript, I sought to stimulate new thinking by pressing the question of whether clinical psychology could predict what people would become. This question led into the question of whether all causation in personal history runs from past to present. The new notion I proposed was called "retroactive signification."

Incorporation of retroactive signification in personhood theory has depended on three considerations. The first was my decision to find anchors of attachment in imminent character and thematic identity. The second was my conviction that a person's life can manifest the upwelling of coherent novelty. It is critical that what is involved is not just new permutations of matter--but rather novelties in how we conceive or apprehend, understand or appreciate. Because of this, even a liberal version of the scientific method, extrapolated to socio-psychology, would not be able to predict what

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certain people would become: because what they would become would in fact displace the reigning hermeneutic with an unprecedented hermeneutic. In other words, science would have to applaud its own execution in order to predict the outcome. And then, there is a further aspect to the content of the coherent novelty. Personhood theory's assessment of the interpersonal arena mentions that my private conflicts, regarding the skills with which I have been indoctrinated, can evince vital dilemmas and vital ventures for the interpersonal arena. ("Personhood II," L.6.) The coherent novelty which I may express may involve some vital dilemma in the collectivity, which is not acknowledged there. So the collectivity's self-incomprehension may cause the novelty to be unrecognized. The third consideration has to do with personhood theory's dubious original stimulus. Personhood theory was indeed an offshoot of the tradition of transcendental arguments. When the individual is being "attracted by" an unprecedented fate, choice in a moment of crisis can be seen as a transcendental phenomenon in which the remote future contacts the present. (In fact, this is the only transcendental phenomenon I have wished to indulge. The notion is definitely an exercise in astute hypocracy.) The crisis gives one some choice over the way one's distant future shapes one's present. That is the basis of what I mean by the "sorcery of destiny." Occult it may be, but in fairness to myself, its constituents are separately stipulated by the culture to be non-occult. All I have done is to identify a previously undiscerned combination of these constituents. A further justification for the speculation is that it is correlative to seriousness and originality-and they cannot be instilled by outside manipulation. (Again, and always, because the content involves how we conceive or apprehend, understand or appreciate; because science, in order to predict the outcome, would have to applaud its own execution.) In turn, whether the individual will be cognitively protean, which is what I wanted to know, presumably depends on seriousness and originality. My unsponsored researches in depth psychology in the Seventies and Eighties taught me that retroactive signification, if there be such, is vanishingly rare. It wouldn't be worth acknowledging, then, except that it is an escape hatch from socio-psychological determinism and from caprice. "Personhood II," (section)(section)N, Q.1, and Q.3 may now be reread. These sections plainly stated the basis of unprecedented fate. Let me say once again that personhood theory refuses to acknowledge people as objectivities in a deterministic process. One who adopts the person-world standpoint cannot consider his or her choices and life as a revocable mishap. Personhood theory cannot consider palpable choices and lives as chimeras or as revocable. Let me attempt to sharpen my terminology a bit. One's authentic identity-theme is explained as the identity one is comfortable with, the identity that keeps surfacing willy-nilly. I wish to reserve the idea of "loyalty" for a commitment which one adopts and develops with palpable effort. Authenticity is not something to follow because it is virtuous. It is a domain of controversy. Sometimes it seems that authenticity is not even capable of being chosen--it is more like a fate some people are condemned to. As I said in "Personhood II,"

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character; seriousness and originality; and discernment of coherent novelty are manifested, not instilled by a manipulator. Because we are talking about a novelty which depends on vital dilemmas for the collectivity which the collectivity doesn't acknowledge, the person who expresses the novelty refuses the depersonalization of social role. This may in turn lead the person to be ostracized. There is no moral choice to be made here. There is only a choice (if choice comes into it) of what is worth it, of where your well-considered selfishness lies. [1991. That remark was directed to people who were considering whether to try to become my colleagues.] At this stage in the development of meta-technology, the luxury is unavailable of placing yourself beyond the influence of the "culture"--of placing yourself beyond what the community around you admires, rewards, punishes, disregards. So you are consigned to a zigzagging engagement-disengagement with what the community posits and imposes. Indeed, there is a major consideration not yet mentioned. In order to become what you are (i.e. what you are comfortably), it may be necessary to be not-yourself. You can't become an autonomous doer in the world by always being sealed off from the world. You have to assimilate and gain mastery of what the culture posits or imposes in the way of alternatives and conflicts. This is necessary, to become effective in actual life as opposed to imaginary life. There may have to be detours on the way to assuming your most comfortable identity at a developed level. There is a zigzag of being not-yourself in order to become what you are. These experiences of being not-yourself are indistinguishably an education--and a disillusionment. The preceding could be said to apply to everybody. In that respect, it would belong in (section)N of Personhood II. But for the person with an unprecedented fate, these digressions into being notyourself have a particular significance. One has detoured into an debasing milieu, allowing oneself to be patronized; subsequently one will depart as a more "steeled" person. In "Personhood and Destabilization" [the 1991 revision], F.3.a, I said that the scope of "choice" includes the possibility of shaping your loyalties. Such shaping of loyalties covers your reconceiving of effectiveness and gratification, your reconceiving the purpose of life, and your reconceiving the arena of action. In speaking of altering your loyalties, everything up to and including the determination of reality is open. Let me partially summarize regarding the vanishingly rare person. You discern your seriousness and originality coming from the future: discernment of coherent novelty. You support your seriousness and originality with your realized choices. You shape your loyalties in the light of experiences with culturally posited alternatives and conflicts. In other words, with respect to detours on the way to assuming your most comfortable identity, you reshape your loyalties as these experiences of being not-yourself educate--and disillusion--you. *

Ironically, when I first circulated this material, I was told that this discussion of choice and discovery of identity described anybody's life. I must insist that that is not my intended meaning. As I said in "Personhood II," Q.2, personhood theory does not conceive average people as having fates (routine fates in their case). That is because to say that a person fulfills a routine fate cannot be distinguished from saying that that person is determined by the past, by circumstances.

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There is a deep question here. How was my original exposition underspecified so that it could be imagined to apply to banally predictable lives? Everybody chooses under uncertainty, struggles for the identity they want, and makes compromises. But that is (section)N of Personhood II. What is missing?

- The vital dilemma for the collectivity which is denied by the collectivity. - The upwelling of coherent novelty--indeed, the increasing coherence of the individual's identity around an unprecedented theme. - The likelihood of ostracism. - The circumstance that one's identity seemingly would be easier to defend if one could be sequestered from society. The question remains: why are careerists so ready to project themselves into a description of a Roger Bacon?

When I first proposed retroactive signification in 1979, I immediately asked whether it could be generalized to the universe. That question prompted the following speculation. The understanding of cosmology which prevails in this civilization holds that the universe is essentially homogeneous over time. The universe is always a distribution of a few basic chemical elements through space, elements which coalesce and undergo nuclear reactions. The rise of life and consciousness is a microscopically local event with no effect on the evolution of the galaxies. But suppose that humans accede to a technology beyond technology by shifting the locus of technological efficacy as in meta-technology. Conscious life--which is the locus of the definition of "the universe"--increasingly prevails in its effect, so that the importance of the lifelessly objective universe diminishes. There would be an outcome incommensurate with "the universe's history" as comprehended in natural science. As I said above, science could not foresee this outcome: to do so would require science to applaud its own execution. Yet the outcome would not be an existential caprice, either. It would depend on the favorable resolution of a whole series of turning-points--including the contest between meta-technology and scientific civilization. The phase in which conscious life is the preponderant phenomenon could be said to decide or even to control the phases which prepared the way for it. [I deplore having to make disclaimers, but I had better say that the foregoing has nothing to do with the "religion of evolution" of Julian Huxley and others.]

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H. Dignity

As I have remarked at length, the attempt by me[3] to convey a post-scientific perspective has been stymied by a prevalent self-abasement which is culture-correlated, i.e. which is specific to the present civilization. Also, intellectuals and bohemians appear to be helpless in the face of a culture (not merely personal misfortune) which degrades them (e.g. the framework of objectification). That was one motivation for venturing into person-world analysis. dignity was in the background as a catch-word for what individuals lacked--leaving them personalistically impaired for intellectual ventures beyond the boundaries of modern science and contemporary culture. Here is the place to introduce this topic, because it focuses the issues of shame and abasement which I have examined in this part. Again, the case studies can be models for shrunken comprehension and fettered cognition, as are fostered by the civilization.

One could object that the word dignity is unctuous; and that any recognizable meaning for the word would mystify the person.[4] My answer to the first objection runs through the exposition to follow. As for the second objection, let me refer to one example, that of punk rock. (The fad may have passed, but all commercial "youth" culture is now conditioned by it.) Punk rock unmistakably manifested mockery and ritualized self-defilement. These postures cannot be simple brutishness. They cannot be neutral and indifferent. They can only be intended or expressed reactively. Then, to repeat myself, the attempt to convey a post-scientific perspective elicits a resistance bound up with the thematic identities and the purposiveness of our hearers. To understand these phenomena is the very task of personhood theory. It cannot be "mystification" to acknowledge these phenomena.

Do I merely wish to mention dignity as a motivating catch-phrase? Or am I going to give dignity a more formal account--as if it were an enduring coherence or unity of individual conscious existence?

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I shall attempt a formal account. But in 1981, when I first planned "Critical Notes," the topic of dignity was beyond my grasp. As I return to the topic now, there are many open questions about the dependence between constituents of personhood. Giving an account of dignity will require adopting a stand on these questions. Let me be clear that this is a process of adopting helpful conventions; that whatever meaning I give to dignity will be presented as a helpful convention. Nobody owns the word dignity; and the questions about the dependence between constituents of personhood have only speculative answers.

* The word dignity has several established meanings. In ordinary parlance, "dignity" means social status, and keeping parity with the rewards acquired by other people. (The figure you cut to other people.) Metaphysically, dignity may mean an essence of worth which is non-empirical ("the divinity in all human beings"). Neither of these is a meaning I wish to uphold.--Nor do I want dignity to be a word encompassing every imaginable virtue--conviviality, solidarity, compassion.

* To expand on the metaphysical meaning, religions and moral doctrines typically say that all people have an element of divinity which warrants and requires treating them respectfully. (This "dignity" is not earned.) Also, they say that all people have a potential for enlightenment. To preserve a shred of realism, however, the religions also have to say that this potential is not significantly actualized for most people. An even more incisive observation is possible. People who gain the veneration of multitudes--if that is what we are talking about--often have incompatible goals. (E.g. the Church fathers and the Talmudic sages.) They can hardly all be paragons for a single viewpoint. What the supernatural assurances present, then, is a fiction which predicts enlightenment for everybody--so that no success can surprise it--while refusing to apologize when the favorable expectation so often fails. It is understandable how desirable this fiction would be for democracy, which seeks to equalize status so that everyone can participate in the "business of society." As for my account, I have said repeatedly that it is driven by a discovery of culture-correlated self-abasement and helplessness when a post-scientific perspective is offered to the "aware" people. Thus, to endorse religious sanctimony would be merely to abandon the question which I seek to answer.

My thinking allows all people a chance to contribute, in these respects:

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- One cannot determine where enlightenment will next appear. Merit does not reside exclusively in some identified social stratum. - There are qualitatively incomparable abilities and emotional receptivities. It may not be possible for them to reside in a single person.

The question of whether dignity (as I conceive it) embraces the average person must be left until later. In the interests of realism, however, I must say that most people behave as if governed by sociological laws. They flow and ebb in numbers, as a herd does. Nothing that I can say here will supervene that sociological determinism. My discourse is addressed to a few who are already disconnected from social role and accredited loyalties to some degree. * I must emphasize that this inquiry into dignity is not an exercise in priggishness. It takes a lifetime to follow up a few hints to awaken one's faculties, to become an exemplary presence for illumination. That is because you unavoidably spend energy in compromise, in just coping, in recuperation, in indulging yourself. In order to become what you are (i.e. what you are comfortably), it may be necessary to be notyourself. You can't become an autonomous doer in the world by always being sealed off from the world. You have to assimilate and gain mastery of what the culture posits or imposes in the way of alternatives and conflicts. This is necessary, to become effective in actual life as opposed to imaginary life. There may have to be detours on the way to assuming your most comfortable identity at a developed level. There is a zigzag of being not-yourself in order to become what you are. These experiences of being not-yourself are indistinguishably an education--and a disillusionment. (For the person with an unprecedented fate, these digressions into being not-yourself are detours into a debasing milieu--allowing yourself to be patronized. Subsequently, you depart as a more "steeled" person.) A way of life should be confirmed by its resilience in an environment of testing, pluralism, and self-consciousness. Cheery imperturbability is a fraud. Self-realization is ever arduous.

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What constituents must the personal totality encompass for dignity to appear? (Or for selfabasement to arise, as I characterize it?) My first completed account of the constituents of the (personal) totality came in "Personhood II." That essay showed a marked division into contrasting approaches. (section)A-(section)L sought to dissolve conventionally discerned constituents. (section)M-(section)Q presented constituents which I defined--in particular, imminent character and thematic identity. A provisional account of dignity would take its place with this latter exposition.

A hurdle for this discussion, perhaps the greatest hurdle, is that it is not enough to name generic virtues. An example is "receptivity to novelty." This latter virtue, for example, can mean drastically different things to different people. It could mean that a person would join a genuine revolution. It could also mean that a person would act as a pavilion through which every idiotic fad would blow. And yet, candidly, I cannot escape generic names for personalistic affections. Indeed, if my thinking had proceeded beyond natural language to that extent, I would be irremediably beyond my readers' preparation. All I can do here is to qualify my use of generic names as incisively as possible.

As I have said, explanations of the puzzle of dignity cannot be facts. I work toward a warranted notion of dignity by making helpful conventions regarding the constituents of personhood. dignity can only be a focus-word, not the name of a thing.

**

I begin, then, by asking what constituents must the personal totality encompass for dignity to appear? (Or for self-abasement to arise, in the guises I have described?) In preparation for an account of dignity, we need to consider personalistic affections such as hope, self-confidence, morale, shame, and envy. Here I am adding to the latter part of "Personhood II." Hope can mean the expectation of a gratifying event. Hope can also refer to a broader anticipation of a gratifying outcome--as when you anticipate that some preferred longitudinal theme in your life will be vindicated. In turn, we find that it is a basic characteristic of lived experience that one's intentions run ahead of the present, that one plans and projects, that one is mentally ahead of the present moment. To forego or escape anticipatory comportment may not be impossible, but it is untypical of lived

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experience. Also, longitudinal themes in one's life are at issue. One acts not from nothing, but from a mission one has already chosen or assented to. So one comports to one's past biography, one's cumulative identity. Quite aside from the special claims which I make for an unprecedented fate (as in (section)G of this part), we ask, regarding any person, what the identity-themes are that are possible only to that person. What are the most comfortable identity-themes? What are the most challenging identity-themes to sustain and uphold? Self-confidence has a meaning of action uninhibited by timidity, fretting, etc. But it can also mean that I judge myself favorably. I judge myself regarding effectiveness, fulfillment, sanity, etc. (as in "Personhood II"). Self-confidence, then, can involve satisfied or hopeful selfjudgments. The original meaning of morale concerns the attitude of groups of subordinates. But we can also speak of the morale of the independent individual. In that case, morale may involve selfconfidence, and the ability to apply oneself to the missions one sets oneself (or assents to). Morale can mean that your life has preferred longitudinal themes and that you anticipate that they will be vindicated. Shame is self-disgust reflecting other people's disapproval of oneself because one has behaved in an unworthy or derelict way.[5] Envy is distress at one's lack of qualities or possessions and hatred for a person who has them. Both of these are tormenting emotions--making one feel like a vehicle of the torment.

The dictionary defines dignity as self-respect. And I invoked "autonomous self-respect" in (section)D above. But that is just the difficulty. The dictionary doesn't say what is included in a "self." Then, the dictionary does not explain "respect" as attitude and behavior. Especially, it does not explain the contrast between one's suffusion with torment in shame and envy, and the orderly activation of respect for "self." Ostensibly, "respect" for a person would have to consist in admiring expectations of the person: expectations of responsible caring, emotional receptivity, independence, steadfastness, ability, honesty, astuteness, etc. Self-respect would mean supportively expecting responsible caring, emotional receptivity, independence, steadfastness, ability, honesty, astuteness, etc. from oneself. Presumably, identitythemes would have emerged--themes which I was comfortable with and which challenged me; and I would anticipate that they would be vindicated. I would evince the ability to apply myself to

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the missions I set myself. Admiring expectations of this sort would appear high in the hierarchy of organization of myself. The constituents of the personal totality which these expectations involve are highly integrative and attached (credulous).[6] And yet, such an aspect of dignity as the eschewing of self-deception is supposed, in my perspective, to be possible at an elemental level. Eschewing of self-deception must precede and enable self-development, not follow it. Such puzzles are what make this topic abstruse.

We now see that my account cannot be limited to the existing notions of hope, confidence, morale, shame, envy, etc. which I have reviewed. My entire enterprise is predicated on the possibilities of meta-technological dismantling of culturally correlated credulity and objectification. There is a dispelling of deceit and gullibility, concomitantly with the awakening of faculties, and with emotional sensitization: yielding intellectual techniques which supersede the compartmentation of faculties characterizing the present culture. Thereby, new mental abilities are invented. Given the possibility of being self-conscious about the inherited view of factual reality, and going beyond it in an operative way, we accede to the level of shaping the "laws of nature" (and not only acquiescing to them). The constraints imposed by so-called factual reality are mastered, or plasticized. If this were established collectively, we would accede to an uncanny life-world. To define dignity in terms of conventional personalistic affections would tie the individual to the ordinary person's relation to present society. It would be mere sociology. And that is not enough. And it is not enough to be an honorable traditionalist--a decent square.

I must say more about those human faculties which are culturally correlated. (Emotional receptivities; acknowledgement of perceptual illusions and dreams; the ability to pass through the gap between science and irrationalism.) Can lack of such faculties and sensitivities be remedied by enlightening experiences? Or is such a lack constitutional and irremediable? My thinking held that these faculties and sensitivities are latent in some people, and can be awakened. At the same time, I concluded that they are windfalls; and that their actual lack cannot be remedied. Notwithstanding certain Freudian notions, the faculties or sensitivities cannot be elicited in a nondescript person by lifting repression. What is involved is not only abandon, and the directing of "aptitude," but constitutional features of morale, commitment, etc.--seemingly the individual's whole fate. Emotional sensitization and personal faculties are, again, culturally correlated. Referring to past, achieved cultures, we find that the dispelling of gullibility, on the one hand, and on the other

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hand, the awakening of faculties, or emotional sensitivity, may not correspond. The historical record suggests that democracy and rationalism may be accompanied by all-pervading commercialism, and thus by crassness and banality; and that nobility may accompany despotism, superstition, and squalor. In that respect, my notion of dignity invokes dimensions of human potentiality which hitherto were supported only by different cultures. I'm seeking a unitary experience which transmits many of them. That may be an unprecedented undertaking. And again, my perspective is that of a novel arena which outruns what was formerly considered factual reality. It follows that I have left any common meaning of dignity behind. I am extrapolating the word's meaning in an unprecedented way. That begins to be my answer to the objection that the topic is unctuous.

Dignity is one's supportive expectation from oneself of responsible caring, emotional receptivity, independence, steadfastness, ability, honesty, astuteness (and such traits).-Relative to the perspective of personal faculties and personal possibility allowed by metatechnological dismantling of culturally correlated credulity and objectification.

The preceding definition is a horizon for dignity stemming from my unique perspective. All the while, dignity must be possible to a young person who has only been told about commonplace cultural solutions. Dignity cannot only be the destination. If one does not begin in dignity, one will not seek this destination. As I say about the eschewing of self-deception, it must be possible at an elemental level; or self-development would not be enabled. That is a reason why dignity is evidently constitutional. And--there is no question of a single destination. Indeed, dignity is not an all-or-nothing quality. Nor does it lie in a linear scale. Long before a young person has invented a solution--or has even learned of arcane solutions--he or she can manifest dignity by the instinct and the astuteness, the integrity and the daring, with which he or she handles imposed situations--and in his or her striving. How does one handle social role?--does one submerge in it, or break from it? More than that, a person may have to digress through a series of less than worthy roles before constructing solutions worthy of full commitment.

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When one is trying to find circumstances conducive to oneself, and the solutions impressed on one are the wrong solutions, that can be traumatizing. In turn, that may spur originality. There is nothing in the notion of dignity which says that life will not batter you. One also may have to choose between solutions conducive to oneself, and popularity. Again, there is nothing in the notion of dignity which says that life will accommodate you, or will not batter you.

* To underline once more how far this view is from priggishness or cheeriness, I want to recall my personal disorientation the first time I attended college. The only tools I had to work with were furnished by the inherited culture and value-system. I had to define myself by checking off boxes in a multiple-choice questionnaire in which all the options were stipulated by other people. Moreover, the conjunctions of elements to form given options, and the interpretations or significations of the elements, were supplied by other people. When the only complex, contextualized tools you have to work with are supplied from outside, authenticity either becomes indistinguishable from merging into a supplied role; or else it is impossible. The wretchedness of a person faced with a lot of unfair choices is unedifying, since he or she can do nothing but be phony in one way or another, or else collapse. If one merely pushes away the multiple-choice questionnaire and sulks, one seems petulant and stupid to others. One's withdrawal seems futile, identical to the depressing inability to act in the world and win real gratifications which characterizes the textbook mental patient. When an individual agonizes over choices supplied from outside and competitions whose goals are unworthy, essentially the choices and competitions are at fault. In that case, the introspective content of the individual's distress reflects external culpability.

I might have been given this advice.

Sort out which of your unmet needs are real needs and which only pertain to "keeping up with the Joneses." If the Jones' status symbols are possessions you couldn't be comfortable with, go ahead and say you don't want them. Also, separate the elements that are joined to form given options or roles, and separate the elements from their inherited interpretations.

But this advice overlooks much that is crucial. You cannot separate cognitive norms from conformist norms just for the purposes of increasing your esteem. My culture didn't tell me that

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mathematics and physics and novels and chess are flawed ways in which flawed people demonstrate intellectual excellence; it told me that mathematics and physics and novels and chess are intellectual excellence. To say that I didn't like Beethoven and I didn't like Stockhausen would have been to say that I didn't like any culturally important music--since no category was recognized besides classical and modern (European) in 1958. If I had miraculously invented a third genre of music in one day, then since the new category was not recognized by other people, they would have continued to assert that I wasn't interested in music at all. And you can't be indifferent to those judgments by other people. The suggestion to fragment roles and interpretations falls flat also. External symbols are the only cues many people can comprehend. If you don't wear the right costume for a role, you risk instant disregard. A generalization is that you can't dissociate conformity from the satisfaction of real needs. How is the total non-conformist to obtain the means of sustenance? It won't even do to say "conform on the job, be authentic off the job." The person who is naively strange is much more visible to others than to self. Low-level jobs come with tremendous peer pressure. High-level jobs require an embracing of the "system's" goals. Sexual needs and needs for camaraderie cannot be met independently of interpersonal acceptance. The whole point of adult sexuality, as opposed to childhood sexuality, is that is is so unspontaneous, so un-independent. It is an avenue of negotiation over societal norms, and over personal value-systems which internalize societal value-systems. If you importune another person--when you are motivated by a project which is so strange as to be invisible to the other person--then that person will aggressively misrepresent your motives. When I flunked advanced courses in college, people advised me to take easy courses or attend an easy school to get an easy degree. But I didn't seek a pro forma degree. (I even had a reason for wanting a fast superficial exposure to advanced science--but I didn't establish that until later. My detractors would say that I haven't established it today.) More generally, it was clear what people wanted me to do; but it wasn't clear that life could give me anything I wanted. You can't sell out to keep yourself alive if you don't know what benefit staying alive is conferring on you; if all you are getting is the penalties of being a misfit.

The lesson is that I eventually built myself an enclave in which I could be original. I had to find a way to learn conformity so I could obtain the means to build myself such an enclave. Some people who lack inner direction, and who experience unfocused alienation, are able to see that I am a sophisticated deviant. They look at me, and they do not find my example appealing. To them, I teach the lesson that the punishment of originality (if one even admits that that is what it is) is permanent exile. I cause people to redouble their efforts to make themselves fit in. I later decided that some of my needs never had a chance of being met. Keeping my hopes alive, trying to change in order to earn acceptance, was illusion and futility. But for a variety of reasons, I couldn't have accepted this bad news earlier in my life. In my own view, I have found a "place," even if I had to make it myself (I'm still working on it after thirty-plus years). Is it guaranteed that every misfit has an identity and life-situation which will finally be conducive and unforced?

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Your comfortable and unforced option or identity may be far in the future. Authenticity, or a profound hunch, may not be able to be actualized in the present. It took me decades to define the options which I needed at age eighteen. I have had to dissent from the culture to the point where I and the culture accuse each other of being insane, relative to basic cognitive presuppositions and to modes of life. Finding the option I want has made me invisible. The elders who told me at eighteen "You must conform or else" would say to this day that the outcome vindicates them. If a deviant vision has substance to it, hunches may have to be assembled one-by-one into a framework which challenges the prevailing conception of sanity. If a deviant vision has substance to it, then not only can it not be vindicated in one moment; it becomes a strand in history and is put on the spot over and over again. In 1955-9, "the present moment" did not remotely contain the options that fit me. Nevertheless, like everybody else, I had to chose and act in the present. My response to this quandary was the right one; but I renounced compromises which might have lessened some of my difficulties. I sought to make, in the moment, the biggest intrinsic advance I could; and to postpone the backing and filling, the job of making myself plausible to others. I took steps which did not become plausible until decades later (if then). In the eyes of those around me, I alternated between sulking and eccentric hobbies.

**

I continue with an exploration of my definition of dignity. Responsible caring, independence, steadfastness may be susceptible to further explanation.[7] In speaking of emotional receptivity and ability, I regard them as windfalls--to some degree culture-correlated. There is no vocabulary of emotional receptivity, except perhaps the Hindu vocabulary for rasa. An ability can be expounded only relative to a codified activity or discipline (so that I cannot expound extracultural abilities except in conjunction with delivering a new culture). Astuteness is tied to unprecedented fate, in my conception. Honesty is a difficult trait to characterize appropriately. The message of my work is that all that has hitherto been known as intellectual achievement has the character of dogmatic fantasies which succeed socially. Do I wish to contrive a doctrine of relative honesty which makes physics more honest than astrology? Well, I consider physics to be, at least, more demanding and more courageous than astrology. And yet, to rank some ideas as less untrue than others would belie my core insights. I must try to find another axis of definition--and define honesty as not resting content with doctrines whose errors are apparent to oneself. But such judgments of error in turn interact with culture-correlated abilities--and as I said, the latter are windfalls.

What is the role of mental brilliance? What is its source? Does it shade over from an intellectual

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quality to a moral one? It requires honesty, independence, steadfastness--but they are not enough.

We arrive at the question of whether dignity embraces the average person or excludes the average person. The average person places a positive value on pleasure, conviviality, sentimentality, wit, cuteness, pride, wryness, irreverence, the capacity for remorse. It was a truism that the average person preferred genuine emotion and articulated signification in entertainment rather than campiness, irony, grotesquerie, abusive monotony. That is sensible. In some respects, ennoblement is a matter of distilling that which is sensible about the average person--the average person's humanness. And yet, the good is ever the enemy of the best. The average person typically accepts the satisfaction of some real needs as a bribe to renounce and to oppose the levels of honesty, sensitivity, etc. that are exalting. The desire for material well-being becomes a hunger for material status-symbols. Dating and marriage are badges of respectability. Average people accept their jobs as their vocations. They flow and ebb with the herd. They ridicule personal qualities or ways of living that are necessary for illumination. In entertainment, the average person's debasement is manifested as a preference for kitsch. Lately, forms of entertainment have garnered mass audiences which are grotesque, campy, monotonously abusive, etc.

I commend you to be an autonomous doer in the world, and to accept the challenge of mundane existence without being dominated by inauthentic consciousness. Assimilate and gain mastery of what the culture posits or imposes in the way of alternatives and conflicts, while holding fast to your insight and trusting your astuteness; so that you can resume advancing your insight with the versatility that comes from being steeled. This may require not only isolation, but completely detaching from other people's judgments of you. In that respect, I divorce dignity from camaraderie.

Personal identity involves social role and the status bequeathed to one from previous generations. Is it a precondition of dignity to escape these? (Via decreased credulity?) That indeed is what I said in (section)B above. What of imminent character ("Personhood II")? Must dignity derive from it, or must a "dignified" imminent character derive from dignity? What is the overlap between imminent character and dignity?

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In vanishingly rare cases, there is a progressive crystallization of a personal identity which is novel. I have speculatively given the source of that identity-theme as the future. Does that interrelate with dignity? Yes, in that it would be dignity to uphold that identity-theme.

As I have said, explanations of the puzzle of dignity cannot be facts. I work toward a warranted notion of dignity by making helpful conventions regarding the constituents of personhood. dignity can only be a focus-word, not the name of a thing. It is a moment in a circular causation, both establishing and established. There is no root remedy for a culturally correlated failure of dignity. Personhood has no base. A failure of dignity is overcome, if at all, in a circular process, or through influences from the future. Further thoughts are at the end of this section.

**

Let me address the new issues raised in this account in an aggressive way.

If dignity depends on longitudinal personal identity, then the issue of dignity derives from a degree of credulity or attachment. Seemingly, dignity does not become an issue without the level of self-deception or attachment to erect a longitudinal identity. And yet, it should be an aspect of dignity to eschew self-deception; and the eschewing of self-deception is supposed to be possible at an elemental level. Eschewing of self-deception must precede and enable self-development, not follow it.

Then there is "consecration." I reserve this word for a condition of heightened presence and activation, sublime relish, and uncanniness (sometimes, inappropriately, called ecstasy). (Hennix's use of "dignity" seems to have had this meaning.) Does dignity guarantee the accessibility of consecration? Is consecration a precondition for dignity? Is consecration a challenge to radical unbelief: in that the latter cannot assure consecration--might even be incompatible with it?

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In Part V, I ponder that at a decreased level of credulity, constituents of dignity may be exposed as mirage-like. The meta-technological perspective envisions that one starts from an imminent posture of radical unbelief. There is no question of dignity, because there is no biographic identity of the self. I promise not "dignity" but the power to rotate reality--through a combination of principled hypocracy (selecting your arenas of engagement), and destabilization. You make yourself disappear to yourself in a non-depersonalizing way. Whoever has the capacity to "rotate" the ostensible world or cultural determination of reality is in a position to make him/herself disappear to him/herself--without reductionist half-fantasies. This is visionary, of course. But has dignity really been left behind? Who and what is the doer? Engaging the mundane world in order to rotate the determination of reality is not effective without centered activation which trusts one's ability and astuteness (and emotional receptivity and steadfastness). Inarguable as that observation is, from the vantage point of radical empiricism, one's longitudinal identity would have to be a catalyst which would be discarded.

At this point, some preliminary resolutions of our puzzles can be offered. In the first place, the traits which I associate with dignity may be less invested in longitudinal thematic identity than would be supposed from dignity's common meaning of "social status." In the second place, it seems that the "traits" associated with dignity do not have to be trumpeted--unless the person is menaced. As I already noted, dignity accords with orderly activation; as opposed to personalistic affections which suffuse one with distress. To elaborate this supposition, degradation would be seen as reactive. Referring again to "Personhood II," attachment and debasement would arise in a circular, or mutually exacerbating, relationship. And yet that cannot be all. We do have to relate our understanding of dignity to the prospect of consecration. Consecration, it would seem, qualitatively elevates dignity. Then dignity becomes heightened presence and activation; and dignity is not exhausted by composure, by the mere absence of annoyances and abuse. And again, I'm not assured that radical unbelief and consecration are compatible. So I must end this section with many issues remaining open.

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I. Conclusion: The rationale for personhood theory

At this point in the critique of Personhood II (1981 originally), I find personhood to be a state-ofaction under a condition of apprehension. This includes imminent praxis: getting from one moment to the next; managing in the sense of momentary problem-solving. But it also means the high-level integration of the personal totality which "one carries" concurrently with a state-ofaction under a condition of apprehension.

The constitution of one's esteem. Personal identity. One's loyalty in thought to one's public role, and to one's culture/civilization. (Such a loyalty as this latter one is called "internalization" in the social science jargon. This internalization is disclosed as a nonrational militancy only under attack.) Ordinary personhood, the self/world flux, the choice/circumstance flux, requires a habitual, difficult gymnastics to be exhibited, sustained. The simile of driving a car, or any kinesthetic skill which can be carried on absent-mindedly once it is learned. Driving a car is a better simile than e.g. walking because driving a car requires cognizance of symbols and compliance with highly artificial rules. But the similes fail on the most important issue. Namely, the gymnastics which sustains personhood is a matter of repressions of forbidden perceptions, feelings, inferences--and the management of multiple conceptual incoherences. Also, the gymnastics which maintains the consensus reality must be viewed as interpersonal. (But then, being able to drive a car absentmindedly requires that other people also obey the rules.) Personhood is the "human miracle"; but ordinary personhood is largely a negative miracle. Simile: the conventional view of dreaming as a negative cognitive miracle. In a dream, you exist in an entire "objective" world which you do not question; but upon awaking, it all vanishes, and you realize that the entire world was a "mirage." Ordinary personhood is a total negative miracle which includes a negative miracle of character. Compare what I said at the end of (section)F of this part ("Gloating venality") about the effect of socialization. Ordinary character and the results of socialization as a worse-than-neutral miracle?

**

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I am committed to personhood theory because it addresses specific problems which it is out of the question to disregard. Indeed, one main approach in further developing personhood theory is to extend it in conformity with the problems for which it is already the best avenue of solution. Develop the theory by expanding on its specific successes. (Not by filling it in from positions taken on traditional metaphysical issues.)

1. The trans-cultural obscurantism facing meta-technology. Offering meta-technology to savants and others evokes an obscurantism beyond anything which is understandable psychologically or sociologically or politically. What is behind the singular reception, or nonreception, accorded meta-technology and my writings on foundations of science? In the Seventies, it became fashionable in the rationalist sector of the academic and cultural world to express irreverence for natural science and the scientific culture. But every result which the trendy publicists counterposed to natural science was a retread of a historical superstition antedating modern science--a superstition which had fallen into obscurity because science had make a laughingstock of it. Meta-technology has been ignored by a public which has not offered any challenge to modern science matching (not to say overmatching) science's level. The overthrow of reality is so far from being pass that it has never come up. Let the intellectual see even a microscopic serious challenge to science. Face him or her with the prospect that there can be a technology which will downgrade scientific gadgets to the status of tinker toys. Then the intellectual may withdraw behind impenetrable denial, or go berserk.

A correct constructive proof that 0 = 1 would amount to a certification of the insanity of the human race. Nicholas Goodman, in Constructive Mathematics Meta-technology, then, has had a singular reception or non-reception. What is it all about?--and how may I contrive a way past the obscurantism? An analysis of the obscurantism must find a framework such that the above-mentioned phenomena can occur within it. The framework must embrace all of the constituents necessary for trans-cultural obscurantism to be possible.

2. Most of my studies of personhood have concerned ordinary personhood. But it would be a

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miscalculation to judge personhood theory before it has been rounded out by the addition of accounts of non-ordinary personhood, or the avenues of dissolution or supersession of ordinary personhood. To complete this phase of the theory is crucial, because it shows that personhood theory does not bind us to the "negative miracle" of everyday life. It shows that personhood theory does not insidiously become a legitimation of the negative miracle. Hence Parts IV and V. Also, it is not enough to dismiss the issues of dignity, the "mystical longing for union with the infinite," etc., because they seem smarmy. We must march through these issues and come out on the other side--establishing that we have truly responded to the impulses in question with genuine alternatives.

3. Personhood theory is turning up aspects of "consciousness," the "ego," etc. which strict metatechnology overlooked, but which overlap with and affect meta-technological elements. Examples from the present manuscript are my remarks on geometry, Part I, and the family of new languages which I will present in Part V. Another achievement of personhood theory is to provide a standpoint from which the scientific framework of total objectification is seen to be nonsense without a tortuous, counter-intuitive rebuttal. [On the other hand, it spoils people to teach them that they are entitled to dismiss a entire tradition without any effort on their part. Meta-technology can be realized only in the disintegrating structures of an advanced civilization. My discovery of reductionist half-fantasies and consenting shams is a great step forward; but it does not mean that we could have dispensed with the scientific phase, or that "scientific maturity" is not worth having.]

I have set off (2) and (3) because these fortes of personhood theory, elaborated in Part V, are placed in an ironic light by extreme results in Part IV.

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There would be a technodeterministic objection to the foregoing rationale for personhood theory. I am fetishizing our humanness; I am fetishizing the conventional structures of the human psyche. Is it impossible for there to be an extra-terrestrial sentient being who has the advantage of us and yet is not an anthropomorph? Why are human capacities taken as the immutable limits of thought? I would be accused of returning to pre-scientific anthropocentrism. What if the best avenue to superior sentience and the superior medium of thought is not to bumble on with the

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human species, but to replace the human species through the intensification of known directions of scientific progress? My present reply is as follows. (These observations, too, are placed in an ironic light by Part IV.)

a. Our scientific indoctrination has caused us to give too much credence to fantasies of extraterrestrial supermen who are in fact super-machines. Science fiction and Carl Sagan's exobiology are cargo cults in a society supposedly too sophisticated for cargo cults. The European fantasizes that some off-world monster who is an extrapolation of current directions in technology will overrun him. (Because it's a metaphor for what he did to preliterates.) As long as science is grossly reductionist, and insufficient to the human "miracle"--and as long as our modern desensitization hinders us in appreciating the qualitative range of the miracle--this is not the time to dismiss the miracle. Closely related to the foregoing point, the human community is the only tangible "audience" there is. The human community is the most advanced, complicated "machine" or process that we have.

b. Even if the human community is beyond redemption, one who claims to have acceded to consecration cannot dismiss the question as to one's own person-world. Who and what is the selfannounced enlightened person? One who claims to have acceded to consecration may be beyond all other humans (and I can abstain on the question of whether one is biologically human). Nevertheless, the person tangibly continues to belong to the interpersonal collectivity. Part III. The "Other Minds" Difficulty (March 1982)

1 Personhood theory demands an explanation of what is going on in other people's consciousnesses. And I am to get most of my information by introspection; and the remainder by study of verbal cultural artifacts, interviews, etc. Yet: Personhood theory makes a stunning adverse critique of the notion that other people are sentiences counterpart to myself. in the first place, I am not supposed to know whether another person has a headache by experiencing his or her headache. More importantly, my introspective totality as a seamless co-determinacy of self and "objectivities" doesn't leave any place for other sentiences counterpart to myself. I do not experience another human as being the mental center of a world, his or her world. There is no way for the other self "looking out" via its consciousness to be emplaced in my self/"objectivities" structure. Personhood theory makes other minds into a fantasy extending far beyond anything I can validate as palpable or immediate. At the same time, it makes "my" standpoint into a complete world. Yet what it demands to be explained is a universe in which there are many consciousnesses on a par with each other, counterpart to each other. Compare the

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use of personal pronouns to shift the "mental center of the world" from one human to another. ("I observe such-and-such," announced by successive speakers.) The phenomenon which personhood theory demands to be explained is then characterized by the theory as a fantasy-world--and not merely for reasons of skepticism, but for reasons of "category error." It is as if you demanded an explanation of colors possessed by emotions, and then posited a framework in which it is nonsense to attribute colors to emotions. How did I get into this trap? I propounded personhood theory under prodding from a demand to smash through the modern subject/object dichotomy with an act of faith which takes "my life" as elemental reality. But this solution was never meant to be anything but a gentlemanly sophism. It was never meant to bear the weight of literalness and precision of a paradigm for a new culture. The difficulty just outlined probably arises in a more subtle way for existential phenomenology. It does not arise for my "empiricism" (hereafter radical empiricism) because radical empiricism doesn't posit other minds in advance as the phenomenon whose explanation is the goal of the "systematic research." To be exact, the problem is not that personhood theory tells you not to believe in other minds. The problem is that it doesn't give me any place to put the other minds except as a sort of fantasy in my personal totality. The notion that each other mind can in turn be the mental center of the world is negated by the original impulse of personhood theory. Even if you advocated the Hindu solution, in which each mind can in turn be the whole universe, engulfing all other people as peripheral events in its domain, still this would be a fantasy in conflict with the self/"objectivities" structure, which simply makes no place for a "translation of the origin" from one mind to another. I may believe in counterpart sentiences and in counterpart personal totalities, just as I may believe in God. The problem is that there is nowhere to put these phenomena in my self/"objectivities" pattern or flux except as fantasies of mine.

2 There is, of course, a close parallel between other minds and language, between acquiring information about other sentiences and reliance on language, between positing other sentiences and linguistic address. Imputation of other minds and imputation of meaning to language are closely parallel. My serenity can be disrupted by the ringing of the telephone just as much as by the voice I hear when I pick up the receiver--because the ring heralds a communication. There are three palpable situations which make attributions of sentiences to other people plausible and attractive. a) Elevating or depressing empathy. I feel another person's affection for me. My serenity or euphoria is disrupted by the intrusion of a mundane attitude. b) Awe, as when I feel that another person's comprehension and purposiveness outstrip mine. c) My need for emotional support from other people.

3 The outcome when personal pronouns are eliminated, making the ascription of affections subjectless. If another person says "there is a headache" to describe his headache, and I don't have a headache, I may say "false." (Unless there is a convention that announcement of a headache may only refer to the speaker: different markers?) (Another possibility is to substitute one's given name for the pronoun. "Henry is writing now.")

4 What I described in deg.1: the adoption of a level of credulity (as in astutue hypocracy) confounds levels.

5 Whether you are willing to confer sentience on other people as an homage or courtesy to

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them[1] is irrelevant. There is no place for other mental centers of the world within my self/"objectivities" structure. (And that disposes of any personalism founded on phenomenology.) Even in the most generous understanding of experience or palpability, it is a mistake in principle to say that I experience another human as the mental center of his or her world. 6 How existentialists deal with the following issue: my understanding of whether another person has a headache. The other person tells me he has a headache. But it is a mistake in principle to say "I have your headache."

7 When I demarcate "my mind" in my life-world, am I distinguishing my consciousness from the objects "it" is conscious of? Am I saying that when I am conscious of a table, my consciousness is "in here" and the table is "out there" (as opposed to saying the consciousness is located out there where the table is)? The radical empiricism of Philosophy Proper does not seek to reflect the life-world (lived experience). In Philosophy Proper, the table is a non-mental experience. A visualization of table is a mental experience. "Experience" is analogous to "apparition"-eliminating the issue of whether consciousness of a table does or doesn't have a different location from the table by dismissing the objectivity of the table. (Candidly, no dogmatic tenet can eliminate quandaries. The foregoing remark invites the insight that beliefless experience is not compelled to find phenomenology's dichotomy.) [So when personhood theory finds my consciousness to be counterposed to the table, its objective of portraying the myth leads it into mythification.]

8 The reason why personhood theory, in spite of these embarrassments, is not silly is that its difficulties are the difficulties faced by all socialized consciousness or "consensus reality." To reject the problem in favor of the nuts-and-bolts viewpoint of behaviorism or scientism is a reductionist half-fantasy which makes matters worse.

9 Personhood theory addresses the problem of cross-cultural obscurantism. This problem cannot be formulated without positing numerous affirmative tenets. The embarrassment is that to insist on the self/"objectivities" structure, and to analyze destructively the key constituents of the common-sense life-world, may undermine the tenets which define cross-cultural obscurantism. (There we have the adoption of a level of credulity.) What am I doing when I proselytize for my ideas? I must take communication seriously; and when I encounter cross-cultural obscurantism I must take that seriously. But that means that I can't avoid the situation inviting personhood theory. My only freedom of action would be in changing its method. The early modern thinkers posed the issue that if there is an objective world, there is a problem of my subjectivity's being able to get access to it and verify it. This modern partitioning of subject from object was quickly denounced. What had the philosophers done to take our world or our unity with the world away from us? Epistemology--the inquiry as to how one proposed to verify all the grandiose objectivities posited by consensus reality--was denounced as objectionable in principle. The most serious attempt to blunt the effect of epistemology was made by Hegel with

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his doctrine of the mediation of the immediate. But this is a doctrine of legitimation, plausible only to those who rely on social sanctions to place the consensus reality beyond dispute. The doctrine cannot test or verify posited objectivities which don't have the weight of conformism to support them. "Everybody knows" that the individual's subjectivity is mediated by his or her upbringing. But is it mediated by quarks? By Higgs forces? By penguin operators? Does ultimate objective reality consist in physical nature, as the classical materialists held? Then what happens when the frontier of research into physical nature becomes utterly whimsical and fad-determined? Hegel's mediation of the immediate is worthless as a criterion for accepting new knowledge. Physical science, the most resolute effort to acquire new knowledge about objective reality, has finally obliterated the distinction between a real objectivity and a fictitious objectivity.[2] The embarrassments of personhood theory cannot be escaped by going back to some traditional realism in which there is a common objective world and a collection of individuated minds each "seeing" that common world from a different perspective. Indeed, the case for a realism of matter or objectivity is being invoked today only by social-fetishist philosophers[3] who are one hundred years behind the research frontier in physics.

10 Personhood theory is not "just" a theory of self, psyche, ego-organization, personality. It is equally a theory of World, Totality, "Universe." They are always treated as co-constitutive. Just as when you tap the floor with a cane and feel the contact in the tip of the cane, "world" is always "I"-conditioned and mutable. The mathematics and logic which organize objectivities in modern reality are mutable. The objectivism carried over in philosophy today descends from the nineteenth century, and everything that it takes as a linchpin of objective reality is sustained by emotion and esteem.

11 Personhood theory starts with the formula of the self/"objectivities" bond. This immediately turns fundamental common-sense notions into hypothesis and paradox. a) violent alteration of "world" when I close my eyes; b) other people's reports of their sensations to me. Blindness (loss of vision) seems to demand explanation in terms of objective reality. The qualitative scope of personhood is different for different people. Either my introspection is irrelevant because it is merely idiosyncratic; or it is relevant because I am generalizing it to an abstraction. For Kant, Ego and World are two types of unconditioned unity. I use these words in a quite different way. I use "world," personal totality, etc. to counterpose what is individually palpable to the fantasies of objective realities, and then to demarcate the zone which I encounter as a collection of palpable "things." The usage is particular and "journalistic." On the other hand, there is an issue of the "bootstrap" character of the "I" which evidently arises for Kant and which also arises for personhood theory: thus we get Part IV, Self-Cancellation of Personhood.

12 When another human talks to me about what he or she experiences or sees, even to report an observation which I confirm, my attribution of meaning to these statements is already a very strange procedure. Connect this also to the question of sanity. Another human looks at a tree and tells me "I see a tree"; or--he looks at a tree and tells me "I see a unicorn." What am I doing when I attribute meaning to either statement--and pronounce him sane in one case, insane in the other? Mental retardation; senile dementia; stupor. Would I experience another human as possessing psychic life, thought-processes, if he or she

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never spoke or otherwise communicated? My "attribution of psychic life or thought-processes to another human," so far from being obvious and obligatory, is paradoxical and controversial. The consensus reality mandates that I cannot tell if another human has a headache by feeling his headache or having his headache in his place. In principle it must always be possible to be ignorant of another person's thought-processes. Inscrutability; "a penny for your thoughts." Feigning friendliness to another person because you are afraid of him or her. That another person's mind is not fathomable by me is far more important in the common-sense world than that it is fathomable by me.

13 When other people "treat me as a thing." [In 1982 I linked this observation to situations involving membership in some social group, relative to subordination of social groups. But I followed with a commentary more suited to rejection of me individually because of my ideas.] My only plausible counter-measure is to act as an adversary to these other people and outstrip them in some relevant way. But this posture leaves unsatisfied my need for emotional support and affection from other people (one of the most important of the "palpable psychic interactions" among people). [Not if "my group" is at issue; then my group provides the support.] Also these "sore points" remain open and outstanding throughout one's life. There can be a long delay between victory in principle and reaping the rewards of victory. A victory (that is to say, vindication) may become visible only in distant hindsight. [This must refer to a spurned individual venture.] Two themes are illustrated here. a. That my dependence on other people's mental life is palpable. b. That human action only has its full effect on comprehension in retrospect. Here is a foremost qualification to the preferred status ascribed to the immediate and palpable. We are forced to take into account futures which are utterly hypothetical.

14 Again referring to Kant, when I speak of self and "objectivities" as bonded together, as comprising a pattern or flux, my meanings clearly have nothing to do with Kant's doctrine, which may have employed vaguely similar phrases. Kant's paradigm validated the inherited consensus reality. My paradigm demands the repudiation of most of common sense from the beginning.

15 The notion that each mind is equal in its possibility to be the mental center of the world corresponds to the role of personal pronouns in language and the possibility for each human to claim the "I." The language allows another human to say to me "I see x." The availability of egoindexical locutions creates a realm of objective psyches--all counterparts of each other--and all on a par in the sense that anybody can be the "I." The effect of allowing the ego-indexical "I" in the natural language is to create a lattice of minds; each site in this lattice can be taken as the world-center. Allowing another person to say "I" to me, to characterize his or her sensations to me, gives language the guise of telepathy. But the point is that it is not telepathy: I don't have another person's headache in his or her stead. More than that, another person's thought-processes are always uncertain to me. The experiment of abolishing personal pronouns in order to expose their "creative" role in the determination of reality. (That is, making the ascription of affections subjectless.) "I see a tree" becomes "There is a tree." "I have a headache" becomes "There is a headache." But then a lot of distinctions get obscured. We use personal pronouns to distinguish the issue of momentary observability from the issue of an object's actuality. "I am momentarily unable to see x (but I

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believe it is there)." Without personal pronouns, if another person said "There is a headache," I might say "False!" because I don't have a headache. Another route would be to substitute given names for pronouns. "Henry is writing this." But the present semantic ramifications of this locution are such that it signifies demented depersonalization. One mentions oneself from outside, as neither subject nor addressee. Personal pronouns create a fantasy-world of objective minds (or better, sentiences) where there is a symmetry under jumps of the mental center of the world (the "I"). This fantasy-world is profoundly incongruous to the contours of the person-world. As each person claims the "I," the mental center of the world hops from one person to another, yielding the fantasy of a lattice of psyches. The fantasy of the mental center of the world hopping from one person to another as each successive person claims the "I." Neo-Hinduism. Each person-world can be identified with the totality. When this is done, "other people" become part of what is hypothetical and paradoxical for the given "I"; as the "I" hops around, other people become events in the given "I"'s object-zone. Hennix's intension-doctrine? The totality arises as a family of meaning-assignments thrust by a self upon an object-zone. This again implies the symmetry we have already noted repeatedly: each human can be the whole of "the cosmos" and have "other people" as events in his or her object-zone.

16 Let me comment on my "empiricism" and the relative merits of empiricism and personhood theory. I called myself an "empiricist" for many years without addressing the traditional meaning of the term. Only with "Reconsidering Empiricism" (August 1982) did I address the legitimacy of my appropriation of the term. My "empiricism" is, no doubt, better called "radical unbelief." It strips beliefs away. It is a negative analysis of perceptual interpretation which strips away all that is not mere sensation. Personhood theory, on the other hand, addresses a compelling problem which can only be stated in partially mythified discourse. Empiricism is too flat to allow the problem of cross-cultural obscurantism to be stated. To the extent that personhood theory has dogmatic tenets, the tenets are chosen precisely to give the human condition enough scope and dimension so that the issue of cross-cultural obscurantism can be raised. There is a parallel between empiricism and personhood theory in that personhood theory proposes to credit the immediate and palpable more than the impalpable. After all, consider the fate of ultimate objective reality in physics, a fate to which I already referred in deg.9. If we insist that real reality is some hypothesis which we posit as going on its eternal way independently of our sensuous access to it, then many equivalent mathematical constructs, all of which are inaccessible sensuously, can be taken as real. The outcome of physics' demand for an objective reality which absolutely excludes the "I" is the interchangability or indistinguishability of physical fiction and physical reality.[4] Personhood theory attempts to compensate for its contamination by the myth by acknowledging many directions along which ordinary personhood can be abrogated. But personhood theory has a unique embarrassment which I explained in deg.1-deg.6. Personhood theory chooses a special radical standpoint, for the purpose of getting a solution, which then turns out to deny the problem to be solved.

17 Comment on Adorno's "materialism" in Negative Dialectics. To Adorno, immediacy is a univalent zone, a single condition. Adorno has never thought about variation of the sense of self, as in fever, "morning amnesia," etc. The only way Adorno could manage variations in the sense

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of self in his scheme would be to acknowledge them as effects of narcotics or other physical neurological impairments. And this view of variations in the sense of self is outrageously tendentious. Adorno would mandate that the alert sense of self (of the scientist or administrator or laborer) is the only veracious "ego-state." This is one of the ways in which Adorno's objectivism confirms itself via a vicious circle.

"Morning amnesia." Sometimes there is a moment upon awaking in the morning when I don't know who or where I am. It seems to me that if one were sincerely interested in "transcending the ego" or in escaping the self, one would be interested in this moment. In any case, I have attempted to prolong this moment into the day. It requires prevention of contact with other people: no telephone, etc. Also, no responsibilities that require planning. Also, no imminent threats that produce anxiety. Also, one must be "physically" comfortable, able to satisfy needs through routine. Then one's state of action becomes that of "floating in place." What is forgotten is social role and the high-level content of the self: adult purposes, etc. One still has impulses. You drift through your surroundings on impulse. [If psychoanalysis were to claim that you are directed by your unconscious during morning amnesia, the unconscious would have become an all-purpose device.] When I made the experiment of prolonging morning amnesia, it was after a period of using dexamyl. I was a little more "hallucinatory" than normal. There was more twinkling in my visual field when my eyes were closed. Is this a counter-effect, an aftereffect of the amobarbital? I speak of making the experiment; this is misleading. I awakened in a certain state and allowed it to continue because I preferred it. To say that the self chooses to be selfless is paradoxical. An indeed there was a nuance of paradox in the situation. To summarize the effect, I drifted through qualitatively changing perceptions, perhaps manifesting impulses, but without a center of purpose and identity. Let me mention that the weather was cold and rainy when this happened. I don't know if this state teaches weighty theoretical lessons, but its serenity was very welcome. Having discovered the technique of prolonging morning amnesia, I wonder about occult disciplines which claim that they want to "transcend Ego"; and which say that the way to do it is to include a daily meditation period in an otherwise everyday life. I find the sincerity of these practices very suspect. If religion really wanted you to transcend social role and the high-level content of the personality it would tell you that everyday life and its purposes are obstacles. To discover what being without a personality is like, it would tell you to sever contact with other people, to avoid threatening environments, and to avoid participation in mundane activities, institutions, purposes. Insofar as religious practices to transcend Ego don't take this direction, I suspect them of being pitiful compensations. The actuality of the religions is delusive selfhypnosis and a highly willful, selfish cultivation of indifference, a willful numbing of caring. What is suspect is that religious meditation is designed to support everyday life and its purposes, as opposed to obstructing and challenging everyday life. Again the malice of religion, insofar as it

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diverts the hope of transcending ego in this pathetic direction.

Solution of the "other minds" difficulty

As of March 4, 1982, I propose the following response to the difficulty for personhood theory explained in preceding pages. [I announced the enduring solution in "Personhood IV" (1984; expanded 1991).] There must be a distinction between "pure" personhood theory on the one hand, and the application of it on the other. Pure personhood theory is "personally bounded," and rightly so. I have no other way to experience existence (for want of a better phrase--of course, such limiting provisos as these have problems if taken literally, but that is unavoidable given the mythification). There is a zone of objectivities in the person-world; but objectivities enter in the respect that everyday existence is a matter of my self confronted by and addressing things--things which have an imaginative unity for me that manifests my logico-perceptual collations. (E.g. a pencil which I see in different orientations and touch in different places is a unity for me.) The issue of a real reality behind these palpable processes does not arise except in regard to the role of belief, hypothesis, imagination, fantasy in completing the everyday synthesis of a "world." As for "other people," there may be moments in which intersubjectivity can be considered to be palpable: socalled good and bad vibrations, being outstripped by another person, my need for emotional support. But these moments do not at all compel me to make the conventional identifications of "other people" in which a single persisting mind is assigned to a single body as a "personality" etc. All of the theses of personhood theory must be confirmable via my introspection. In other words, the strict theory must have "introspective resonance." Applications of the pure theory are another matter. Other people as sentient beings in my zone of objectivities are in fact objectivities to which I comport myself. My attribution of sentience to other humans involves hypothesis or imagination--as does my attribution of molecular structure to water (although the two attributions are methodologically different). I can employ the pure personhood theory as an imaginative or hypothetical means in comporting myself to other people. There is an astute hypocracy or shift in degree of credulity here; and it should be fully acknowledged. But what does it imply when I consent to hypocracy or a shift of credulity? Personhood theory is one path from everyday existence to radical unbelief. It is a path characterized by acknowledging the myth of the person-world, and by formulating a series of modular, non-reductionist accounts in order of decreasing mythification or credulity. The point is that personhood theory cannot be the only path from everyday existence to radical unbelief. There must be other paths which are just as creditable intellectually: paths which may be comparatively depersonalized, but which involve no greater credulity or hypocracy. The reason I give the

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person-world path so much attention is that it pertains to the most emotionally sensitive shortcoming of the culture, and addresses the biggest obstacle to communicating metatechnology. Returning to issues of principle in personhood, inherited common sense says that I cannot have another person's headache, but that we can both "have" (apprehend) the same table or other thing. The table is available to another person as well as me because it is objective. It can be "subtracted" from my experience-realm, can "float around" for a while without any perceiver, and then can become available to another person's experience-realm. Personhood theory must repudiate this common-sense picture. The notion of an object subtracted from a person-world and floating around without a perceiver is another one of the nonsensical fantasies. Common sense unites the table which another person sees with the table I see, but differentiates the other person's headache from my headache. Pure personhood theory cannot uphold this conception. The notion that another human can have a headache, the notion that another human can be the mental center of a world, and the notion that this table can be an object to another person--all are at the same level of credulity and indeed are variants of a single notion. For radical empiricism, there is no "bonding" of self to objectivities and no self-comportment to objectivities. When strict personhood theory accepts these conceptions, it accepts a degree of mythification. It uses the myth to report the myth. What the "objectivities" represent is the way the "objective reality" notion enters in my mythified functioning or coping. Personhood theory is a "realism" in that it acknowledges a process of coping that implies a self confronted by objectivities. Other, traditional realisms are unacceptable for two reasons among others:

a) In any mundane situation, I never escape the problem of having to be an "I." Traditional realisms were depersonalized. b) Traditional realisms make the objectivities solid. But this is unjustified. E.g. specific determinations of the reality beyond the palpable are whimsical. There is literally no basis to distinguish actuality from convenient fiction. With reference to the pure theory, the palpable totality is individual. The zone of "objects" and all hypothetical objectivities are mutable in a way conditioned by emotion, esteem, morale, "sanity" (in the sense of Personhood II), and other attributes of self. The supposed objective reality has no linchpins. This strict theory can be applied in coping with objectivities which are recognized as mythified constituents of the personally bounded totality. Then, the pure theory has different degrees, from ordinary personhood to personhood's self-cancellation. Personhood theory arises in the established modern culture. As children we learn modern common sense, which is an equivocation between the scientific thing-landscape and the "lattice of minds." Then we have to learn personhood theory as a counter-intuitive supplement. But ultimately one might be able to start with personhood, more so than children now start with science. But then personhood theory would change; because the present personhood theory is designed to acknowledge established common sense. The nature of intersubjective interaction would change.

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Personhood theory is an attempt to replace common sense with a personally bounded flux of self and "objectivities." (In the old, misleading terminology, a hybrid of realism and solipsism.) If this replacement were carried out, the natural language would continue to be used; but it would undergo a radical shift in meaning, along with some changes in vocabulary and locution. I (and Hennix?) have long advocated the development of media of communication other than verbalization. But alternate communication would be a pretentious bluff unless it arose organically in a community. And before it can do that, the community must have the necessary motivation and receptivity. So we always come back to the issue which personhood theory was formulated to address. Part IV. Personhood's Self-Cancellation (originally Dec. 9, 1981)[1]

1994. ?--Re-deriving the "Is there language?" trap in personhood theory. The achieved insight is said to be the most general source for destabilization, or meta-technology.

I.A

1. So far I have compiled information on personhood by moving from proximate cognition to higher levels of integration of the person. I have not singled out any constituent of personhood as being of overriding importance. Nor have I proposed an organization of the person-world which establishes particular constituents as crucial, and subordinates the remaining constituents to them. Now I am prepared to make such determinations. I will identify the crucial constituent of personhood. My basis for selecting a certain constituent as being of overriding importance is efficacy. I ask, what choice of primary constituent yields an insight, an illumination, which is most helpful in accomplishing a certain sort of task? I look at my compilation--my journalism of the person-world--and ask, what is the task I most want to accomplish? And what in this compilation of "information" is most incisive for that task? I am going to give personhood theory a direction which may be entirely unexpected. The only excuse for doing so is that the result is going to give answers to the questions I most want answered. Tentatively, the primary constituent of personhood will be taken as "language." But the constituent has to be focused much more rigorously than that. Many surprises remain. What is most important about "language" is not its appellative or denotative aspect: the namerelationship.[2] What is most important is the modality of veracity, realism, descriptive

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authenticity, or representational veracity, in relation to the declarative and interrogative "attitudes."[3] A work of narrative fiction utilizes the appellative aspect of language; but it suspends the issue of veracity, realism, descriptive authenticity, representational veracity.[4] That is why fiction's way of employing language is not of overriding importance in personhood. The moments when I care about veracity, realism, descriptive authenticity, representational veracity: those moments are of overriding importance. My work on personhood theory has provided an important lesson which I must not lose sight of because I am now "making a return to language." Even though I am going to focus on "cognitive language," the person-world perspective will continue to resist equating the universe of thought or illumination to "the self as verbal cognition-machine." After all, personhood theory was going to be a non-intellectual epistemology. It resists confinement to a cognitive-linguistic strip on one edge of the person-world.[5] The right approach was established in a question in Part II of these "Critical Notes," (section)E. To restate and expand that question,

What are the interrelations between

a) the ontological-epistemological-cognitive preconditions for the modality of veracity or realism or descriptive authenticity or representational veracity, relative to the declarative and interrogative attitudes; and b) the role of veracity, realism, descriptive authenticity, and representational veracity in e.g. selfpresence and centered activation, esteem, morale, regularity of the life-world, culture-correlated configurations of faculties, objectification, the "why" of one's preoccupations, the possibility for sublime self-assertion?

2. It is fundamental in personhood that I am at risk of being deceived by other people, of being told fairy tales, of being cheated or defrauded. It is fundamental that I am at risk of being deluded.

(i) While dreaming, I impute some quality of objectivity to the dream-world. I make an

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attribution of realism to the dream. Then, upon awaking, I judge the attribution (in retrospect) to be a delusion.

(ii) Episodic memory is indistinguishable from a daydream except for one thing: in episodic memory I add the attribution that "this happened," an attribution of representational veracity or realism.[6] The attribution of the "this happened" may be accurate or not accurate.

(iii) The full repertory of conceptual thinking allows me to ask whether my imputation of the quality of objectivity to the waking-world might be a delusion.[7 ]In other words, is my present waking episode a hallucination?

(iv) Regarding my posture toward the future and the imperative of acting: sometimes I push forward confidently, unquestioningly. But I cannot always do so. I experience uncertainty, asking "what should I do?" Apprehension, expectation, anticipation. In more detail, we consider the future, the next moment, the future toward which urge and action are directed. Only when language is employed can there be avowed expectations and thereby a future conceived as such.[8] Our non-verbal enactment of futures in fantasy is not enough to constitute avowed expectation: the capacity for assertion must also be available. Moreover, recall that in Part II, (section)G, I defined personhood as a state-of-action under a condition of apprehension.

To review, our theme is that the primary constituent of the person-world will be taken as "language." But the constituent has to be focused much more rigorously. I will use the label proto-semantic consciousness-event. Let us recap the numbered examples.

(i) The attribution of realism in a dream (imputation of a quality of objectivity) is a protosemantic consciousness-event.

(ii) The attribution of the "this happened" in episodic memory is a proto-semantic consciousnessevent.

(iii) (Self-consciousness of) my imputation of objectivity to the waking-world is a proto-semantic

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consciousness-event.

(iv) My posture toward the future and the imperative of acting involves proto-semantic consciousness-events. E.g. apprehension requires an "attitude of assertion."

1994. Examples of proto-semantic consciousness-events are: a mental presentation non-verbally intended as representationally veracious; a non-verbal imputation of realism in lived experience.

Such events, we find, can be taken as central to personhood. (For example, apprehension toward the future is the crux of one definition of personhood.) In the present reflection, we must consider the interpenetration of proto-semantic consciousness-events with the whole person-world, if we are to seek a non-intellectual epistemology.

3. As I explained in "Personhood II" (1991 revision), H.3, knowing self-deception is a constituent which usually turns up throughout ordinary personhood.

a. I can suppress painful self-consciousness by frantically affirming what I doubt or disbelieve, or by repressing what I suspect. b. Instead of acting upon objectivities to get what I want, I can withdraw to gratification in fantasy, or imaginary gratification. c. I can becloud the imperative of implemented choice-making, in order to dull its risks and loneliness. (One of the most vivid risks is that of subsequent self-condemnation if my choice proves to be regrettable.) One important and extreme procedure of knowing self-deception is to obtain gratification from mental play-acting. When a personally motivated representation of your identity is concerned, you indulge in a representation of yourself which you know is untrue to the present (and to past and future as well). (A Walter Mitty fantasy.) But also, a group of people can engage in mental play-acting with respect to impersonal doctrine. I call this a shared pretense or consenting sham. Culturally supplied doctrines seem pervasively to have the character of consenting shams. But culturally mandated self-deception has an even more general role. (Cf. "Personhood II," F.4.)

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Inasmuch as ordinary personhood means facing objectivities, I strive for logico-perceptual coherence of the objectivities. But the ordinary personhood which internalizes the consensus reality never remotely achieves such coherence. Yet one typically does not judge oneself to be insane--i.e. one judges oneself to be sane. And one typically feels that there is an adequate degree of coherence of the objectivities.--Because the gibberish by which one manages in getting from one moment to the next (in the sense of momentary problem-solving) is culturally approved gibberish. Knowing self-deception is a negative disclosure of caring about veracity and realism. The modalities of veracity and realism are presupposed when self-deception rebuffs veracity and realism. Earlier, I spoke about the impossibility of always pushing forward confidently, unquestioningly. I spoke of experiencing uncertainty, of asking what I should do. Sometimes this modality arises at the highest life-long level of integration of the personal totality. The question becomes which thematic identity I should commit myself to. In Part II, (section)E (gloating meretriciousness), I showed that negative disclosure of caring about veracity and realism can be inseparably involved in esteem and thematic identity. "I like myself because I am a liar, a cheat, and a fraud." "I'm glad that the tenets I avow publicly are false." Veracity, realism, descriptive authenticity, representational veracity have to exist so the persons in question can make a life out of trampling them.

4. Thus, to summarize, personhood intrinsically and pervasively involves a capacity to make attributions of veracity, realism, etc.; and a capacity to question veracity, realism, etc.--or just to question, in a moment in which one wants a realistic or veracious answer. When these capacities, attributions, attitudes are not articulated verbally, that is when my new designation of protosemantic consciousness-event is most needed. My definitive assessment of why the earliest paradigms of personhood seemed inert is that they did not make these proto-semantic events central. Without imputations of objectivity, attributions of "that-happened," judgments of veracity or realism, wariness toward deceit and delusion, self-observed self-deception, and apprehension, expectation, anticipation, the person-world does not "arise" or subsist. In short, inherent to personhood is the capacity to ask or doubt "Is this actual?" or "Does this exist?" in the sense of "Is this what it pretends to be?" 1994. The capacity to ask, does this presentation match the reality which I infer? (E.g. is this episodic memory veracious?)

I.B

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1. Another widely-pervading constituent of the person-world is belief[9] in (the existence of) non-immediates. This constituent overlaps with proto-semantic consciousness-events. These two specifications of constituents allow me to look at the same subject-matter from different angles; and thereby to gain greater range or flexibility for my methods. Belief in past and future times (distinctly separate from the present) appears at the proto-semantic level as the attributions of realism involved in acts of memory and expectation. At the semantic level, it appears as e.g. use of clocks, or as past events which are not accessible via "daydreams," but only via sentences about them. Fundamental in personhood is the self's comportment to "objectivities." The same process of comportment can be described in different ways. Either -- I believe in the stability and persistence of a table (when I am not looking at it, etc.); or -- I impute a context of objectivity to a glimpse of a table (or visual-table apparition). Then, there is the identification of the table I see with the table I touch. Either -- I believe that the visual and tactile tables are the same; or -- I seek to make an objective table, a coherent table-object, by identifying the visual and tactile tables. But the latter manner of expression does not permit the conclusion that this identification is a straightforward, unexceptionable stipulation. On the contrary: the usual "stipulations" cannot yield coherence at all moments.[10] It is more honest to say that the ordinary organization of the world is made of beliefs than of collations or stipulations. "Stipulation" connotes a discretionary (or voluntary and optional) rule-making action which is independent of all matters of belief. But rule-making is independent of belief only relative to the tenets of a specific doctrine. The notions that regularities can be discerned, that there is a language in which to formulate rules, and that there is an "I" to discern and to formulate, are in no way independent of beliefs. The activity of "making a rule to unite and unify a visual apparition with a tactile apparition" not only presupposes beliefs but indeed presupposes highly abstract beliefs. What do you mean, "unite" a sight with a touch "in thought" to make a "substantial integrality"?[11] The entire attribution of consciousness to other people--specifically, "intentions of consciousness" such as purpose, planning, manipulation, duplicity, cordiality, resentment, vindictiveness--is a matter of beliefs. A closely related matter of belief is the meaningfulness of language, the medium of transmission of thought between myself and others. The conception of my "self" as a unitary personality demarcated from the environment and continuous through time (including sleep/waking alternation and unconsciousness) is a matter of beliefs. The expectations which guide my actions, my realized choices, are matters of belief (causal belief, in fact.). The survey I have just made concerns the role of beliefs in informing the elemental life-world or person-world. That I have memory and expectation, that I conceive object-gestalts, that I attribute consciousness to other people, that the "I" of the moment conceives a sustained, continuous self, that I act in accord with cause-and-effect expectation: these are basic to the ordinary personal totality. Beyond this there are elaborate intellectual systems--myth, science, political-economic ideology--which it is superfluous to dwell on. One distinction between the "systems" and the elemental beliefs is that the systems are specialized, i.e. they are monopolies of small minorities in the community (in many societies).

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2. The investigation of personhood leads me to notice a manner of expression which might otherwise have gone unremarked. "I do"; "I see"; "I believe." It is the self of the moment that is referred to here; but what is notable is that the totality-of-the-moment is verbalized as an "I" doing, seeing, feeling, thinking. All this verbal ego-demarcation is assuredly informed by belief.-But now there is a circle, for who is the believer? Belief is the ego as self-caused cause? (Also, "self" is a trans-personal abstraction in the foregoing. The fallacy of determining a particular with an abstraction which would have to have the particular as its inspiration.[12]) There is a zone more intimate than belief in the conventional sense, the zone in which belief is constituted as a believer's act. The structure of our language requires that belief presupposes a self to espouse it (not a life-long self, just a self of the present). Espousal is willful thought. Yet the constitution of a self is a "matter of belief." Of course, I already noted the oddity that the personhood paradigm is expressed as "I this," "I that"--but that "self" confronting a "screen" of visual apparitions, grappling with contents, etc., is just what ordinary personhood is about. The self of the moment or self of the present is turning out to be as much of an oddity as protosemantic consciousness-events or beliefs in non-immediates. "I have the option of credulity or radical unbelief." But in a state of radical unbelief there is no ground for the I-concept. The self doesn't necessarily appear with actions; actions can be performed absent-mindedly. The self doesn't necessarily appear with sense-receptiveness: the room can get a little warmer or lighter without my being attentive to it. The moment where something is palpable as a self is the moment of willful thought. The self appears with thoughtful willfulness or attentiveness. Proto-semantic consciousness-events, and beliefs, are closely interrelated with willful thought-which is the palpable self. To visualize a table is willful thought without a semantic event or belief. (I don't mean ideation of the meaning of the word "table"; I only mean visual ideation, and I"m mentioning "table" to make the example concrete, easier to follow.) So what do we have? A palpable self sometimes manifested with beliefs and sometimes manifested without beliefs. But that's like saying that the palpable table is sometimes manifested as a sight, sometimes as a touch. The "substantial integrality" claimed for the palpable self is a matter of belief. But the self is unique among substantial integralities installed by belief, because the form of language, at least, requires the self as believer of the belief that installs the self. Let us conclude that the I-of-the-moment, or ego-consciousness, is a self-creating fiction(?).

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I.C

1. Let me return to the question at the end of (section)A, and pass to the illumination to which this text is devoted. Ask the question "Is this what it pretends to be?" of the question "Is this what it pretends to be?" 1994. Is the question Is this what it pretends to be? what it pretends to be? Does the presentational question--this quasi-semantic presentation--signal an objectively real question? If the question "Is this what it pretends to be?" is not what it pretends to be, then you cannot question whether it is what it pretends to be. It must be what it pretends to be for you to be able to ask whether it is what it pretends to be. The answer is an automatic "yes" if the question can be asked. Yet nothing has established that the question is asked (that the presentational words are objectively meaningful). Let me heuristically invoke the mode of impersonal epistemology, hoping that this displacement/standard mode will help rather than confuse. No a posteriori evidence has been provided that semantic consciousness-events exist, i.e. that the apparitions which are "indicated" as semantic consciousness-events have the trans-experiential dimension required for a semantic consciousness-event. But the situation is more acute than this remark recognizes. "Some evidence that they exist is needed." Yes, some evidence that what I conventionally indicate as semantic events are what they pretend to be and not illusions. The conceptual thinking which supposedly is constituted of semantic consciousness-events has this "requirement of verification of realism" as its foremost inalienable norm. That there are semantic consciousness-events needs to be a contingent actuality so that it can be verified. But it can't be a contingent actuality. "That there are semantic consciousness-events" is too true. The question is settled and disposed of before anything (contingent) has been established or verified. We need to be wholly outside of the question "Is this what it pretends to be?"--and we can't get outside it.[13]

* An instructive case appears in my "A Refutation of Arithmetic."[14] Consider

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This sentence is in English, and the proof (1) that it is in English is just the sentence itself, which is in English. Does that seem like permissible reasoning? Then consider

This sentence in in French, and the proof (2) that it is in French is just the sentence itself, which is in French. No matter how much you are convinced that (2) expresses a delusion, there is nothing, proving that (2) expresses a delusion, which is not a hysteron proteron. (Here it is not permitted to "prove" assertions by citing sources of authority which are more derivative than what is to be proved. We don't prove the existence of God by looking it up in the Bible.) The form of (2) is automatic self-validation; and this form closes the circuit in such a way that testing (2) as a contingent actuality can discorroborate but not disconfirm.

* The illumination which emerges from this meditation is that the whole realm of semantic consciousness-events takes the form of automatic self-validation and therefore is caught in a circuit of futility.

2. Viewed along the axis of semantic consciousness-events, personhood is in a bind of global self-cancellation, or impossibility, or irreparable conflict with the norms of its subsisting or establishment or installation. I don't know if it will help, or make things worse, if I make the following heuristic statement. The foregoing is a demonstration that the person-world "does not exist." [Curiously and ironically, "Eastern mysticism" promised to provide the same illumination. But I deliver the promised "demonstration" here and now; while Eastern mysticism defers the demonstration to some inaccessible thought-escape from empirical consciousness.] Let me continue heuristically, hoping that elaboration will help if the foregoing was not sufficient. The insight that personhood does not exist is not a privation--except for those who were incorrigibly credulous and addicted to "creedalism" in the first place. Again as a heuristic illustration (maybe a misleading one--I don't know), dreams don't disappear in consequence of what you decide about their realism. That is, there is a phase of experience which the inherited culture calls dreaming which does not disappear. But the whole of your experience may be profoundly reshaped in consequence of what you decide about dreams' realism. The insight which I improperly express as "Personhood does not exist" gives us a means of destabilization more powerful than ever. Personhood theory (as I said in Part I of these "Critical

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Notes") began in a climate of capsulized existentialism and social organicism. The wish from that quarter was to escape subject-object estrangement, guaranteeing a familiar world, through simple faith in the inseparability of self and world. But that very goal undercut itself in a shockingly counter-intuitive way. We found that personhood theory's only use is as an undermining dynamic. This lesson has now been carried all the way. I have irrevocably diverged from anyone who wanted personhood theory to be a creed which could serve as a religion. Having begun Part I of these "Critical Notes" only a month before Part IV in 1981, I posed the task as one of finding a framework which produces an organized, identified world without depersonalizing us. I pictured this problem as one whose solution might lie far in the future, and might require a whole series of theoretical pastiches and bluffs. But here I have already reached the end-result (for the incredulous modality). This result places the project of meta-technology in a different (and to me more plausible) light. The "framework" is not a creed. Rather, it is a "shortcircuit" of the person-world. So the "ultimate knowledge" is not a dogma but an undermining illumination. The task of personalist meta-technology is now to spell out all the methods this undermining illumination opens to us. The job of II below is to begin to spell out how this approach is going to work. A framework as called for in Part I of "Critical Notes"--which would be pseudo-consistent--might still be important at a certain level of credulity or stage of transformation or praxis. As framed, this discussion is an exercise in astute hypocracy. A rigorous regard for levels of credulity would make the text too counter-intuitive for today's reader--although a rigorous reformulation could in the future be highly instructive.

I.D

1. The illumination is supported by consideration of beliefs in non-immediates as surveyed in I.B above. Let me ask,

Are non-immediates actual? or Are there non-immediates?

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or Do non-immediates exist? As in I.C, the affirmative answers to these questions, the declarative correlates of the questions, are automatically self-validating. But now the automatic self-validation is indirect. It involves an intermediate moment. Non-immediates have to exist so the question regarding their existence can be meaningful. That is why I began with the question of semantic consciousness-events, because it is at the center: it is the intersection of non-immediates with our reflection upon them. Strictly, what is at issue is the realm of non-immediates, the non-immediate realm. My point doesn't turn on the fallacy of inferring existence from conceivability, because that fallacy pertains to a specific non-immediate, whereas what is at issue is the realm of non-immediates as such. Meanings would have to belong to this realm. Nevertheless, the present avenue of discussion produces a useful subsidiary result. Nonimmediates must be actual if we can reflect upon them. Yet nothing has established that we can reflect upon them, i.e. that our purported reflection upon them is what it pretends to be. Nothing has proved that the "thoughts" which are indicated as reflections upon non-immediates have the trans-immediate or trans-experiential dimension. That there are non-immediates needs to be a contingent actuality so that it can be validated. But it can't be a contingent actuality. The question is settled and disposed of before anything has been established or validated. Non-immediates comprise a realm which as a whole is automatically self-validating and therefore is caught in a circuit of futility. Viewed along the axis of belief in non-immediates, personhood is in a bind of overall self-cancellation or impossibility. Semantic consciousness-events and beliefs in non-immediates are self-validating mirages(?), yet that is epistemologically unacceptable. They are exposed as circuits of futility annulling the person-world. You have memories but you can't have them. You have expectations but you can't have them. You believe that the Empire State Building exists when you are not looking at it but you can't so believe. Coming back to the "I" of the moment, it is a self-creating fiction(?); it is caught in a circle of self-installation.[15] This circle perhaps annuls personhood along a different axis. You are a you even though evidently you can't be a you, even though the "you" is an impossible fiction. "I am stuck with myself and with being here even though it is impossible that I should be here." Now personhood is becoming dizzy. Now we should be able to read uncanny moments directly out of the person-world. Here is, perhaps, a better heuristic illustration than the example of dreams which I gave in C.2. Consider "perceived space." It pretends to have depth in the visual mode, but there is no way to expose that depth in the visual mode palpably. I stand on the other side of the room from my desk and say "The chair is nearer me than the desk." But there is no way I can validate this visual impression, or even say what this visual impression means (as long as I remain within the static visual modality.). Like depth and depth-distance or away-distance in the visual field, personhood is an impression which cannot be substantiated--as it were. Kant's Copernican revolution in philosophy was to announce that all the things we were supposed

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to believe but couldn't prove are "innately added by the mind." Very well. There remains only one qualification. These innate additions of the mind are impossibles.

I.E

These issues of the momentary "I" and of whether belief is possible at all constitute the intimate zone relative to which my very early philosophy failed to square the extremism of its conclusions with the explanations that prepared the way for those conclusions. That's why I preferred the "Is there language?" trap: it required no affirmative assertions about the possibility of the "I" as believer. Referring to manuscripts published in Blueprint for a Higher Civilization, "Philosophy Proper," Chapter 5, makes an attempt to analyze believing, avowal, or espousal as a mental act. On rereading this chapter, I find that it largely anticipates the present discussion. I was clear from the beginning that beliefs could not be what they pretended to be in conventional thought, since if they were, then insofar as they genuinely referred to the non-immediate, they would have succeeded in getting outside the immediate. I claimed that I could analyze and explain the consciousness-event indicated as a belief while remaining within the immediate. But in so doing I would radically change the reference of the word 'belief': that reference would be radically flattened. I took as my paradigm those proto-beliefs which are effected through visual ideation, without especially involving the thinking of a sentence. When I believe that a table is behind my back, I visualize the table--a mental experience--and "comport" myself to this visualization as if it were a non-mental experience. This "comportment" is called the "attitude of assertion" (what I here call the attribution of "there-then" or of "this-happened"); and already in 1961 I explained it as a conscious self-deception experience. This is an ingenious attempt to explain how events pretending to be beliefs in non-immediates can arise entirely within the immediate. I missed only one thing: the presupposition of the "I." Returning to the topic in Blueprint, "Philosophical Reflections," I asked: Why are we so skilled in the self-deceptive reflex that I find in language and belief? Is not the very ability to concoct an apparently significant, self-vitiating and self-deceiving structure a transcendent ability, one that points to something non-immediate? Commenting on this passage in "Reconsidering Empiricism," I.D, I said:

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Given that language and belief have been discredited to the point that even the claim that one has language and beliefs cannot be defended, the remaining paradox consists in one's impression that one has language and beliefs. This paradox must go unexplained and unresolved.

Again, the "Is there language?" trap had the advantage of vitiating everything without having to take a position on the feasibility of locating the "I" or of various thought-gymnastics. Instead of trying to second-guess my 1961 explanation, let me turn again to the example of dreaming. In a dream, I experience a complete, real-seeming world with all the depth of objectivity, past, future (including memory, expectation, apprehension), other people's intentions, causation, language, etc. In particular, I believe that the world around me, which has the depth of imputed objectivity, is actual. Then I awaken, and in the convention of modern culture, I conclude that the entire experience was a phantom, mirage, hallucination, delusion. What, then, was my belief-in-the-reality-of-the-world as it occurred within the phantom-world? (And I have awakened from dreams in dreams, too; what is the reality of a dream in a dream, a hallucination in a hallucination, a mirage in a mirage, a delusion in a delusion?) The problem of belief in waking life is very comparable. If I am afraid of jumping out of a window in a dream, is my dreamed-fear real, given that the entire world-realm toward which it thrusts is a phantom? The conventional wisdom is that a fear can be genuine though inaccurate, when the specific event feared is an improbable future. But do I have a fear--if the future-as-future, the entire zone where one or another specific event will have to occur, is a phantom with no objective standing? That is how modern culture judges a dream. It is not just that the "me" errs in specific beliefs; the "me" and the world-realm, the being-in-a-world, have no objective standing and are phantoms. To repeat, then, are fears, are hopes, are beliefs, are attributions of objectivity actual: if both the "me" and the entire world-realm toward which it thrusts have no objective standing and are phantoms? Is there any "me": if the personal totality is a phantom with no objective standing? Even more refractory, if the world-realm is hallucination, delusion, fantasy, who is the fantasizer? There is the implication that hallucination, delusion, fantasy have to have a self as their subject, a self capable of thinking willfully. 1991. But while the self is in the mirage, there is no question of the self "holding" the mirage. Only when the error is being recovered introspectively does a self detach from it.

I.F

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The foregoing discussion has offered an expos to the effect that consciousness-events which involve signification, non-immediates, attributions of realism, "me"-centricity are impossible--in the sense that they cannot be what they pretend to be, or that their establishment is circular. It was pointed out that according to the norms of this culture, when I am dreaming, all my expectations, fears, attributions of intentions to other people, attributions of realism to the world go for nothing: I awaken, and the entire world-realm is dismissed as a phantom. Now I have no wish to claim that waking experience is a dream. I'm claiming that waking beliefs, attributions of realism and veracity, etc., when tested against their own standards of significance or substantiality, are found to be automatically self-validating and thereby empty. Thus, they are flattened to the status of "impressions" in the sense in which visual depth is an impression; and one can compare them to imputations of realism in a dream, which one subsequently decides to have been substantively empty. The difference between my expos and the Eastern tenet that waking life is a dream is that I don't have to escape from waking consciousness to arrive at my expos. The expos is available within waking consciousness, to anyone who retraces the argument. Another important explanation is that I make no claim that being-in-a-world will "disappear" with the presentation of my expos. Being-in-a-world remains, but it is now exposed as hopelessly paradoxical. Again, the situation is analogous to one's impression of visual depth: you usually suppose that you are seeing radial distances, yet reflection reminds you that the notion of "seeing radial distances" is nonsensical. Reaching once again for a heuristic comment, I say that the person-world is permeated with illusory dimensionalities.

Personhood theory was originated, also, as an analysis of cross-cultural obscurantism. It announced that there are palpable mutual deformations among e.g. factual perception and reason as counterposed to "social" role and esteem. The new expos has the effect of knocking these mutually deforming constituents flat--or what is the same thing, of exposing them as paradoxical rather than stable. There are, then, two counter-acting levels of instability here for personalist destabilization. This is intricate and dizzying indeed. It would just extend the delusion to try to define the relation of these instabilities abstractly and analytically. Exploration through extreme praxis is the way to draw the conclusions. I proceed to that in II below. I was already moving toward the latest result in Part II of "Critical Notes," (section)E, when I expressed the attitude of gloating meretriciousness sarcastically in the sentence "The universe exists so I can be a rat." The person who prides himself on mendacious pragmatism has an inner cognitive stress, because he has nothing but his avowed lies to "prove the realities" to which he prostitutes himself. (The career scientists I keep meeting!) Instead of a world-realm held in place by autonomous facts or constraints, we are finding a world-realm constituted of vicious circles or question-beggings (to use the ill-conceived jargon of logic). Ordinary personhood is, so to speak, an atemporal, a priori generalization of "prostituting yourself to a reality which has only your prostituted sensibility to prove its reality." Further understanding is best gained from whatever concrete praxis we can develop.

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***

II.A

The issues of I.E comprise a zone of acute dizziness. My present inclination is not to try to sort out this zone by abstract-dogmatic speculation. Rather, I wish to test this zone, to put it on trial, by making it the arena of an extreme meta-technology, by finding instrumental procedures in this zone which stretch it and expose it. I also test it by proclaiming extreme positions just to see if they are maintainable. I say, for example: it is impossible to fear jumping out of a window. Does that seem outrageous beyond all reason? What if I add, "in a dream"? Is the declaration absurd then? Is the fear of jumping out of a window in a dream an actual fear, or is it an event flatter than it pretends to be-an emotion enclosed together with its object in a world-realm that is entirely a phantom?[16] One may transfer Heidegger's famous analysis of the human condition into the dream-world. Is there any being-there or being-in-a-world in a dream-world? Does the "me" in a dream experience actual anxiety or boredom? Are authenticity and inauthenticity possible to the "me" in a dream? I hope that the above illustrations will prepare the way for what may seem to be pointless extremism, pointless paradox in the pages to follow. So far from engaging in sophistry, I am trying to raise meta-technology to the level of personalist destabilization. If the sections that follow are less conclusive than "Intersensory Discorrelation"[17] or "The Logic of Contradictions,"[18] that is because the new insight--that the personhood I am embroiled in all the time can't be there at all--is so extreme that I don't have its incisive applications yet.

II.B

1. Theses on "It can't be what it pretends to be"

[You may add "in a dream" to each of these theses if that will make them more plausible.]

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It is impossible to fear jumping out of a window. It is impossible to believe that my father died years ago. It is impossible to be an Ego. It is impossible to be-in-a-world. [It is impossible to be a personal object for another person.] It is impossible for people to show disrespect for me. It is impossible for another person to mislead me. It is impossible for me to attribute to another person purpose, planning, manipulativeness, duplicity, cordiality, resentment, or vindictiveness. Your reaction to the symbol [[infinity]] cannot be what it pretends to be. The judgment that "This piece of paper is not defaced with ink-stains, it has writing on it" cannot be made. It is impossible for me to impute meanings in thought to words I see written or to the talk I hear. It is impossible to make the distinction between fiction and chronicle. No assertion can be inconsistent (because no assertion is real). Being exposed to bad philosophy can't degrade my thought processes. 2. Procedures to flatten proto-semantic consciousness-events Apprehend all memories as daydreams. Apprehend waking life as a dream so that no impersonal order of nature can be abstracted from it. Apprehend each experience as "singular" or intermediate-zone.[19] Apprehend all expectations or plans as mere daydreams with no attribution of "this-will-happen," no imputation of "probably there-then." [Objection: You can't do this in normal life because you have to act, and representations of the future and causal expectations are indispensable inputs to action. Only in no-mind action, or nomind fulfillment of urge, can you do this; and it is very untypical, requiring a protected environment. Reply: No, no-mind action in this sense is the only possible kind.]

3. Anomalous context of action A dream: the police start shooting at me. If I can get a few yards farther on the top of the hill I will be past the line of fire. I take a headlong dive and awaken in the middle of the dive to find myself diving forward on my mattress in the front room of my apartment. The action is carried on continuously through waking up and through the associated change of setting.

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A dream: I start to whistle but can only whistle a single high note. I half awaken but continue whistling, or trying to; the dream action continues into waking. But I cannot change pitch or whistle clearly because my mouth is taped. As I realize this, I awaken fully. Discussion: I have had experiences in which a headlong dive or an attempt to whistle continued from dream to waking: an action continued to a different state-of-being or reality-type. These experiences have the guise of causally continuous actions. I cannot bring them about at will.

4. Procedures of identity synthesis The person I am in my dreams is much more limited in certain ways than I am in waking life. My waking preoccupations are totally absent from my dreams. Instead there is bland material about my early life which could apply to any child or teen-ager. This phenomenon provides the possibility of concocting an identity in which character is not constant. (Contrary to "Personhood II.") Intercut my character in dreams with my character in waking life. Regarding the activity of retrieving forgotten "objective" information about one's history and ancestry: old photos, letters, etc. Trying to integrate them into one's conscious identity. There may be a large incongruity between the present, and this supposedly objective information. You have forgotten the details supplied by the documents so completely that you wouldn't know the difference if the documents were forged. Then the activity of concocting a unified identity from present memory and the documents might as well be myth-making.

5. Counter-meta-technology Logical paradox can't exist (because language is not objectively established). Thus the uncanniness of the waterfall perception (negative afterimage of motion) cannot be correlative to verbal paradox.

Ascertaining a logically impossible world-state in a dream may be a matter of testing present experience against a veracious memory. The dream in which my father was alive and dead at the same time. I was sitting with my father; I had an experiential memory (like a daydream but conjoined to the attitude of assertion "this did happen") of my father's demise and burial. One component of the experiential inconsistency was present occurrence, while the other was memory-dependent. But such tests are impossible.

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Is it possible to see depth in the Necker cube, which after all is a flat drawing? (Yes, in the sense of an "impression" [which cannot be substantiated]?)

6. What can self-insecurity teach about ontology?

Let me continue with the point that the ("depth" in the) person-world is impossible. Presumably the strongest test of this point would be a state in which personhood was beside itself. One state in which personhood is acutely beside itself, not so much at the level of factual perception, but at the level of overall integration, is the state of self-insecurity or personal disorientation. I refer, in other words, to not knowing what one wants, what one is good for, where one is going--and to feeling a pervasive lack of assurance. The present discussion claims that this state of being beside oneself is impossible. That is to say, self-insecurity is palpable as an "impression"; but it can't be what it pretends to be. Of course, confidence, serenity, etc. would have to be equally impossible. But the terms "confidence," "serenity," etc. often refer to states in which being-beyond-oneself disappears from view and is not posed as an issue. I have to be more precise about the condition I'm interested. in. People who spew out continual bluff and misdirection, and people who absorb themselves with senseless tasks, don't pertain to this inquiry, nor do people who manifest self-confidence by being workaholics. Being beside oneself has to be self-conscious, has to be capable of self-observation, before there can be anything to inquire about. I am not so concerned with the person who is a misfit because of having a highly original, distinctive identity which has not yet matured. I am most concerned with lack of a direction from within, with undistinguished personal disorganization. "It is not possible to be self-insecure." What an outrageous thing to say. But we must scrutinize self-insecurity, which says many different things (I am miserable, I am untalented, I am ugly, I can't think straight, I can't get organized, I lack assurance, I don't know what I want, I don't know where I am going), to see if we can expose its "depth" or being-beside-oneself as illusory.

* I am not asserting that self-insecurity is a mirage for the purpose of curing self-insecurity. I am

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providing an extraordinary, cognitive challenge to the self-insecure person--asking the person to test his or her insecurity against the illumination which would collapse it. The self-insecure person is placed at a juncture to experience an astounding disillusionment or mirage-annulment. To repeat, this is not a cheap therapy which is telling people they don't have a problem in order to make the problem go away. Getting rid of self-insecurity in the sense of making people cheerful and well-adjusted is of no interest here at all. Indeed, eagerness to sweep away self-insecurity works against perceptive observation of it. (And just to keep the record straight, I note that there are aimless people who are self-satisfied. We call them beachcombers, vegetables, etc. I am not commending beachcombers.) This investigation is ontological, not pop-therapeutic. I want to get close to self-insecurity to look for conjuring tricks which support it. These tricks might be of interest in an extreme, personalist meta-technology. I may note that one facet of self-insecurity is self-judgment--the varieties of which were listed in "Personhood II." People judge themselves pragmatically, judge their level of fulfillment, judge their own sanity.[20]

* One difficulty in setting up this exercise is that the quality of information on self-insecurity--and what is needed is first-hand or introspective documentation--is extremely low. Self-insecurity is conceived as failure and is therefore an occasion of shame and censure. It is assumed to reduce your value to other people and also to render you defenseless to their hostility. Purposiveness is more valuable than irresolution. There is an imperative to be cheery and to be legitimately occupied. If I attribute self-insecurity to another person, to do so seems to verify a lot of conventional tenets. Self-insecurity is the other person's subjective collapse. There is a real world which goes on its way regardless of one person's subjective inadequacy. The subjective inadequacy only renders that one person less valuable, less well-defended.[21] By promising easy reassurance, you can capture the person as a pawn. In order to open up an avenue for my investigation, I must contradict this conventional wisdom with some iconoclastic pronouncements. Self-insecurity is not possible. The distinction between the subjective world of the insecure person and that of the secure person cannot be drawn. So do not let shame, guilt, and presumptions of unimportance inhibit confessions of selfinsecurity. I want you to give yourself permission to be self-insecure, so that you can challenge it cognitively--as opposed to trying to escape to a state of self-confidence. (The ability to do this is one aptitude for meta-technology.) What I want is comparable to a very perceptive, complete report on a conjuring trick--a report that gives us a chance to pinpoint the move which fools us. CRITICAL NOTES ON THE PERSON-WORLD Part V. Elevated Experience

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Henry Flynt

(c) 1993 Henry A. Flynt, Jr.

CONTENTS

Introduction

A. Reductionist Half-Fantasies

B. Language as Miraculous

C. The Smallest Unit of Cognition

D. Is Radicalism Confined to the Adoption of Vantage-Points?

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E. New Languages or Cultural Media

F. A Language on the Person-World

G. Escape to an Outside or to an Above?

H. Withdrawal to Esthetic Gratification?

I. Meta-Technology in the Person-World

J. Meta-Technology and the Self

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Introduction

My analysis of the person-world has insistently noted that the phenomenon analyzed is objectifying personhood: in other words, a superstitious totality. The idly curious might expect personhood theory to take objectifying personhood as real and "good." But I have said clearly that I hold objectifying personhood to be unreal and "bad." So one must speak of the possibility of dissolving this personhood, or of departing from it. That is where the subject of consecration comes in. Part Five was my only projected manuscript on the departure from objectifying personhood to a preferred condition of consciousness/action. I did not pass from my holograph notes to a typescript in 1981 because I found the subject-matter unmanageable then. The topic is departure from modern (naturalist-rationalist) reality or ordinary personhood in an exalted direction. This involves

- the overcoming of the imputed "reality" - the concomitant metamorphosis of the proximate totality , i.e. the person-world - change in the constitution of self (as a zone of the person-world).

There were no relevant candidates before the second half of the twentieth century. The reader

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may immediately think of Eastern religion. I am willing to discuss Eastern religion; and in 1981 I reviewed it in several reflections. To summarize as simply as possible, though, I am interested in outlooks which postdate natural science, having assimilated the scientific revolution--not in outlooks which antedate science.

The stance which elicited the discussion that follows was that of Christer Hennix. I construed Hennix's work of the late Seventies as a challenge which I chose to accept. Let me admit that I may be writing only about a posture which I chose to see--which, if present in Hennix's work, was present only as a hortatory and esthetic gesture.[1] Hennix seemed to be saying that formalist scientism could be reinterpreted and elevated so that its promise of stable affirmative truth could be truly fulfilled. (As if by a god.) Moreover, the result could be a grammar not for the prosaic world but for ecstatic experience. Ecstatic experience was achieved by starting with uncontaminated elements and combining them by reliable principles. Stable affirmative knowledge was indispensable just because it was needed for this purpose. Even though it may only have been hortatory and esthetic, Hennix's work conveyed the challenge that a god (or someone with an overwhelming advantage of us) could leap over not only our shortcomings, but the negative results on cognition characterizing my approach (my confinement of the knower to the immanent). What anybody but me would consider Hennix's mad ambitiousness was precisely what recommended the proposal to me--together with Hennix's provision of fairly specific hints of the approach.

My philosophy provides the insight that non-immediate or transcendent standpoints are nonsensical. Should that induce us to rule out the quest for a preferred existence outside mundane life? I construed Hennix's project an extremely powerful object-lesson or archetype. An account of my perspective (and direction and methods) is enhanced by an extended response to this approach. I may encounter a fellow human who is more advantaged than me generally or has the advantage of me. As a thought-experiment, what if I had an analogous encounter with a sentient nonhuman? The discussion may be viewed as an abstract and visionary reflection on the limits of propositional thought and stable affirmative knowledge--"even for a god" or a creature

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from Andromeda. What my speculations cannot do is to predict the extent of the god's powers.

So the area of discussion formed itself. It was approximately a comparison of Christer Hennix's view of freedom of consciousness, pristine consciousness, a preferred medium of thought, with my radical unbelief, meta-technology,[2] and (after the inception of personhood theory) reciprocity of personhood. (This latter was my position that meta-technology could not be realized comprehensively in a collectivity in which a privileged class lived off of goods and services provided by a servile class.) When I proposed meta-technology at my Stockholm talk of October 10, 1979, I said that we must learn to swim in the ocean of chaos. However, this was terribly misunderstood--partly because "chaos" became one of the scientistic, debased fads--and I dropped the slogan.

We have two proposals for dissolving objectifying personhood or departing from it. Their divergence invited intense reflection in 1981. This inquiry, then, has to be a culmination of personhood theory. In 1981, I picked the word consecration for the topic. Available words from which I had to choose were ecstatic, hallowed, exalted, wondrous, enchanted. Rather than accepting any of the latter words, I chose to bend the received meaning of consecration.

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A. Reductionist Half-Fantasies

There is an early twentieth-century Zeitgeist which reduces language to mathematical form and physical token--without thought, without motivation, without meaning except for "formal semantics." I call this tendency formalist scientism.[3] Science, by making a privative projection (from the person-world) of thing-to-thing relationships, and by massively elaborating this projection, can fool us into thinking that thing-to-thing relationships have obviated the person-world.

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Formalistic scientism's program of demythologization posits a cosmos consisting solely of physical objects and machines. Language consists of machines "exchanging" physical "signs" (tokens). According to science, all entities besides these are obsolete superstition. Call this cosmos the science-cosmos. When one proposes to dismiss large blocks of doctrine (everything called philosophical anthropology) and to replace them with some narrow or meager (minimalist) "knowledge" or intellectual modality, it becomes a question whether the proposed combination of rejection and retention is cogent. Whether the new ontology requires phenomena beyond its scope to subtend it. Whether the streamlined new knowledge, purporting to comprehend everything that can and should be comprehended, is a half-fantasy. The science-cosmos is conceptually not tenable. It posits too little or too much. The sciencecosmos cannot exist self-sufficiently or be self-constituted. If the elements of the science-cosmos are real, they are not enough; there must be something more which acts to subtend them but which is not included among them. I will argue the point in the next section with respect to language. Less can be more, but only when it is a self-contained or self-subsistent less--when it does not treat, as expendable, entities which are required (more or less by definition) to subtend it.

The science-cosmos is a reductionism. If the science-cosmos is a fiction, then it is not a completed fiction. It is a half-fantasy: there must be something more in order for there to be that much. Moreover, the scientistic ideology has no modesty. It reserves no "guest room" to compensate for its insufficiency.

As an example, there would not be a consciousness which did set theory and nothing else.

1) Without care and temporality--ahead of myself, already in the world, as being alongside entities within the world--nothing happens. (Contemporary cyberneticists might phrase it, the experience of consciousness does not happen.)

2) Set theory is believed for reasons of expediency in a specific social context, namely twentiethcentury Western scientism. Outside this context of scientific-academic careerism, nobody would believe it. Set theory is not viable as a mode of life. Outside the social imperatives of the Mandarinate, there is no motive to do it.

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3) Where has formalist scientism provided for actual existence among abstract entities?

When meta-technology is less credulous than common-sense, less extravagant in imputing contexts of objectivity, that may be desirable. But insofar as mathematics says less than common sense, that is because mathematics is etiolated and incomplete. Less is more? The choice of the "less" reveals whether the perspective being offered is a reductionist fantasy.

Hennix developed a unique interpretation of formalist scientism. Accepting that formalist scientism achieves a medium of thought superior to mundane thought by dismissing mundane thought and replacing it with artificially precise and counter-intuitive thought-media, Hennix went on to view these methods as having the goal or the result of consecration. They could be applied to reach sustainable preferred states of consciousness. Formalist scientism was viewed as a thought-medium of the gods, so to speak. Through formalist scientism, we could dispense with mundane consciousness and accede to a flawless thought-medium: like having a race of gods teach us a new science. In e.g. Toposes & Adjoints Hennix formalized the subject algebraically or algorithmically. Despite Hennix's dedication to ecstatic experience, Hennix's words allow the posited "consciousness" to be a computer.[4] [Note on usage. In the past I have expressed my impression of algebraically formalized theories by vernacularly using the word "mechanical." What I am getting at, perhaps, is a feature which mathematical logic does not speak about: the metaphysics to which one commits by using algebraic notation. Impersonal, qualitatively homogeneous, discrete, permanently self-identical, rankable elements; and decidable operations thereupon. It would be professionally less objectionable to say algebraic or algorithmic. Or: the lexicon is mechanical. The professional sees a different picture. The "games" which are codified with mechanical lexicons are "mysterious" as often as not. Hilbert wanted to prove that infinity is merely a manner of speaking; already this program crashes on the question of whether an infinite lexicon is needed to establish that infinity is merely a manner of speaking.[5] When using the word "mechanical," I am contrasting mathematical logic with the inventions in my "a priori neurocybernetics." But the lesson is equally important that the tidiest-seeming mathematics is already an unfathomable casuistry.]

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* Let me consider Hennix's vision of the generation of all desired messages from meager "algebraically characterizable" elements, considered relative to formalist scientism's view of language. I agree that there could be a different or simpler state of consciousness, e.g. radical unbelief, altered personhood, (morning amnesia from Part III). Radical unbelief [admitting that to write about it is (astute) hypocracy] is "self-contained" and is a feasible state for consciousness. But Hennix's formulation, the pristine consciousness which mimics formalist scientism, is a reductionist half-fantasy. Hennix would say: The only perception which trivially satisfies the requirement that appearance and reality be identical is the void event. We have the act of ostension devoid of any classificatory significance: the void indication. So let there be a language consisting solely of this element. Hennix fantasizes some such phenomenon as a purely logical consciousness which is irreproachable because it posits the empty set and little else. But to anticipate SSB, it makes more sense to proclaim dogmatically that there is no language than it does to proclaim that there is a language (minimal formal language) consisting just of zero--or the empty set. To have the machinery to posit abstract-mathematical principles is a highly structured and derivative state of affairs; and to then use that machinery to posit collapsed cases like the empty set or the infinitude of the number two is even more structured and derivative. The fantasy of a "creative subject" who posits a stable affirmative knowledge consisting solely of a semigroup of order 3 is a nonsensical fantasy.[6] Hennix supposes that an awareness deprived of a prosaic world, prosaic entities, past, future, cathexis, community etc. would still try to found itself by repeating a credo invented by the academic careerists of a matter-manipulating civilization. Hennix has been mesmerized by the logicians' myth that their science has priority over any other activity. Without the context of academic careerism in a matter-manipulating civilization, "salvation through mathematical logic" would not be plausible or even meaningful. Hennix mistakes a privative extrapolation from the person-world for an immaculate science above the person-world's incoherences.

There is a Zeitgeist: all phases of linguistic activity have been made algorithmic. [See the above note on usage.] This conquest is the basis of today's technology. But that is the point: we will have to understand that this approach is illegitimate in principle before we will pass beyond today's technology.

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The question of a module of conceptualization which is ontologically self-contained. A nonreductionist perspective of a totality. Let me speak of a non-reductionist "module" (perspective of a totality). (NRM) Is an NRM a cogent goal? To progressively strip away superstition without falling into reductionism (without positing a half-fantasy) cannot be a mere act of stripping inherited thought. Inherited thought is not presented in nested modules with non-reductionist modules in the interior. If it is cogent to conceive the person-world framework as an NRM, then it is not computed mechanically from previous theories.[7] Nor is it the transcription of an externally pre-established Truth. An NRM would have to be created insightfully, by making explicit enabling aspects which doctrine suppressed. E.g. ideation as an enabling aspect of speech. If an NRM is a cogent goal, do NRM's have to be nested? Or can they overlap without without one including the other? Meta-technology does not try to provide a comprehensive creed. One might ask if the cumulation of all meta-technological investigations could be codified so as to suppress connections to the belief-systems which meta-technology reacted to. In turn, one might ask whether this codification would be non-reductionist. My snap response is that meta-technology deliberately does not ask who the knower/doer is, how the doer comes to be in a world, what the doer's motives are. Personhood theory can pass (as in Part IV) from everyday existence to radical unbelief. The path is based on acknowledging the myth of the person-world. ?--Conceivably one might formulate a series of modular, non-reductionist accounts in order of decreasing mythification or credulity. Yet personhood theory cannot be the only way from everyday existence to radical unbelief. There must be other ways which are just as creditable intellectually: ways which do not examine the motivated doer in a world.

* Any approach which I endorse must foster instrumental solutions which overmaster received science. [This adds another "dimension."] That would mean that a non-reductionism would have to be non-passive. (Cf. SSH below.) Neither Eastern religion nor Hennix nor twentieth-century European philosophy proposes that we use the "miracle" of personhood to destabilize and transform the mundane. I say that it is not enough to paste the compensation of "a beyond" to the disgrace of the mundane. Why does transcending the mundane have to mean withdrawing into a passive, esthetic sensibility--rather than acceding to a new, interpersonally palpable instrumental modality or action-system? Why is exaltation sought through withdrawn passivity rather than through action that destabilizes mundane reality?

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Be an autonomous doer in the world, and accept the challenge of mundane existence without being dominated by inauthentic consciousness. Pierce the fads to discern the culture's substantial alternatives and conflicts--while holding fast to your insight and cultivating independent selfrespect. Thereby you may resume advancing your insight with the versatility that comes from being steeled. Of course, this may be terribly arduous. It may require not only isolation, but completely detaching from other people's judgments of you. John Alten would consider it maximizing the length of life in Hell. Alten's counsel was suicide. (To date, he has not taken his own advice.)

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B. Language as Miraculous

Ancient mystical writings, superstitious as they were, had a point when they said that language is miraculous. To utter a word is either more than a '"physical event," or else it is not a word. The mystic has a point, that a declaration is already a miracle. Not the particular message, but being uttered at all. To utter any linguistic expression is a miracle in the sense that language, the human natural languages, require a richer ontology for their possibility than natural science can ever explicitly comprehend. In other words, a self/world process with multiple incoherences, especially those relating to intersubjectivity, and motivation related to intersubjectivity. There is no artificial language. If language were as thin and sterile as modern scientistic formalisms make it, it couldn't exist. All formal language theories are profoundly alienating in that they suggest that their pictures of a language being built up from recursively specifiable primitives--atomic elements and formation rules--can also serve as models of the conceptual genesis of language. But this is a nonsensical fantasy. Language as the medium of human thought does not and cannot arise by positing a few atomic notation-tokens, then positing a few primitive formation rules, etc. And all the more if the "actor" who is to posit is a machine, and language is to be an exchange of signals between machines, or a set of machine processes. Indeed, the notion is insanely alienated. It makes more sense to say "Language does not exist" than to say that language can exist in the

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way the reductionists claim. That is, even though it is self-defeating to say "Language does not exist," this insolubilium is less foolish than claiming the existence of language on a reductionist basis. Insofar as language expresses any avowed, communicated thought whatever, language requires too much to be real. Or to turn it around, the existence of language requires conditions which are so strong that they can't obtain.

Nobody "indicates the empty event" or makes the void indication as first or only act of language. How can anybody convince him- or herself that "we" can posit , or stipulate the identity of 'a' and 'a', as our first act of consciousness? If that were all there were to language, if the twentiethcentury positivist-formalist accounts of language exhausted language, then there wouldn't be any language. Not only is a massive assemblage of beliefs required before one can abstractly isolate an entity such as 'a'; a long evolution of motivations is required before computations with zero or the empty set are entertained and indulged. As a hypothetical first act of consciousness, thinking the empty set, or stipulating the identity of alphabetic signs, would have no motive. Sterility and sterilization are not beginnings; they are deaths, defeats. If, to a contemporary person, scientism seems plausible, then the "contemporary person's" view of self is deluded and dishonest. Hennix would say: The only perception which trivially satisfies the requirement that appearance and reality be identical is the void event. We have the act of ostension devoid of any classificatory significance: the void indication. So let there be a language consisting solely of this element. But on the contrary. To isolate and posit 'a' as an entity presupposes massive, complex indoctrination. To know what it is to stipulate, as applied to an alphabetic sign, is derivative and perversely sophisticated. The intellectual act of isolating 'a' as an entity is high-order magic: presupposing an ontology more high-flown than Plato's Forms. Even to utter the letter 'a' in the knowledge that it is a phoneme (grapheme) abstracted from a natural language is already a procedure which cannot be explained by formalist scientism. Thus all twentieth-century positivist formalism--with its claims to arrive at a conundrum-free conceptual system through artificial logical constructions, and to account for language as a purely combinatorial phenomenon--must not only be wrong but demented. The law 'a' = 'a' requires a vast structure of beliefs to undergird it semantically as well as a vast psychology to undergird it motivationally. That a tautology exists in the universe, or that a person understands a tautology, is not a tautology. The isolated graphemic alphabetic 'a', zero, are artificial, anti-intuitive notions. Zero: the place before the earliest place, the non-amount amount, the collection which is an exactly demarcated

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collection of nothing. For science to suppose that a being who posits would come to these symbols first, and stop with them, shows the degree to which contemporary civilization misrepresents itself to itself. We don't even have to invoke the cognitive absurdity of positing zero in a vacuum; the motivational absurdity is enough. What would the motive be for pronouncing and stipulating , and nothing else? "Positing " is an extremely sophisticated and reductionist abstraction which can only arise in a rich and alienated person-world. In order for a sentient creature to "posit the empty set," the "creature" could not be mere awareness, but would have to be a personal situation. Care, temporality--ahead of myself, already in the world, as being alongside entities within the world. Indeed, awareness alone cannot be lived experience. Awareness is tied to a world-apparition dimensioned by imputing contexts of objectivity. See SSF below, etc.

Hennix evidently wants a language, a medium of affirmative and indubitable proclamation, which consists solely of positing zero, of positing the identity of A and A ('A' and 'A')--and a few other axioms of this sort. Even more meager or pure would be an artificial language which consisted solely in positing zero. Discard the natural languages; replace them with this artificial language; and you can say everything that should be said, with the assurance of indubitability. But this is a half-fantasy. The notion that language could be constituted by a machine which physically posits the empty set, and no more than that, is a nonsensical fantasy. The notion that a being who posits (whether a consciousness or a talking machine) would make the void indication only--because that is the minimum affirmative content or irreducible atom--is a nonsensical fantasy. To posit a single letter 'A', with the understanding that it is not a chicken-scratch but a graphemic alphabetic sub-object, identified in diverse occurrences, of speech: this is an act which, if it occurs at all, already transcends the outer boundaries of natural science. It requires an entire realm beyond science to subtend it. A "creative subject"[8] which had nothing to posit but the empty set would instead posit nothing at all. Or: to pronounce zero, or the equality of a and a, presupposes not only the natural language, but also a cultural history in which natural language comes first and then is depersonalized by scientism. The proposal that all language can be replaced by an artificial language consisting of a semigroup of order 3 is a culmination of formalist scientism. Nobody posits a semigroup of order 3 as second act of language.

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Evidently Hennix supposes that we can have

languages, lawlike objects and processes (i.e. with stratified structure), rules and yet eschew "metaphysical" avowals of objective identity over time, etc. Compare Hennix's dicta with the way expositions of ultra-intuitionism unfold. Toposes & Adjoints is dense with equivocation and paradox. Another example: Yessenin-Volpin requires a shell game which has to be perpetually emended and never reaches closure.[9]

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C. The Smallest Unit of Cognition

In personhood theory (a journalism of the person-world) constituents of cognitive thought have to be depicted in their personalistic wholeness. I began to make this point in Personhood II, SSD. In this perspective, the initial unit of (naive) conceptual thinking [the unit for philosophical criticism] is a "belief." I utilize the English word "belief," which combines different yet correlated notions:

i) primarily an assertion, secondarily the mental act of espousing that assertion; ii) primarily a thought, secondarily an assertion as embodiment of that thought. Or: The initial unit of naive conceptual thinking is the relation of a given espoused belief to whatever it may address in immediate experience (if anything). (As when I believe that a seen table is solid.) Or: The initial unit of naive conceptual thinking is the espousing self relative to a given belief.

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(The point is to choose a unit which does not require the person-world and yet deny it.) The notion that an artificial primitive can be the smallest unit of cognitive thought is an aberration of the positivistic formalism of twentieth-century scientific culture. The words or letters which are concatenated to construct printed beliefs are not more elemental, primitive, or atomic than the beliefs themselves. Sub-sentential elements or formation algorithms/rules/procedures are discerned only in alienated retrospection. The verbalized belief or quasi-sentence is the elemental unit of language in the genesis of communicative conceptual capacity. The analysis of the sentence into sub-sentential operators, variables, etc. is a later, sophisticated, and above all alienated exercise. Expressing the logical purist's position in rough-hewn lay terms, "letters precede words, words precede phrases, and phrases precede complete thoughts." But not in the person-world.

So the notion that

to make the void indication, or to stipulate the identity of 'a' and 'a', could logically precede belief is an aberration of formalist scientism. Also, the notion that we can have

languages, lawlike objects and processes (i.e. with stratified structure), rules and yet eschew "metaphysical" avowals of objective identity over time, etc., is an aberration of formalist scientism. It is not just that the positing of an abstract nullity is derivative and artificial. Where would there be a motive for a sentient creature to posit , or 'a' = 'a', as its only act of "cognition"? [An analogy is the division of zero by zero. Zero may seem elemental or primitive to the prevailing, inverted perspective; but actually nobody divides zero by zero as a first act of consciousness.]

[A different treatment is found in my 1961 Philosophy Proper, Chapter 2, where I intimate that a name ('table' as an appellative expression) can be elemental. That exercise was devoted to rudimentary objective requirements for a factual statement to exist objectively. I wanted to force into the open the relation of language to the actual world--so that a true assertion would be one warranted by conditions in the world. Assertions became ostensions of the second order. For a word to be a name, it has to be determinate to which, of all things, application of the word is true; and I didn't say how that determination got established. The result was to show that even this rudimentary exercise in laying open the relation of language to the actual world was indefensible. The point is that my invocation of names as elemental in Philosophy Proper is not in competition

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with the treatment of language in personhood theory. The two approaches converged in Part IV of this manuscript.]

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D. Is Radicalism Confined to the Adoption of Vantage-Points?

Hennix proposes to give us the possibility of using a meager inventory of elements ad lib. So the "radical" results achieved come as the consequence of gratuitous stipulations. The only legitimate intervention of consciousness in the machinery is freedom of stipulation, freedom to impose stipulation on an inert objectivity. Epistemological liberation consists in the freedom to adopt one or another vantage-point gratuitously.[10] Given a circle with a horizontal diameter, you may choose to see a screwhead or a globe or a porthole or all three at the same time. It is a choice with no problem of truth, and more important, no problem of consistency. The class of vantage-points and projected completions is treated in such a way that the question of whether they are true or consistent (as if they made assertions) is avoided. There is no issue of truth or self-consistency or consistency with each other. Adoption of a vantage-point, the Zeitgeist says, is a choice, a choice without truth-risk. Cognitive freedom consists in the gratuitous varying of vantage-points or varying of projected completions. Since the vantage-points are not admitted to express assertions, there is no problem of truth or consistency in adopting many vantage-points at the same time. So adoption of a vantage-point is comparable to a gratuitous stipulation. More pointedly, consistency is axiomatic. This leaves as the only mode of interaction of awareness and object--and as the only source of innovation--freedom of choice or flexibility. But the result is that the firmest part of reality is no more than the adoption of a sensibility. A vantage-point is a choice, and the only consequences of the choice are esthetic. The trouble with whimsy is that it cannot compel anyone who will not indulge you. Only by opening a road running from one's present location can you compel anyone intellectually. Hennix's road does not intersect our present location at any level except that of symbolic machinery.

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Hennix doesn't consider: How does the language in which stipulations are declared get established? And: Why can't the ego which does the stipulating and the object on which the stipulation is imposed be reciprocally influential? Meta-technology seizes on noncontingent paradoxes or other cognitive fault-lines or slippages in the phenomenal realm. I then have undeniable instabilities which can be combined to force the way to alternate world-determinations. These outcomes cannot be belittled as mere esthetic postures.

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E. New Languages or Cultural Media

Personhood theory has turned up aspects of "consciousness," the "ego," etc. which strict metatechnology overlooked, but which overlap with and affect meta-technological elements. We have the following family of languages to consider.

1. episodic memory 2. Rorschach blots 3. sound environments (ISEs) 4. person-world patterns 1. An experiential or episodic memory can itself be considered a proposition: you have a fantasized past (content) plus an attitude which attributes realism to that fantasy (a truth-claim). This approach "eliminates" all experiential memories by co-opting them to language. They are co-opted, re-construed as a private language. Like eliminating "paper-defaced-with-ink-stains" by co-opting it as "writing." The problem of a purely private "wordless" language has been solved: pictorial or episodic memories form the assertions in such a language. ["This happened."] But this language has the

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texture of life, not of formalist scientism. (But even here, the "attitude of avowal" is selfdeceiving as per "The Flaws Underlying Beliefs" in Blueprint for a Higher Civilization.) A language of experiential memories in dreams. In the realms such that "the personal past changes to correspond to what you think it is," such a memory-proposition would be selffulfillingly true.

2. A language whose words are Rorschach ink-blots. This comes from Hennix's idea that the only legitimate intervention of consciousness is freedom of stipulation, freedom to impose arbitrary stipulation on an inert objectivity. I reviewed that in SSD.

3. See my and Hennix's 1979 documents on ISEs.

4. The person-world itself as a notation, or situation in which notation and meaning can be identified (?) [delimited?]. The person-world is a "pattern." But not a pattern of external inert things. It is a pattern of meanings (?incipiently semantic consciousness-events) which comprise the precondition, the constituents, of lived experience. A decomposable language vs. an indecomposable language. States of the person-world as language: formalist scientism cannot misrepresent this language as the notation-side only. One cannot pretend that subjective mentation is not involved. The next section elaborates.

* * *

F. A Language on the Person-World

Two profound questions have turned up on the edge between my "literal empiricism" and the person-world approach. One is the question of unexpressed or unverbalized beliefs.

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The other is the question of differentiating possibly false beliefs from whatever "self of the present" can espouse beliefs or detach from them. This latter question is "paradoxical" because the self itself may be inflated by beliefs. It is an imminent[11] self which is a puzzle. The longitudinally unified self, with its social-thematic identity, is easily ascribed to belief. My treatment of these topics in not uniform in all my writings, because sometimes I am addressing ultimate issues and sometimes I am being a principled hypocrite (manipulating plausibility). [This discussion is referenced to "Studies in the Person-World," written in 1985, well after the notes for this manuscript were begun. All italicized outline numbers refer to "Studies." Supplementary references are Part IV above; "The Immediate Sense of Self" (July 1982); my original treatment of belief/believer differentiation in Blueprint, pp. 54-60.] An unverbalized expectation, as of a person playing "catch," that the ball is about to be thrown at him or her, installs a mirage-like depth[12] in the personal totality: the future is imaginatively projected even though belief in the future may be philosophically flawed. The expectation in question can be re-conceived as an "assertion" of the reality of the future, inasmuch as it imaginatively projects a future, and also gives credence to it (attribution of realism to the future).

Consider that in a dream you experience a complete world with past, future, material objects, other people, and even a specific past for yourself which, upon awaking, you dismiss as a mirage. Is my fear in a dream a genuine fear?--is my self in a dream a genuine self? Given the judgment that the entire dream is a private subjective "mirage." Awaking from a dream in a dream. What is the reality-type of a dream in a dream?

I now refer to "Studies," C.5.a through C.5.c; to Part IV above; and to "The Immediate Sense of Self." My point about unverbalized expectation can be broadened to the entire person-world. The entire person-world has a mirage-like depth that comes from acts of recognition, memories, expectations, perceptions of deficits, etc.--which may be unverbalized. The "depth" of the personworld is a mirage installed by believing or by imputing contexts of objectivity. (Part IV, I.B.1.)

What obtains when this depth is not projected? Radical unbelief.[13] (Compare the end of "Studies," A.3.b; and A.3.c.) There is no explicit recognition or memory because neither the surroundings nor your mind disturbs you. Tranquility serves as absence of anything in particular. There is the occasion here for a profound analysis of the edge between "literal empiricism" and the person-world. But such an analysis of wordlessness would be (principled) hypocracy. (Again, A.3.c.) If "depth" is meant as a literal reference to space, used as a simile--and not as a term assimilated

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to "psychology"--then the analogy may be inappropriate. The seen field has perspective. Belief takes this as radial distance. Flat totality vs. dimensioned totality: is there a cogent parallel? [No. Suspension of belief is as if one could turn perspective off.]

Moving to the present proposal, it is to re-conceive the person-world as a wordless global assertion, which imaginatively projects the entire unverbalized self/world-depth and at the same time gives credence to it (attribution of realism). This proposal does not improve my philosophical analysis, but it is not meant to. It creates a linguistic entity of an unexpected sort. Here is an "assertion" such that neither the notation-token nor the pattern of notation nor a meaning is objectifiable. Hence, a counter-example to formalist scientism. In other words, here is a way of asserting, without words, "my past, my future, familiar objects spatially spread out, etc." (Radical unbelief doesn't assert, of course.) What is unusual is that instead of using fantasy, visualization, etc., I'm using perception. "Studies," C.2 notwithstanding, perception is usually taken as self-validating. If you see a table, a table is there. Is it worthwhile, valuable to have a nonobjectified linguistic expression if that expression is just "inert"? Don't incipiently semantic consciousness-events have to have natural-language formulations? How can they comprise a language of wordless assertions?

But the person-world is composite; its organization could be conceived as a syntax. Use the person-world to do proof-theoretic tree-structures. A implies B means that A and B are modes of existence and there is more centered activation (of self) in B. (Fever "implies" alert waking?)

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G. Escape to an Outside or to an Above?

Hennix held the following. "Humans whose native language is a natural language cannot make mathematical logic work or consistently conceive that-which-is. Yet, a superior sentience with a flawless language can make mathematical logic work, and conceive that-which-is consistently." The superior medium of thought of the superior sentience is an extension of the approach of formalist scientism, except that it is has no faults, no junctures of embarrassment. Even if mundane thought can't make formalist scientism work, a superior sentience could. A system of stable affirmative truth (or certainty) analogous to, or extrapolating, formalist scientism could be made to work without contradiction and without faith, by a superior being possessing a pristine, flawless artificial medium of thought. Carnap asked, can a god teach us metaphysical knowledge (i.e. that "idealism is true as opposed to materialism"). I ask, can a god teach us any affirmative truth which is flawless? Isn't the latter notion like an autosuggestive delusion in the person-world? What does my "Is there language?" trap say about the superior sentience's chances to consistently conceive that-which-is? The claim that a superior sentience could do mathematics without the errors which mundane thought cannot avoid is a nonsensical fantasy. Hennix never accepted my "Co-optation of Failure Theorems as the Sustaining Strategy of Mathematics" (from Anti-Mathematics). Hennix claimed that mathematics is something more perfect than a politically adjusted superstition.[14] Hennix cannot admit that the richness of the doctrine derives from "allowed" paradoxes. Indeed, consistency is posited as a foremost test of the non-negligibility of an activity. (The most important problem in mathematics is the consistency of set theory.) And Hennix's system is claimed to be more true than others because it is uniquely contradiction-free. Yet Hennix's results involve the re-conceiving of what classically were obvious contradictions so that they are now seen as contradiction-free novelties. (One example: Hennix extends Yessenin-Volpin's thesis that 2 can be an infinite number.) What this amounts to is a hypnotic deformation of our logical perceptions. The reason why this feat is possible is that the subject-matter of mathematics already, always consisted of disguised, "allowed" contradictions. We are asked to consider a superior sentience which is outside natural-language enculturation and outside the mundane world. For us to discuss such a being requires us to be beyond our own conceptual boundaries. This is a direct inconsistency or incoherence discussed in Blueprint for a Higher Civilization ("Philosophical Reflections"). The proposal takes one or another purported objectivity as self-subsistent and not subject to doubt; and then castigates us for being too imperfect to be able to make the objectivist belief work, to be able to vindicate it. Rather than asking whether the objectivity is a hoax.

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Hennix's notion of how you escape. "Ordinary language is an evil which is transcended by formalist scientism; further, if there are difficulties in formalist scientism, then a higher mind can solve them even if you can't." This is ill-conceived. It starts from the mythology of twentiethcentury science, then goes to a less tenable position to defend the myth. The slogan of a logically perfect science is twentieth-century misdirection, insincerity. It is strategically an ill-advised ground for a critique of the inherited culture to stand on, because it perpetuates one of the principal components of depersonalization. If you really were superior, you wouldn't view formalist scientism as the corrective to mundane existence. The dream that somewhere outside the mundane world there are superior beings with a logically perfect version of twentieth-century science is a nonsensical fantasy.

It is a miscalculation to suppose that the way to escape the ordinary or everyday world is to get outside it. The ordinary or everyday world, which was enthroned as the only real world by Kant and by the phenomenologists, is an "outside." The goal of getting outside of the ordinary world-the notion that philosophical quibbles, which arise because of the limitations of our intellects, would all be solved for a superior sentence/being which would apprehend the entire universe as immediate experience, and think in a higher, problem-free artificial (formal) language--is a fantasy which multiplies the nonsensical fantasies of scientific cosmology. To repeat, there is a profound miscalculation here.

The way beyond the ordinary world is an immanent way which is reached by exploiting the instabilities in the ordinary world and by withholding conventional credulity.

Let me characterize the perspective of plasticizing reality, presented in Blueprint, as it reflects on personhood. (I had not coined the term "meta-technology" at the time of Blueprint.) Start from an immanent[15] posture of radical unbelief. Blueprint promises the power to rotate reality--through a combination of principled hypocracy (selecting your arenas of engagement), and destabilization. Meta-technology: immanent destabilization of the ambient medium of thought, of "mundane consciousness." Then you engage the mundane world in order to press the consequences of its incoherences. [Meta-technology does not defend the social-thematic ego. It proceeds directly from cognitive nihilism through radical empiricism to the unstable structures of an advanced civilization--and starts acting to metamorphose the determination of reality. All the while, it has an unexamined commitment to a self-respecting, energized, persistent self. Then the meta-technological rotation-the new interdependencies or mental abilities--transform the unexamined self.]

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Hennix proposes to confront mundane consciousness with a higher, outside experienceworld assembled from pristine elements. The avenues: sound environments; psychedelics. It is only with regard to sound environments; psychedelic experience; [being confronted by a person who is more advantaged than me?] that "getting outside" the mundane experience-world has plausibility (to me). Even conceding that, my points remain:

a. We must have handholds for change. b. Everyday life understands itself as a realm of coherent fact. That understanding is a myth to be exploded.

My view is that anything that can function as a "natural" cultural vehicle and communal means of communication (common sense) will have incoherences. Thus, an instrumental modality must be composed of the incoherences. You shouldn't want to escape to a linguistically embodied stable affirmative doctrine. One would have to fantasize nonhumans as agents of Hennix's vision; and the wait for these nonhumans would be a cargo cult. Hennix wants to escape the mundane world in a direction which exists only in the mythology of formalist scientism. The consequence is that the ecstatic states must have an autosuggestive delusive component which Hennix cannot acknowledge. My meta-technological perspective is that one maneuvers through the contradictions; they are never resolved. (At least not for thought which insists on being recognizable as logic/mathematics.) If the communal culture is an action-system of awareness/objectivity interdependencies, then subjective immediacy and the grandiose other, instead of being counterposed, become continuous. Out of subjective immediacy grows a power over scientific objectivity. I view consecration as exaltation deriving from escape from mundane credulity, and from achieving manipulative power over the determination of reality. Engage the mundane in order to destabilize it. Fragment it and use the fragments as raw material for alternate reality.

The method which Hennix evidently follows is motivated by the emotional unacceptability of such an orientation as "swimming in chaos." "Surely there must somewhere be the affirmative certainty which we presume but don't have--and a world whose perfection shames the mundane

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world. Surely the way to such a paradise is to divide thinking so finely that no space is left for error." Hennix links a claim to confront the mundane world from a god-like standpoint with a claim to propound an immaculate system of logic. Hennix mistakes a privative extrapolation from the person-world for an immaculate science above the person-world's incoherences. I don't deny that this approach may inspire awesome feats. But it is not compatible with the widest powers to plasticize reality.--And those powers are what I want. If Hennix delivered technological feats, they would be based on a world-conception which is a massive category error. To the extent that Hennix's instrumental knowledge was a sort of metatechnology, it would still contain traditionally rationalist errors of principle which would constrict the feats eventually. My meta-technology devises avenues of escape from the mundane experience-world. But it does not accomplish this by purporting to start from an artificial, immaculate world of logical consistency and certainty. Indeed: The "Is there language?" trap guarantees that the fantasy of an immaculate logic is nonsense. Rather than trying to start from an immaculate world, metatechnology engages the mundane world so astutely and so completely that the world falls to pieces--thereby meta-technology gains a degree of freedom as to how to re-integrate it.

My approach draws the following objections from logical purists. Contradictions are untrustworthy sources of knowledge; they are cognitive garbage. Further, ordinary thought as expressed by natural language is widely agreed to be cognitively contaminated. Thus, my approach avows at the start that its medium is cognitive garbage or cognitive contamination. All I am doing is moving the contaminants around, stirring up the contaminants, showing how to tunnel from one contaminant to another. To avowedly base a theory in contamination is hopeless; it will never yield any progress. My opponents would say that it is necessary to start from knowledge-atoms which are pristine and flawless, which transcend the vicissitudes of the world, which are unaffected by the processes of personhood. And then, proceeding by incontestable, radiantly self-evident laws of thought, to accumulate or construct a "paradise" of certainty and codified stipulations. In contrast, what I call my studies of logic give endings without beginnings--and that doesn't make sense. My position must be that any plausibility these objections have is spurious; and that the spurious plausibility is produced by a long and tangled sequence of bad judgments. Logical purism is an accumulation of acute miscalculations. If we are talking about the quest for certainties, laws of thought, codified stipulations, or codified rules, in any shared, remotely recognizable sense of those phrases, then that quest has been annulled by the "Is there language?" trap.

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Meta-technology, then, is willing to engage the established shared medium of thought (which includes natural language). As opposed to the dehumanizing subversion of the natural language by technification, I spotlight anomalies which subvert or undermine the medium of thought to break the framework of objectivity. (I spotlight the interaction of logics with personhood.) I seek to potentiate the anomalies to make a path, out of the established medium, which other people can traverse.

* * *

H. Withdrawal to Esthetic Gratification?

The purist (e.g. L.E.J. Brouwer) may rarify his position to the point of announcing that the system was never intended as anything but a purely private gratification; that it is not supposed to be accessible to other people. "The talk of 'certainties' etc. is meant in no shared or remotely recognizable sense." It is precisely a tactic of avoidance such as this one that must not be given the benefit of the doubt. If one means that one possesses intrinsically communicable ideas which others are not ready for, that is what one must say. On the other hand, an essentially nontransferrable gratification would not have been trumpeted to other people in the first place. If one claims that there is something which deserves to be called truth which begins in a shared lore (arithmetic) and yet is not transferrable from one person to another, then just that claim is the most unexpected and the most controversial. (It denies the unity of the human species.) Its substantiation would become the entire content of foundations of mathematics. To put the claim at the end of foundations of mathematics as a throwaway line is merely silly.

An extreme discrepancy in Hennix's stance in the Seventies: Hennix was not a recluse, yet urged an encapsulated salvation. Is the mundane collectivity to remain unchanged, while alternate reality is built in one person? The unlikelihood of "ecstasy in one person" while all the surrounding society (collectivity) stays the same. This is one reason why it is implausible to achieve consecration by starting inside a superior medium which does not touch other people. My position is that the new culture must in principle be applicable to a collectivity, even if it is slow to spread. You can "escape" by withdrawing psychologically and interacting with others

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only via pretense. But that is not enough. Be an autonomous doer in the world, and accept the challenge of mundane existence without being dominated by inauthentic consciousness. Pierce the fads to discern the culture's substantial alternatives and conflicts--while holding fast to your insight and cultivating independent selfrespect. Thereby you may resume advancing your insight with the versatility that comes from being steeled. Of course, this may be terribly arduous. It may require not only isolation, but completely detaching from other people's judgments of you.

By the time of Blueprint, my perspective had become one of a higher civilization, or the supersession of scientific culture. This involves principled hypocracy: an egressive process anchored in the inherited culture. I envision meta-technology as a panoramic program of new sciences. Meta-technology cannot be realized to a significant degree as long as it is confined to the minds of a few outcasts. It cannot be realized in a society in which the majority has a menial role and needs to be kept in the dark, and so endures a pedestrian existence. These conclusions would ultimately conflict with a division of society into castes, especially if the mentally creative cadres remained a small, atypical group. A future classless utopia (nothing like formerly existing socialism) is required. A higher civilization cannot be complete in one individual. A transformation of a culture cannot be complete in one mind. Having a way of overmastering scientific technology (of neutralizing atomic bombs, of making bridges fall down by logical arguments) could not be confined in one individual's mind. I don't try to build a higher civilization in one mind for the same reason I don't try to establish an economic system in one mind. Economic systems are relations of interpersonhood. Inter-personhood is the only arena in which higher civilizations and cultural transformations and the neutralizing of atomic bombs might occur. To imagine that a higher civilization could be confined to one mind is to shrink higher civilization to the level of private gratification. In this context, the inherited shared language, already problematic for us, is upstaged by the issue of acceding to a superior vehicle for the transmission of cultural values. Then a superior vehicle for the transmission of cultural values inside one mind would be a collapsed case (a mnemonic). Cultural vehicles are relations among people, relations of inter-personhood. The relationships constitute the realm where cultural vehicles subsist.

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This is not to fall into sociology's religion of Society. "Society" is an objectification which the enchanted community would supersede, ideally. And people are backward. But I don't take this as an occasion for congratulating myself. The backward people are very much one of the limits of the illumination possible to me. They are a major unsolved problem. They occupy the territory where cultural vehicles subsist. I am not dogmatic about what I am going to do about backward people; but to announce as a principle that I am going to do nothing about them is hopeless. It isn't accidental that I make my later ideas out of steps which can be retraced by other people. I require that my ideas be made out of steps which can be retraced by other people. If realized, my program won't accidentally be a technology, it won't accidentally have consequences in the interpersonal realm, it won't accidentally impact upon people who don't welcome it.--My research program is organized around the demand that this should happen.

* * * I. Meta-Technology in the Person-World

How do a few of the primitive elements and tactics of meta-technology appear in the personworld framework?

Objectifying personhood is maintained by "mechanical skills" analogous to arithmetical calculation. Conventional collation of sensations; following verbal commands like a trained animal. The Necker cube, the waterfall illusion, ringing in the ears already are outside the realm of stable object-gestalts. If people should take their nonreplicable experiences seriously and verbalize about them without hyperbole, that be unobjectionable, and yet would erode consensus reality. Personhood theory mentions the paradoxes of common sense perfunctorily. Only certain large incoherences are spelled out analytically. Intersensory discorrelation: the possibility of collating sensations according to a different rationale which abolishes the object-gestalt.

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The Necker cube: a two-dimensional image is perceived as three-dimensional, having two potential orientations which can be realized voluntarily or involuntarily. Multistability?:

Try not to think about whether you are voluntarily thinking about what you are thinking about.

Intricate ideologies are concocted to hide from people that language is more than a computational algorithm. My Necker-cube stroke-numerals set up diffraction effects among comprehended meaning, notation-tokens, volition, perception-as-illusion. This technique already is a departure from ordinary personhood. Strict meta-technology takes aim at the "mechanical skills." [Which early personhood theory portrays superficially.] Meta-technology shows paths which go outside objectifying personhood. But: If the mechanical skills maintain objectifying personhood, personhood theory tells you what maintains the mechanical skills. The overall situation in which loyalty to mechanical skills and conventional paths is accounted for. Scrambled causation.

Next: invent meta-technological procedures using personalistic subjectivities.

The person-world constituents of my process of innovation (which would include formation of a non-reductionist module). There is an integral (integrated?) leap of (insight) inspiration: this supplies the import, the thematic axis, the hint which solves some large problem. The remaining detail is a matter of arranging a delicately balanced compromise. The integrated, eclectic solution which "tunes" heterogeneous elements.

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J. Meta-Technology and the Self

The word dignity was introduced in the discussion by Hennix in 17 Points on Intensional Logics.[16] Setting aside the search for a definition of the word by Hennix, and inferring from the available writings by Hennix from that period, we arrive at a liaison between several related meanings. Namely

1) Freedom of one's personal and worthy activities (and composure and fragile sensibility) from the harassment of other people's sick thoughts and mundane demands. 2) A state of composure and delicate sensibility. 3) The achievement of a preferred, extra-mundane state of being or action. (A state for which I prefer the word "consecration.")

I subsequently took up the word dignity with a different motivation. As I have remarked at length, the attempt to convey the post-scientific program was stymied by a prevalent self-abasement specific to contemporary civilization. The question became, what constituents must the personal totality encompass for this phenomenon of self-abasement to arise? Also: lack of dignity in the sense that people are helpless in the face of a culture which degrades them. I thoroughly explored that approach to dignity in Part II, SSH. There, I noted that dignity may be bound up with thematic personal identity. Or: at a decreased level of credulity, constituents of dignity may be exposed as mirage-like. At the same time, I noted that there may be aspects of dignity--in my perspective--which are not bound up with one's thematic identity.

1) Escape from the framework of objectivity. 2) Freedom from credulity. Radical unbelief. Consecration. (The latter are not coextensive. That is the topic of this Part.)

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Let me conclude by appraising meta-technology's bypassing of the question of dignity.

Again summarizing the venture of plasticizing reality, "radical empiricism" is the vantage-point. One is enabled to rotate the determination of reality--through a combination of principled hypocracy (selecting one's arenas of engagement), and destabilization. Meta-technology: immanent destabilization of the ambient medium of thought, of "mundane consciousness." Then you engage the mundane world in order to press the consequences of its incoherences. Accommodate, or engage, the delusion in order to destabilize and metamorphose it. To move from one determination of reality to another. Intervene in the ordinary world to undermine and transform it. But who and what is the doer? Meta-technology has no commitment to the social-thematic ego. But that does not settle the issue. Engaging the mundane world in order to rotate the determination of reality presupposes centered activation

- which is self-respecting and inwardly assured - which admits "skeptical detachment" - which is energized - which is analytical - which is persistent. This self goes unexamined in meta-technology (which does not try to provide a comprehensive creed). Engaged in meta-technology, you plasticize, metamorphose "reality." You gain access to what is beyond ordinary personhood by actively metamorphosing the ostensible world or ordinary person-world. You dissociate to plasticize/mutate; and then to eliminate the subject-object interface.--Always within the palpable (not necessarily the ostensible). You get rid of ordinary personhood to swim in uncanniness. I view consecration as exaltation deriving from escape from mundane credulity, and from achieving manipulative power over the determination of reality. Engage the mundane in order to destabilize it. Fragment it and use the fragments as raw material for alternate reality. Whoever has the capacity to "rotate" the ostensible world or cultural determination of reality is in a position to make him/herself disappear to him/herself--without reductionist half-fantasies.

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From the vantage point of radical empiricism, your longitudinal identity would have to be a catalyst which would be discarded. You make yourself disappear to yourself in a nondepersonalizing way. This is visionary, of course. Let me contrast with older notions of "manifesting enlightenment" and "ecstasy." Metatechnology is not an enterprise of getting rid of matter, and then ego. You do not dissociate to escape to mind, and then to mind-beyond-mind. Rather, one accedes to a world and a technology (praxis) which are not things.

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Condensed References

Henry Flynt: Blueprint for a Higher Civilization (Milan, 1975) "Proposal for a Geniuses' Liberation Project" (1975); cf. Ausgabe Nr. 1, Berlin, May 1976 "The Radicalism of Unbelief," in Ikon magazine (Fall-Winter 1982-3) "The Apprehension of Plurality," in Io #41: Being = Space X Action (l989)

Christer Hennix: Ultra-Recursion, the Theory of Methods, and the Splitting of the Notion of Effectiveness (1981) 17 Points on Intensional Logics for Intransitive Experiences, in HESE LOGIC & INTENSIONAL LOGICS, pamphlet, New York, Feb. 7, 1979

L.E.J. Brouwer, "Mathematik, Wissenschaft und Sprache" (publ. 1929) in Collected Works, Vol. 1, ed. A. Heyting

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Rudolf Carnap, "berwindung der Metaphysik durch Logische Analyse der Sprache," Erkenntnis 2 (1931). Cf. "The Elimination of Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language," in Logical Positivism, ed. A.J. Ayer. Algebraic Theory of Machines, Languages, and Semi-Groups, ed. Michael A. Arbib (1968) A. S. Yessenin-Volpin, "About Infinity, Finiteness, and Finitization," in Constructive Mathematics, ed. Fred Richman (1981)

[1]Because my reading of Hennix's views may only be a personal impression, I have separated my account of these views from this manuscript. [2]This manuscript was not meant to have an exposition of meta-technology. That is found in other of my writings. [3]E.g. Frege, Brouwer, early Wittgenstein, Carnap, Tarski, Markov, Skinner, Shannon-Weaver, Chomsky, Montague, Michael Arbib. [4]Cf. Christer Hennix, "Ultra-Recursion, The Theory of Methods, and the Splitting of the Notion of Effectiveness" (1981). [5]For a submission on this very point, see Alfred Tarski, Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics (1956), p. 174. [6]Specifically, the concatenation semigroup with unit (of order 3). Hennix's black-and-white algebra. [7]There is an integral (integrated?) leap of (insight) inspiration: this supplies the import, the thematic axis, the hint which solves some large problem. The remaining detail is a matter of arranging a delicately balanced compromise. The integrated, eclectic solution which "tunes" heterogeneous elements. [8]Brouwer, Hennix. [9]"Philosophically, there might be some limits to this program of justifications but I don't consider that a reason for not pursuing it as far as possible. ... creative critical thought should not be curtailed even if new questions continue to arise indefinitely." From A. S. Yessenin-Volpin, "About Infinity, Finiteness, and Finitization." [10]This view, which has a precedent in Yessenin-Volpin, must manifest some twentieth-century Zeitgeist--since it recapitulates Husserl's notion of freedom of thought, a notion which also appears in Merleau-Ponty.

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[11]"Imminent" seems better here than "immanent." Cf. "Personhood II." [12]Possibly in a different sense from "Studies," C.2. Also, see below on the appropriateness of the parallel between visual-field vs. space and flat totality vs. dimensioned totality. [13]Cf. "Is Incredulity Self-Defeating?" (1980 and after). [14]But in the mid-Eighties, Hennix began to tell me that key junctures in twentieth-century mathematics were co-opted failures: Lwenheim-Skolem; nonstandard integers; [omega]inconsistency; Church (1936)--recursive sets which are not intuitively decidable; Feferman (1960); Visser (1982). I started to write about this, as "On the Scientificity of Mathematics" (not finished). [15]Thus; not "imminent." [16]It had also appeared without explanation in my "Proposal for a Geniuses' Liberation Project" (1975). AGAIN EMPIRICISM A 1991 Forward to "Reconsidering Empiricism" (1982)

Henry Flynt

(c)1991 Henry A. Flynt, Jr.

A. I disposed of empiricism as an absolute philosophical issue in Philosophy Proper (1961). Nevertheless, I invoked empiricism thereafter as a methodological slogan or device. I coined the phrases literal empiricism, radical empiricism, nihilistic empiricism, and beliefless empiricism-and perhaps best, heuristic empiricism. Let me explain. (Before I say anything about whether I was entitled to use the word, which the founders of empiricism, Locke and Mach, used so differently.) Empiricism is the standpoint:

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(#) "Only (my) immediate sense-contents are real."

Part of what I meant by literal empiricism was that one cannot validate conventional reality from this standpoint. (The scandal of Locke and Mach was that they wanted to have it both ways, on just this issue.) (#), as a dogmatic proposition, is trivially self-defeating. The proposition could not get its meaning from immediate sense-contents--not even as private language. To repeat, my absolute philosophical texts are clear on that. But that is not the end of the matter, because I practice astute hypocracy, in which I engage with received belief-systems in order to destabilize or disassemble them. The premises of the target belief-system invite me to speak. I speak, observing that claims of realities outside immediate sensation can only be "beliefs." They are therefore discredited by my absolute philosophical insights. As I invoke it, then, empiricism always misstates, but its effect is to sever everything but immediate sensations as discreditable. As wordlessness, empiricism is not "false." If I am so extreme that I renounce everything but immediate sense-contents, everything but wordlessness, then isn't this text preposterous? No, because it is a dynamic undermining maneuver carried out within the received culture. Conventional culture cannot object to a discourse which narrows the frame to immediate sense-contents or uses descriptive language (with necessary modifications) to mention sense-contents. Meanwhile, a non-affirming Cheshirecat exercise discredits everything outside the frame. The contribution of my empiricism as a methodological device is to deepen astute hypocracy. I can crystallize "alternative realities" within the empirical realm which are nearer to wordlessness. ("Dreams and Reality"; "Intersensory Discorrelation.") The objective is not the discourse in the received medium of communication, but the determination of reality and the fragment of language which specifies the correlative evaluational processing of experience. In some cases, language is invoked only for its apparitional meaning. A further observation about this application of empiricism is possible. The impoverished "worlds" of abstractions posited by natural science are reductionist. Insofar as they are imaginative fictions, they are reductionist half-fictions. I suggest that the determinations of reality which I reach through heuristic empiricism are "flatter" than the common-sense "reality" without being reductionist. I designate them as non-reductionist modules. (Critical Notes on Personhood, Part V, 1991.) Meanwhile, I continue to say "I do this" in the received medium of communication. And, as a further hypocritical gesture, I note that there is a cultural history in which empiricism means something altogether different from what I have just explained.

Everything that the enemies of Locke and Mach have said about them is probably true. Evidently Locke and Mach told themselves that all "our" conventional "knowledge" of "objective reality" comes via immediate sensations. That's beyond insanity; it's mentally retarded. What is worse, Locke proposed to establish observational truths about psychological development speaking from

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the armchair, a priori. And Mach, infuriatingly, said that physics was built up from immediate visual sensations (for example) and then turned around and deduced the visual sensations from the unexperienceable (such as the frequency of light waves, about 1016 per second). On the other hand, there is some excuse for my adoption of the problematic philosophical slogan "empiricism." Locke and Mach did advance the idea of narrowing the frame to immediate sensations. It's just that they didn't mean it; or that they had a preposterous notion that doing so could yield a fully validated conformist reality. To summarize, for me, literal empiricism gives astute hypocracy and meta-technology a window onto wordless uncanniness. Again, the early successes were "Dreams and Reality" and "Intersensory Discorrelation." Aspects of the "Choice Chronology Project" (not yet finished) were literally empiricist. Also, the "Epistemic Calculus," etc.

B. As every student knows, Kant and Husserl philosophized against Hume and Mach. I don't see that Husserl made any new beginning; rather, he adapted and stretched Kant's "Refutation of Idealism," transcendental Ego, and thought-forms of the mind. Husserl evidently felt menaced by non-affirming empiricism; by the notorious skepticism of Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature; in other words, by something like the literal empiricism I have presented here. As every student knows, Husserl claimed to disprove empiricism by finding a polarity, a polar or diametrical counterposition of subject and object in immediate experience. Even "my" visual-table-experience--a visual table-apparition--breaks apart into the seeing I at this end, and the seen and autonomous table at that end. And by calling attention to phenomena at perception's margins, Husserl widened the sphere of the immediately real--until it encompassed the infinite universe. Again, this is not a new beginning. The student may consult the early pages of F.W.J. Schelling, System of Transcendental Idealism--also an offshoot of Kantianism.

My literal empiricism has a role to play relative to this discussion: it exposes it as apologistic sophistry. (The irony is that philosophy students trained in the Sixties told me that my respect for empiricism had been discredited by Husserl.) Literal empiricism's terminal concern is a sort of philosophical anthropology of nameless experience. Admittedly, again, the exercise is hypocritical, as it is conducted in the received medium of communication. When I address the extinction of belief in lived experience, I am

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writing instructions for the ineffable. This discourse must comprise an exercise in astute hypocracy, not directed to a new science. But that is no so bad, because the benefit is the wordless insight left at the end. It is a corollary of this analysis of wordless experience that all of Husserl's rigid structure in Egoic experience is mirage. Husserl finds an Ego which turns to a table and foregrounds it relative to a periphery or background--because he is not being literal about immediate sensation. If there are junctures in perception which genuinely test "literal empiricism," they are far more subtle than what Husserl spoke about. What is a mental act of expectation? Who or what believes a belief, and is deceived if the belief is deceiving? When, in a dream, I have a disembodied vantage-point, and another person is inside my body, or my viewpoint moves far outside my body, how does empiricism make an immediate sensation out of the episode? (I cannot avoid comportment to contexts of objectivity in a dream.) These are important questions. But they have nothing to do with Husserl's enterprise, which guaranteed a longitudinal Ego counterposed to the world by the simple device of positing an empirically inaccessible (sic!) Ego which would remain unscathed even if the universe were annihilated. Another central ploy used by all modern philosophers to combat skepticism was the threat. If you don't accept the unperceivable objectivity, then you won't be able to validate the conformist reality which we all desperately want. That threat has no effect here. Continuing, Husserl doesn't address the moment (the immediate sensation). He is concerned with moments of the Ego collated over a lifetime as the reified Ego shifts from one vantage point to another or does one thing or another. And yet, as I have often noted, Husserl has given no reason to deny the discontinuity of modes as between waking, dreaming, hypnagogic hallucinations, fever, morning amnesia, psychedelic episodes, etc.. When I was proclaiming "empiricism" as the method, I paid no attention to the moment or phase called intentionality. That is because intentionality is an affection of the Ego which transcends sensation--as does identity of the self over time, or unity of the seeing Ego and the hearing Ego.

Let me consider two cases which would seem to support phenomenology.

a. Suppose you hold up your finger before a background and gaze in front of you. You must focus either on the background or on your finger. The object not focused on will be blurred. Further, you can change focus, and experience doing so as a rapid process, because the finger image will

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divide or unite as you do so. So the adoption of vantage-points and their correlation to projected completions are experienceable. But phenomenology is only preaching to the converted. To use psychological language, there can be a table in (my) visual-field. Then "I" can customarily classify the table as non-mental-differentiating it from e.g. mental counting (or from a visualization of the table with eyes closed). Table-apparition and counting are portions of a present experience(-field). There is no basis whatever here to claim a thematic, longitudinal Ego comporting to autonomous things. So the case of shifting finger-apparitions in the center of the visual field does not prove intentionality. If anything, it shows the incompleteness of the customary distinction between non-mental and mental apparitions (double finger; blurred background). One may speak of visualizations, emotions, self-observations as "self"-aspects. But as far as consciousness or selfhood is concerned, it may as well be considered to be "out there" with "my" table-apparition. More properly, the "out there" notion is nonsensical. The notion of a unitary, thematic, longitudinal Ego depends on appealing to stretches of the personal past to delineate it. That is what phenomenology does when it invokes sustained purposive activity or sustained emotional perturbations to prove the Ego's adoption of vantagepoints. But this evidence is not found in the immediate, in what phenomenology calls the veritable present. The transitions in focus of the finger supposedly prove that the veritable present is temporally extended. But phenomenology overlooks that a temporally extended "now" would be logically inconsistent. If phenomenology accepts the terminology of past instant, present instant, and future instant, and then wants to claim that we apprehend them together, that cannot be, because these phases are defined as mutually exclusive. Past and future cannot be together with the present in experience--or simultaneous with each other. Or rather, to posit simultaneity would mean foregoing the familiar, rectilinear model of time to which phenomenology is desperately committed. The activity of an intending self, counterposed to object-contents in "experiences," cannot be proved if the frame is narrowed to the given apparition.

b. Suppose I am playing catch with another person, and expect that the ball will be thrown back to me. Here, perhaps, is a belief about the instantaneous future. Then doesn't there have to be a substantial self to espouse this belief? When a belief is mentally present, by whom or what is the belief believed? Empiricism's answer-the believer of belief is not to be reified, the believer of belief is present in the same moment as the belief. This does not establish a longitudinal thematic Ego. And yet--for my empiricism it is critical that you can deceive yourself. But to deceive yourself, the immediate must be differentiated. Does literal empiricism deny qualitative variation in the immediate? No. Probing questions, but they would be too extreme for Husserl.

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The foregoing is meant to confront phenomenology with my analysis of nameless experience. If I merely wanted to crush Husserl, it would be enough to demand that Husserl define his use of Erfahrung (or that he defend his dogmatic placing of Erlebnis in your mind, head).

C. But my transactions with phenomenology are not completed. In 1980 I decided that astute hypocracy needed to take not mathematics or physics as its target, but the self-world encounter as self-world encounter. I needed to get a grasp on the juncture--no matter whether "real" or not (a dreamed episode would be fully legitimate)--called personhood. (Modern thought has no science for this juncture, certainly not psychology.) Here, then, it seemed that I wanted to accommodate Husserl. But it was immediately clear that the investigation was something altogether new-incompatible with phenomenology. Personhood theory was not interested in providing a chain of sophistries to validate conformist reality. It wanted to focus personalistic subjectivity in the selfworld encounter. I insisted on the different modes such as waking, dreaming, fever, morning amnesia, etc. (I found counter-examples to Husserl's laws of experience in these modes, by the way. E.g. in a hypnagogic hallucination, the visual field need not have a periphery. In dreams, my self's firm placement in my body is violated.) I insisted that autonomous, objective worlds of science were reductionist half-fantasies; also that inaccessible consciousness was unacceptable.

D. During the early phase of personhood theory, I conducted a debate with myself which pitted literal empiricism against personhood theory. Which of the approaches discerned--identified-"experience" more accurately? The result was a long, rambling manuscript called "Reconsidering Empiricism" (1982). I have revised this manuscript in 1991, and it is a major resource on philosophical issues posed by perception and selfhood, as at the end of (B) above. I returned to these questions again and again. "Studies in the Person-World" (1985), Section C, is a further major statement. The Person-World Premise -- III Henry Flynt (February 1983; revised[1] )

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(c) 1983, 1996 Henry A. Flynt, Jr.

Part I. Orientation

A. A preliminary view B. Framework 1 and Framework 2 C. Insisting on the person-world D. Obstacles to entertaining meta-technology -- 1 E. Obstacles to entertaining meta-technology -- 2 F. Culminating stages G. The meta-technologist's person-world H. Keys

Part II. Formulations

A. General provisos about the delimitation of the phenomenon B. Framework 1

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C. Framework 2

Part I. Orientation

Let me begin with meta-technology.[2] Meta-technology is the family of instrumental modalities for higher civilization whose field of action is the determination of reality. It starts from the shared culture which we are supposed to possess already.[3] At a common-sense level, this culture is forced to posit an objective reality in which there are a plurality of human minds--an objectivist dualism, for want of a better term. Of course, there is no basis for this common-sense notion in natural science, the culture's most esteemed cognitive activity. That, and other incoherences of the culture, are details which are supposed to be familiar to my readers. All the same, scientific psychology concedes the perceptual illusions, the fact of dreaming, the effects of psychotropic drugs, etc. Those are some of the phenomena on which meta-technology draws. Meta-technological investigations proceed directly to undermine established culture. They do so by selecting already-recognized phenomena--often interpersonally comparable subjective phenomena like the psychological phenomena just mentioned--in order to utilize these phenomena in constructs which break the bonds of objective reality or of scientism. Thus, strict meta-technology is a paradoxical, undermining and instrumental dynamic applied to the culture we supposedly share--or to the objective reality which that culture purports to represent.

* In what follows there are a few terms correlative to questions under active investigation, which the reader should be alerted to.

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personally relative totality personal microcosm generic subjectivity high-level affection consenting sham

A. A preliminary view

The Person-World Premise -- III (hereafter PWP III) complements meta-technology, as I will explain at length.[4] To some extent, PWP III addresses subject-matter addressed previously in meta-technological investigations like "Dreams and Reality," and in other statements of mine like "On Social Recognition" and "Proposal for a Geniuses' Liberation Project."[5] My unpublished manuscript "Identity of the Self" (March 1981) provides data for both meta-technology and PWP III. But PWP III departs from the meta-technological method. Like meta-technology, PWP III starts from the culture in which we supposedly find ourselves already. But PWP III devotes a painstaking effort to selecting a portion of that shared culture and stipulating it as a new subjectmatter, before proceeding to the fault lines as is characteristic of meta-technology. Most of my writings have as their controlling limit a radical empiricism in which the word "experience" is shorthand for beliefless experience (momentary sense-contents). But in PWP III, the word "experience" has its more usual meaning (in English) of the human process of existence. "Experience" refers to such easily available examples as:

- emotional upheavals - life-or-death decisions under uncertainty - psychotic episodes - assertion of one's thematic personal identity or values.

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Some authors call this lived experience. PWP III proposes to make a topic or subject-matter out of the following: the individuated (i.e. the individual's) "world" or totality as it is consciously integrated in action (or passivity or submission for that matter). Thus--and this point seems truistic but it is actually a difficult methodological point--we ask for general principles of the personally relative world of each member of the human multitude. (Colloquially, "my palpable world.") So far, we accept the established common sense which posits a plurality of human minds within an objective reality. (This notion is reflected in the natural language by the permission for every human to use the word "I" as his or her own designation. Indeed, PWP III is correlative to the word "I" in that each expression/perspective concerns a phenomenon which is both personally relative and generic. But the topic for PWP III is not just the ego but the personally relative totality.) I already considered philosophical anthropology as a proposed endeavor in Blueprint for a Higher Civilization.6 There I gave two reasons to be wary of all philosophical anthropologies. First, when philosophical anthropology undertakes to give an account or analysis of lived experience, it overlooks that such experience is mythified; and it insidiously passes from describing the conformist myth to affirming and espousing it. Secondly, philosophical anthropology makes Absolutes out of explanations of lived experience which are no more provable or plausible than other, opposing explanations. PWP III is not a philosophical anthropology in that it does not seek affirmative-dogmatic results, and does not absolutize the ostensible configurations. PWP III continues by addressing the personally relative totality in a way which takes it more literally than is usual, and which takes it as rationally prior to the various doctrines by which the culture explains it. For example, human existence is a matter of choice-making. Now there are any number of doctrines which locate the control of my choices in some source which is external to myself, prior to myself, and predestined. But no objectivist explanation can unburden humans from the experience of choice-making. Not only that. Choice-making is one of the phenomena which here will be called generic subjectivities. (Other examples are boredom, despair, romantic affection.[7] ) There are religious and scientistic ideologies which slight choice-making. But they cannot tell you how to modulate or mutate choice-making except through brutalization. In general, the ideologies forestall any discovery of how to modulate or mutate a generic subjectivity (aside from brutalization). The general principle is that if we address the personally bounded totality in a literal way, the result is a very strange selection of subject-matter from the shared culture--even before we proceed to the fault lines. What is to be taken as palpable or proximate in "my world"? If I know enough about the Chinese language to make guesses about whether I am hearing it spoken--but nevertheless do not understand one word of Chinese--then in this personally relative totality, Chinese words do not have meaning except at the level of circuitous and hypothetical connections: I can find a translator, undertake to learn Chinese, etc. On the other hand, for a person who is bilingual in English and Chinese, the truncation of my world at the frontier of the Chinese language is ridiculous to him. If a third person shouts in Chinese to me and the bilingual person to watch out for an oncoming automobile, the bilingual person has an advantage on me vaguely like telepathy. Thus, to seek generalizations about the personally relative totality demands an unusual standpoint: because we learn from the shared culture that the concrete details of the personally relative totalities plainly are not co-extensive. Nevertheless, the new venture has not made an error; it has noted that a foreign language may enter my personally relative totality as a circuitous and hypothetical possibility rather than as an immediate, palpable vehicle of meaning.

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B. Framework 1 and Framework 2

In my research to date, I have defined two different frameworks for the analysis of the personally relative totality.

Framework 1 conceives the personally relative totality as a fusion, co-constitutivity, or configuration of self and "objectivities" (or informally, self and world).

Framework 2 conceives that the primary feature of the personal totality is the ensemble of socalled human-conventional meanings which are understood (by "the person"). The obvious example is the expressions in one's native language.

Referring back to the person who speaks English but not Chinese, the ensemble of meanings for this person includes English but not Chinese. Whatever the framework, the totality remains personally relative. Heuristically speaking, Framework 2 partially makes relative shared consciousness elemental. "My" self becomes in part derivative: the (personally relative) field of shared meaning discriminates part of itself as me. (An analogy would be the way in which I common-sensically discriminate my leg as part of me and a perceived table-leg as not part of me, even though both are inside "my world."--?) Framework 1 and Framework 2 reflect two different emphases in the personally relative totality. Framework 1 is egoic, emphasizing that I don't reach other people as real subjectivities in life, that I can't have another person's self/world relationship in that person's stead. Framework 2 emphasizes those moments in which I have a highly suggestive experience of consciousness different from mine: when another person demonstrates that he or she "knows more than I do"; or when an external language-event catalyzes my thinking. Also suggestive for Framework 2 is the competition of wills and interpretations in the adult world, the politics of upholding an "authentic core experience."[8] Framework 2 wants to acknowledge more depth in the personally relative totality by recognizing the shared character or exteriority of certain communications which I encounter. But this acknowledgement no more "proves other minds" than anything else does. Indeed, one of the sidelights of meta-technology which personhood theory was needed to explain is the blocking of communication by differences between entire cultures or civilizations. And in working with such blocks, one realizes that I cannot be catalyzed by an externally supplied meaning unless it is latent in me.

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That gives one reason why Framework 1 has dominated Framework 2 in the research to date. Another is that it seems appropriate to treat desire, etc. as irreducibly individuated. Otherwise, we confuse mere explanation with the palpable "burden of living" (to underline an aspect of life which PWP III insists on addressing). Once we choose personally relative totalities as a topic, it is easier to follow up on this initial choice by accepting the phenomenon as egoic or as me-directed for any "me." It would be elegant if subsequent thought could unify the two frameworks. But we may as well be aware of the reason why two frameworks emerge. The frameworks are defined at the level where we are selecting subject-matter from the established culture. There is a dichotomy in that culture as to what is plausible, and we reflect it. At a later stage of the undertaking, when the subversive dynamic is applied to the two paradigms, they converge, and the dichotomy disappears.

C. Insisting on the person-world

Once we select the subject-matter from the established culture in the foregoing way, and then continue by investigating it with a literal attitude, it begins to diverge from the prevalent assumptions about reality. The personally relative totality is given preference. "The totality" is identified with a personal microcosm. At this point, I have often encountered the reflex reaction that this approach is metaphysical idealism or solipsism--as if I were no better than Berkeley or Schopenhauer. Let me try to guide the reader beyond this obstacle without being drawn into a quarrel which shouldn't have started. What I object to in metaphysical idealism and solipsism is not that they are outrageous, but that they are sterile. They inveigle the reader to assent to some self-defeating proposition or other, and then that is the end of it: nothing changes. As for PWP III, it is--like meta-technology--a paradoxical, undermining and instrumental dynamic. The preference given to the personal microcosm is paradoxical and dynamic; and the boundaries of what is immediate are indistinct. Also this individual world of (lived) experience is not flat; but rather has the depth that comes from the alienness of objects to the self within experience. ("The world" as resistance. What people feel when a crashing airplane knocks the roof off their house.) As for metaphysics, to have an airplane knock the roof off your house does not disprove solipsism or prove objective reality. The solipsist is no more a fool than his opponent. Or to put it another way, after the metaphysician has absolutely proved his objective reality, person-world theory will turn around and smash that reality to dust. But let us be specific. The lesson, for us, of having the roof of your house knocked off is that it illustrates the world-depth or polarity or estrangement which is possible in the personal microcosm.

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What our preferential stance means is that notwithstanding the world-depth, polarity, or estrangement, everything that is not proximate and palpable in the person-world begins to seem chimerical. Not only the objectivities of science and of the societal world, but other minds, and even one's own existence in periods of unconsciousness, can no longer be accepted at the prevailing consensus' valuation. Let me elaborate on one departure from the established culture which follows from Framework 1. The notion of consciousness as a separate substance, which is in a person's head like a fly in a bottle, is eliminated--but not in favor of behaviorism. Rather, the personal totality is a fusion of self and "objectivities"--and it is the fusion that is "conscious." The distinction of mental and nonmental phenomena is kept: but the notion of an unconscious existence is relegated to the realm of fantasy. It is becoming clear that more and more of the established tenets of industrial-scientific civilization will have to be suspended as we proceed. The astrophysical picture of a dead universe which preceded the emergence of our consciousness must be relegated to the status of one of the chimeras.

Indeed:

A. PWP III acknowledges "objectivities," systems of factual judgments, and action-systems as constituents of the personally relative totality. But it cannot tell you how to discover any given scientific law (except in the course of a reconstruction of science as a warped world-projection). That is not an oversight. PWP III deliberately apprehends all scientific laws as superstitions. Every such law can be abrogated at some appropriately chosen level.

It also becomes clear that the subject-matter which we are shaping is not the human being as defined biologically. That is why I need not concede that this unfolding understanding of the "conscious gestalt" is an anthropomorphism. PWP III is agnostic on whether an animal or an artificial being or an extra-terrestrial could possess sentience with a non-human configuration. All of meta-technology devolves from the insight that every objective resistance which supposedly proves the real world can be breached at some appropriately chosen level. But PWP III has the specific feature of globally disabusing us of objective reality. PWP III leads to a global understanding of objective reality as a hallucination or delusion corresponding to the socalled socialization process--actually, sustained by circular or scrambled causation within the palpable personal totality. (The rest of meta-technology gives us a multiplicity of more intensive but more narrow results.)

Moreover:

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B. PWP III directs us to an action-system of sudden, global dissolutions of the mundane world. Psychedelic experience has already suggested this possibility. But PWP III directs us to several avenues of this sort, and at least one is more enduring than the psychedelic experience. Specifically, we find that much of objective reality is a matter of community-approved mental play-acting. One is encouraged to derive gratification from a belief easily ascertainable as as lie.[9] By identifying these ploys in the culture (a very advanced task), and motivating you to distance yourself from them, PWP III can produce unprecedentedly massive disillusionment: suddenly and globally annulling the mundane world in the alert waking state.

Some of my associates objected to personhood theory on the grounds that it was mere mythmaking or mere interpretation and did not have the instrumental power of meta-technology. But my interest is in action on the determination of reality, and (B) indicates that PWP III could prove to be compelling in this respect.

One of the motivations of PWP III is that it is the most appropriate perspective for fulfilling many purposes important to the aspiration to a higher civilization. As one example, there is a mystique which proposes that psychedelic experience will divest people of mundane belief. And indeed it should. And yet the "drug re-education" proves in the end to be inconsequential. A person can experience a psychedelic episode in which the person-world or "the reality" is modulated for a time, then later dismiss the experience as "a movie." PWP III allows us to ponder systematically why the lesson of tripping so easily becomes a vapid one.

Another example of the nature of PWP III as a perspective. To the extent that modern knowledge recognizes the phenomenon of love, particularly romantic affection, it can analyze romantic affection only in a reductionist or adversarial way. Modern knowledge can reduce love to biology and to societal norms; and it can list all sorts of reasons why romantic affection is "neurotic." Psychology routinizes emotional life and turns it into a currency: everybody is supposed to have "relationships." But modern knowledge cannot attend to love empathetically, and discern the valuable, conscious aspect of romantic affection. It turns out, by the way, that the valuable, conscious aspect of romantic affection is easily dissipated--rather like the psychedelic experience. PWP III provides a framework in which the valuable, conscious aspect of romantic affection could be discerned.[10] Imagine a "bull session" in which the participants are challenged with respect to their need for companionship, their denied nature, its discouragement by society, and their defiance or timidity throughout their lives. It is possible that the participants would find this "test" threatening and humiliating. The test could not be a proper scientific experiment, that is, a neutral clinical experiment. The very people who would be ignited by such an experiment would not agree to participate in it on a neutral clinical basis. People could be drawn into this test only in a situation

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of camaraderie and personal conflict which challenged their thematic identities and their dignity. Modern socio-psychology would assess this test as follows. People repress their real wishes, and their real wishes go unsatisfied, because of the pressure of opposing societal norms. But issues are involved here which are outside the province of science. (The issue of denied nature transcends the categories of science. That does not mean, however, that every denied nature deserves to be lionized. Abstractly, this or that denied nature has not been proved to be a virtue. Today, deviant personal styles are quickly turned into saleable tokens of collective specialness, of hipness.) The example is an attempt to bring the reader to the next observation, which concerns a nonroutine and intellectually weighty whole. Factual reality (e.g. the matter of allowing a culturally established physico-mathematical reality to depersonalize and degrade you, to state the matter from the negative side) interacts with dignity. Factual reality is not a clinically neutral problem (although modern culture says that it is). What is more, the savants who stipulate factual reality in the culture will not entertain a serious challenge to that reality on a neutral clinical basis.

C. Factual reality is interdependent with the culturally correlated pruning of human faculties, with consenting shams, with esteem, with morale, and with dignity.

Yet there is a pitfall, again, in approaching what is after all an intellectual whole from this direction. Demagogues can attempt to redirect scientific inquiry according to political demands-as has happened in the twentieth century. Here we have mere fraud and bullying--and the politically imposed doctrines have subsequently been swept away by democratic transformations and conscientious and pragmatically resolute science. Without belaboring the point, I am making an issue of (C) in order to slice culture open--not to legitimate propaganda.

* 1996. PWP III availed itself of the term `dignity'. Already, my older writings like "Dreams and Reality," "On Social Recognition," and "Proposal for a Geniuses' Liberation Project" had appealed to notions like personal identity and dignity. The term became explicit in the discussion in the Seventies, being used in various ways. It goes without saying that the word is difficult to work with because its connotations are unctuous, and because it legitimately has diverse meanings. Not only that: the word becomes a question in person-world analysis, not an answer. Nevertheless, my 1983 use of the term should be preserved to keep the sequence of syllabi intact. The familiar meaning of `dignity' is transformed when it is related to my undertaking. Dignity is

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one's supportive expectation from oneself of responsible caring, emotional receptivity, independence, steadfastness, ability, honesty, astuteness (and such traits).--Relative to the perspective of personal faculties and personal possibility allowed by meta-technological dismantling of culturally correlated credulity and objectification. So I do not wish dignity to be a catchword for all virtues. Christer Hennix gave the word important meanings which are not identical to the foregoing. (I resort to the word `consecration' for a condition of heightened presence and activation, sublime relish, and uncanniness.) As I just intimated, at a later stage of the inquiry or a different level of credulity, constituents of dignity may be found to be mirages. Our first glimpse of those stages will come with (D) below. Another 1996 remark is that my present research on "high-level affections" seeks an account of the phenomena which dispenses with the overly burdened terms. Nevertheless, here `dignity' is retained as a shorthand for the explication given.

* It is important not to vitiate my aims by concealing their audacity. To raise these issues is perhaps to suggest that people should forego culture or myth as such, in its inherited sense. Such a step would go beyond social revolution, which is a modern European project. (It would devalue my ideas to urge them as "a cure for the current sickness of the West.") But the task of an analysis of ordinary personhood is to treat lived experience's cognitive pattern. Thus, a speculation on collective escape from culture as such should be in a separate essay-which I haven't written yet.

D. Obstacles to entertaining meta-technology -- 1

Around 1980, my circle found that attempts to communicate or promulgate meta-technology encountered grotesque obstacles. One speculation we were driven to was that these obstacles were comparable to the blocking of communication by differences between civilizations. These obstacles formed one of the initial motivations to look for an orientation such as the personworld.

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The point ties in with and extends the remarks of the previous section. If one person tried to propound Newton's law of inertia in ancient Rome, he would be told that all the premises of the law (point mass, infinite empty space, absence of all impinging influences, etc.) were literally, utterly insane; and that there was no practical advantage in this kind of thinking anyway. (Here again, the illustration is only a pointer--since I really want to be underneath the barrier between Roman and English instrumental cognition, ancient European and modern European cognition.) Or, let us turn the illustration around and imagine a conformist in an enclave of deviants. We have the bull session whose participants share a denied nature. Suppose that an uninvited conformist friend is present also; and that the participants quarrel throughout the session about whether the friend is in denial of his nature. This evaluation cannot be clinical and neutral: the friend's self-assurance that he is not deviant is at issue. (Hennix said that some people ran away because we were exposing a nature which they were struggling to repress or wanted to be unspoken.)

With the reservations I have already stated concerning my analogies, the attempt to promulgate meta-technology today encounters suchlike resistances. A single contribution in meta-technology might, for example, prove that 1+1 != 2 and that 1 = 2; or to be more precise, that 1+1 != 2 and 1 = 2 are available whenever we want to make logically impossible events happen, etc. etc.[11] Descartes said that even God cannot make 1+1 != 2; so that I am seeking, for humans, powers greater than what humans have ascribed to God. The enterprise, as I said, is audacious. We seek to let loose a range of possibilities which no extant "social system" can contain. To accept this contribution as a worthwhile one places at stake an individual pride, cowardice, and sanity which are not merely idiosyncratic but are correlated to the culture.

In addition, obstacles to the appreciation of meta-technology are created by the specific pruning of faculties and the impotence of humanistic pursuits in contemporary civilization. Readers equate meta-technology with surrealism (it's not mechanistic so it must be a merely esthetic pursuit), phenomenology (an apologism which some neophytes misperceived as revolution), etc. etc.

Incidentally, I had better head off another culturally supplied source of misunderstanding. Formalist scientism has reduced "communication" to information theory, etc. PWP III argues against this reductionism, analyzing language, communication, and meaning as generic subjectivities. (As if they had something in common with boredom, despair, and romantic affection. Of course, vernacular English allows this for "meaning" and "communication.")

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E. Obstacles to entertaining meta-technology -- 2

To further this aspiration to a higher civilization, we need the capability to investigate certain problem-areas, which I have begin to define and will continue to define. I don't see how these problem-areas can be adequately comprehended by meta-technology, even though it discerns data relevant to them. Meta-technology is not thingist, but it is impersonal, and it does not address the individual as a doer with a thematic personal identity. The additional, carefully chosen framework called the person-world is needed to crystallize "the whole person who is at stake as a whole" in these problem-areas. The problem-areas need to be conceived as manifestations of circular or scrambled causation in the person-world with dignity at the heart of the matter. A reexamination of my older writings like "Dreams and Reality," "On Social Recognition," and "Proposal for a Geniuses' Liberation Project" discovers that they appealed to notions like personal identity and dignity, but without a basis for these notions consonant with my perspective.

F. Culminating stages

To recap, I have stipulatively selected, from the culture we are already in, a new phenomenon called the person-world. The person-world is determined as a phenomenon which is paradoxically trans-personal and trans-idiosyncratic and yet prioritizes the personal microcosm. Let me suggest that it is at this point, in the last stage of selecting and displacing notions from the established culture, that whole, integrative aspects of the person-world like imminent character (stretching "imminent" to mean in-the-moment) and thematic personal identity would be defined.[12] Now comes the crucial turn.

D. Once the person-world is delimited as a phenomenon, it is not treated as an Absolute. (Especially not as an Absolute which can solve the subject/object problem in a way that vindicates conventional thought.) Rather, it is treated as a phenomenon to be critically unraveled.

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In other words, I begin to search out the fault-lines of the person-world. One outcome is that I gain the capability to re-form the constituents of personhood into "impossible" realities.

1. Personhood theory reflects on the distinction between illusions and legitimate perceptions; the distinction between dreaming and waking; appeal to memory to organize the person-world; language, communication, and meaning as generic subjectivities; alteration of the "visual field" associated with closing one's eyes; other minds and the first-person pronoun; etc. We find that the person-world is massively incoherent. Its phenomena consist largely of "objectivities"; but nothing validates those objectivities.

2. We find that the person-world is segmented in the sense that at different times, the alert waking state is interrupted, and also the person-world becomes modally different (dreaming, fever, hypnagogic states, "morning amnesia,"[13] psychedelic episodes, etc.). PWP III continues the job (begun in meta-technology) to ascertain the rationales of these modalities. (For example, I pointed out in "Dreams and Reality" that in the hypnagogic state, the peripheral environment of a perception may be absent.)

* 3. Ultimately, I transfer the "Is there language?" trap--which is the controlling limit for metatechnology, and the insight warranting my extreme claims about the malleability of objective reality--into the person-world: yielding the insight of personhood's self-cancellation.[14] The very "depth" which I talked about earlier as characterizing even the personal microcosm is seen to be collapsible; just as one can suddenly realize that visual perspective is not radial distance and cannot validate radial distance. The person-world devolves to experience-flat consciousness(?). By the time of F.W.J. Schelling's System of Transcendental Idealism, the "transcendental argument" meant an argument which discovered that some "immediate given" guaranteed the objectivity and unity of the world: verifying that this eighteenth-century German belief-system (Euclidian geometry and all) was the eternal absolute from which we could never escape. Be that as it may, PWP III now accedes to possibilities far beyond what Schelling feared as madness.

E. In personhood's self-cancellation, the immediate givens from which the transcendental argument extracts the objectivity and unity of the world are annulled.

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(E) guarantees that PWP III does not fetishize the personal microcosm.

G. The meta-technologist's person-world

PWP III can address another ramification of meta-technology which it was not appropriate to mention until now. What becomes of personhood for the person or collective which implements meta-technology? This topic ties in with a further topic. Christer Hennix has independently concluded that we want access to a preferred extra-mundane state of being or action involving an intentional mutability of the world-apparition. The problem-area is the controversy over how to achieve this. I am here mentioning certain topics for investigation because of their speculative interest. (These topics may be rather distant from primitive meta-technology, which needs to be expanded in order to concretely substantiate my enterprise.[15] ) An additional speculative topic, tied to the ones already mentioned, concerns how primitive meta-technology and the personhood theory achieved so far can best be potentiated.

This question widens into the question of future perspectives of scientificity. Physicomathematical science has achieved a functional precision tied to instrumental uses (yielding algorithms for the manipulation of matter) which exemplifies the coercive effectiveness of scientificity. It would be a miscalculation to assume that personhood theory can follow in the footsteps of methods which fetishize abstract mechanism. Indeed, the beginning of personhood theory was the realization that no matter how intimidating the fetishism of abstract mechanism is, it is obviated by the potential of meta-technology and by the person-world orientation. With reference to an extrapolation of scientificity beyond modern science, non-formalized, nonquantitative, eclectic methods may still produce powerful results more quickly than any other approach. Most important of all, we must understand that the extrapolated scientificity will not perpetuate the compartmentation of culture embodied in the modern branches of knowledge. As one example, the extrapolated scientificity might need a "language" of words like Rorschach blots. Different users would project different meanings on a given word, or complete the meaning in different ways. Yet paradigmatic sentences would give results for each user that were valid or

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practical by the appropriate criteria.

* H. Keys

The features labeled (A)-(E) in the foregoing discussion are important enough to be collected in one place.

A. PWP III acknowledges "objectivities," systems of factual judgments, and action-systems, as constituents of the personally relative totality. But it cannot tell you how to discover any given scientific law (except in the course of a reconstruction of science as a warped world-projection). That is not an oversight. PWP III deliberately apprehends all scientific laws as superstitions. Every such law can be abrogated at some appropriately chosen level.

B. PWP III directs us to an action-system of sudden, global dissolutions of the mundane world. Psychedelic experience has already suggested this possibility. But PWP III directs us to several avenues of this sort, and at least one is more enduring than the psychedelic experience. Specifically, we find that much of objective reality is a matter of community-approved mental play-acting (consenting shams). By identifying these ploys in the culture (a very advanced task), and motivating you to distance yourself from them, PWP III can produce unprecedentedly massive disillusionment: suddenly and globally annulling the mundane world in the alert waking state.

C. Factual reality is interdependent with the culturally correlated pruning of human faculties, with consenting shams, with esteem, with morale, and with dignity.

D. Once the person-world is delimited as a phenomenon, it is not treated as an Absolute. (Especially not as an Absolute which can solve the subject/object problem in a way that vindicates conventional thought.) Rather, it is treated as a phenomenon to be critically unraveled.

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E. In personhood's self-cancellation, the immediate givens from which the transcendental argument extracts the objectivity and unity of the world are annulled.

***

Part II. Formulations

Now that the master decisions about methodology have been made in a fairly definitive and cogent way, I continue by reviewing some important principles and specifics of PWP III. (As of 1983.)

A. General provisos about the delimitation of the phenomenon

l. A totality is stipulatively selected for analysis from the usual, familiar "world"-conception(s). The analysis invokes the circumstance that I think I already know a language and there already are intersubjective meanings. The addressee to which the propositions of the analysis are offered is "the reader."

2. Preferred or elemental status is given to the "immediate" or palpable--notwithstanding that the boundary between palpable and impalpable, tangible and intangible, is indistinct.

3. "Subjectivity" or consciousness must always be palpably present in the totality. Validation of

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the analysis always involves a component of introspection (although that is true for all science in the sense that every human observation is personal).

4. An implication is that autonomous things become hypothetical or chimerical. Also, "realities" or "objectivities" which are entirely impalpable are treated as merely hypothetical, derivative phenomena.

5. An implication is that the totality is personally relative in one way or another.

6. The analysis must provide some conceptual process which accounts for the sense-of-self, in the surroundings of not-self.

7. Remark: the analysis is not a psychology, a theory of the mind, an "it's-all-in-your-head" doctrine. The analysis covers world, "universe." What requires attention is where conventional notions of "universe" get assigned in this analysis. E.g. most of the scientific universe is relegated to hypothetical reality--and even, inasmuch as it amounts to a cosmos consisting entirely of things, to nonsensical fantasy.

8. Remark: delimitation of the phenomenon yields a result which is deliberately non-congruent to received common sense or prevailing notions of objective reality. Even though the phenomenon has been selected from usual, familiar conceptions, those conceptions have been dislocated by the preceding provisos.

9. The analysis seeks to expose the credulities (often incoherent credulities) which hold the received world-conception together. Thus the analysis is deliberately adversarial to conformist credulity.

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B. Framework 1

1. Framework 1 begins as an account of the ostensible, personally bounded "world" of my "coping" or ordinary functioning. Framework 1 draws upon the usual, familiar way in which I conceive myself as I cope. In other words, Framework 1 invokes a certain conception or picture as being already familiar to "the audience." But the familiar picture is highly indeterminate and inconsistent. Framework 1 at once selects certain tenets in the familiar conception to be taken literally and rigorously, to the extent of causing other tenets to be downgraded or suspended. In other words, certain tenets are posited literally and rigorously (and thus as rationally prior or elementary). The familiar picture is then critically explored from this standpoint.

2. Ordinary personhood (the ostensible personal totality) is a bonding of my direct awareness (including feelings, urges, moods) to "objectivities." I interact with objectivities fragmentarily and sequentially while conceiving them as persisting wholes. The point is not the separability of self and objectivities but their inseparability and interdependency. Again, the bonding of self and objectivities is taken as rationally prior or elementary.

3. I can act, producing change or expending effort. (Mental action, somatic action, action upon exterior objectivities are all included.) a. I can realize a preference in action: implemented choice or willful action. b. I may act contrary to my preference: "loss of self-control." c. There is a spectrum of actions between those which are acutely willful and those which are acutely unwanted: habit, being enthralled, lassitude, etc.

4. More basic than (2)-(3): "the totality" is polarized as self and non-self (or world). The most characteristic features of self are centered activation, presence, drive. These features can be attenuated in a fever or a drowsy state.

5. Some aspects of the self as mentation are as follows: desire, mood, choice, beliefs (espoused assertions), self-observation (self-consciousness), etc. It seems that self should also include

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wordless mental phenomena such as visualizations, daydreaming, and "vicarious experience" (noting though that such experience can have somatic correlatives). Self includes a range of constituents to which I give the technical name incipiently semantic consciousness-events: attribution of realism in dreams and remembering; recognition; imputations of objectivity to apparitions; expectation, anticipation, apprehension.

6. "Objectivities" are non-mental phenomena which confront me, which I "address" (engage, exert myself upon), etc. These phenomena are integrated by my imaginative syntheses (logicoperceptual collations, mental models). For example, I identify the sight and touch, or the different spatial orientations, of a drinking glass as "the glass." Or, as another example, suppose I am performing some task with objects in a lighted environment and the light goes out. Insofar as I can continue the task, it is because I can integrate the objects with a mental model.

7. The point of (5)-(6) is that in this analysis, neither the zone of self nor the zone of objectivities should be considered empty. On the other hand, self and objectivities are not necessarily distinct. Objectivities are correlative to imaginative syntheses carried on by the self, which are matters of belief. When you act, you actively mentally integrate objects in the surroundings--as is illustrated both by continual sight-touch correlations and by imaginative substitution for the visual component when sight is denied.

8. Indeed, one of the problems of Framework 1 is that objectivities have an imaginative aspect, and don't have the same contours as sensation. Thus, when Framework 1 is merely descriptive, and seeks to portray palpable phenomena, there is a problem of where to position the description as between sensation and objectivity. If I hold a pencil vertically in the near center of the visual field, I can make it divide in two by looking through it. If I tap the floor with a stick, I feel the floor in the end of the stick. Then, if I focus on one instrument in a musical ensemble, the easiest way to describe my mental operation is to name the instrument focused on. Or again, it is typical for volition to be indistinguishable from its somatic actualization (i.e. I don't formulate that I want to move, separately from doing it).

9. My body is the unique objectivity which corporealizes my self. Its features are disclosed by such phenomena as volition, illness, intoxication, phantom limb, the circumstance that thinking of an object of fear may cause me to sweat, etc. These considerations do not yield the definition of my body or its frontier found in biology. Nor can my body be just a counterpart to other people's bodies. Any difficulty of comprehending my body in Framework 1 arises because my body is involved in the indistinctness of self and objectivities and the disparity between objectivities and sensation.

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10. The ostensible personal totality can manifest different "world-orders." These include waking alertness, dreaming, fever, "morning amnesia," various psychedelic states, and perhaps drowsiness. Only in memory do I unite these modally different episodes to obtain a continuing self. Considering that I am a discernibly different person in dreaming and waking, my synthesis of a single identity for myself is downright contrived, in this respect.

11. Returning to the principle that the analysis only accepts palpable phenomena as elemental, the notion that I exist in periods of unconsciousness must be relegated to the level of fantasy or hypothesis.

12. A great deal can be said about the palpable importance of other people to me. And the notion that other people have sentiences counterpart to my own is one of the common-sense notions by which I "manage." The first-person pronoun, as it is successively claimed by different speakers, is a linguistic device which establishes the "lattice" of separated minds (which supposedly perceive a single common thing-world). Nevertheless, the notion of other minds is undermined--is seen to be incoherent--when the palpable totality is taken literally. The notion that I could have another person's self/world relationship in that person's stead is nonsensical fantasy.

13. A situation in which objectivities are conjoined with my feelings, urges, expectations, and anticipations fixates me on a system of factual judgments and a system of actions. In more detail, the situation fixates me on a logico-perceptual collation of objectivities, on a system of factual judgments, on a method of ascertaining facts, and on an action-system (including skills, judgments of feasibility, etc.). I can be fixated by anticipation (involving discomfort, fear, or hope), by emotional dependence on other people, etc. This situation may be called an attached state of consciousness (as distinguished from detachment). Attachment does not have to be allencompassing; I can be attached in part and aloof or contemplative otherwise. Attachment is involuntary while it occurs. In the waking state, it is normal to be attached, but it is also normal not to be attached, so that I have the option of suspending beliefs. In dreams and some other states, I lose options of suspending beliefs.

C. Framework 2

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1. By "a meaning" I refer to a so-called human-conventional meaning which is understood (by "me"). (Palpable) objects which have meanings (the obvious examples are spoken or written expressions in my native language) are taken as elemental. Such objects are not attributed fundamentally either to self or other, self or world. Phrased differently, meanings are taken as an elemental constituent of the totality. Needless to say, this postulate is a direct inversion of the common-sense notion, or prevailing objectivist notion, that meanings are conventions coming from the outside and acquired cumulatively. Common sense must be inverted to comprehend this postulate. (An obvious objection is that the framework is so foolish that it cannot even explain that I can know more words this week than last week. But if the framework is considered very literally, it does have an explanation of this circumstance--which so to speak inverts the commonsense explanation.) a. There is a range of meanings which are understood as being mine: episodic memory, expectations, etc. Some meanings are understood as being specific to my self--and a self is in part derived in this way. b. Remark: the depth which lived experience pretends to have comes from meanings.

2.a. (Palpable) indifferent "things," "things" to which so-called human-conventional meanings are not ascribed, are included as elemental. b. Sensations (and body sense) which are understood as "mine" are included as elemental. c. Mental events to which (so-called human-conventional) meanings are not ascribed, and which are understood as "mine," are included as elemental. (Examples would be languageless visualizations, or "ringing in the ears.")

3. The desire, willfulness, and choice which are understood as "mine" are included as elemental.

Footnotes: [1] The revisions seek to improve the explanations while preserving this text's 1983 syllabus, important for the chronological sequence. [2] The major survey of meta-technology in print is in Perforations 5 (Atlanta, 1994), although I published the term long before that. Supplying a bibliography of my publications is not the purpose here.

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[3] Described externally, economically, as global technocapitalism. [4] 1996. As the title suggests, there were earlier treatments of the person-world premise, including those designated "I" and "II." As will be noted from the context, I conceive each treatment as a self-contained venture, even though they are successive versions of the same venture. As part of the attempt to improve the explanations, I am replacing "personhood" with "person-world premise." [5] Published in e.g. H. Flynt, Blueprint for a Higher Civilization (Milan, 1975); Ausgabe Nr. 1 (Berlin, May 1976).
6

Blueprint, pp. 20-21 (also pp. 33-35).

[7] 1996. Another possible designation is high-level affections. The research continues. [8] To borrow a phrase from John Alten, which was meant to be intuitively understandable, but which, in today's climate, requires something like a theory of genius to explicate it. I give some explanations in Depth Psychology as a Post-Scientific Modality, for example. [9] 1991 Note. A consenting sham. [10] It happens that my completed essay on romantic affection is in my unpublished psychology, Depth Psychology as a Post-Scientific Modality. [11] Hennix wrote an essay, "Framework 3 in the `Foundations of Mathematics'" (c. 1983-4)--as yet unvindicated--which proposed to prove that if 1 = 1, then 0 = 1. Hennix's parallel with the "Frameworks" of PWP III was intentional. [12] Cf. "Personhood II," to be re-titled "The Person-World Premise -- II." [13] Defined in H. Flynt, "Critical Notes on Personhood," unpublished typescript, Part III. [14] H. Flynt, "Extracts from Personhood's Self-Cancellation," in Art Journal, Summer 1982, pp. 119-121. The complete text is in "Critical Notes on Personhood." [15] 1996. Fortunately, the contributions in rudimentary meta-technology have become stronger and stronger over the years. The Problem of Higher Civilization -- What Perspective on Reality? A preface to "Personhood IV"

Henry Flynt

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(c) 1994 Henry A. Flynt, Jr.

The endeavor is to supersede the determinations of reality propounded by every civilization-especially the present one. This is the same as providing the generating ideas for a higher civilization--because the existing determinations of reality would not be superseded if, for example, physics and physical technology remained the most potent pragmatic methodology known.

Evidently archeology places the start of the cultural conception of the autonomous world of things at 25,000 or so years ago. While the scholarly problems of characterizing stone-age thought or the ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, or Chinese belief-system are abstruse, one can discern an autonomous world of things--on which multiple fantasies or phantoms are superimposed. (Spirits, natures.) The imagined interaction of phantoms and things is magical or miraculous. Supernatural hierarchies reflect social hierarchies. The present inquiry places every determination of reality stemming from these ancient conceptions at issue. In the intervening millennia, a principal development has been the increasing importance of the notions of thing-like abstraction and mechanical abstraction.

Turning to contemporary civilization, it differs from past modes of life in the ever more rapid expansion of science, technology, and economic manipulation. Advanced science, and economic manipulation, permeate and structure everyday life. A rigorous dichotomy is established: science versus the humanities. The "human" side of life is placed on the defensive--especially insofar as the human side depends on religion to justify it. The human or poetic side is sequestered in an invidious way. The latter is conceived as infantile, undisciplined, demented, petulant, etc. etc. These conclusions are so ingrained that members of the culture no longer experience these attributions as surprising or disparaging.

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* I propose to propound ideas (a conspectus of reality) which can support a higher civilization. Roughly, that requires a new human self-image and a new world-picture. Limited ideas-specialized innovations within existing sciences, or cultural fads--are irrelevant to me.

The ideas which I will present cannot be compared to the humanities side of the contemporary science/humanities dichotomy. For one thing, the new ideas must be able to overmaster presentday science and technology. The endeavor must envision rebutting, affecting, and changing natural science from the outset. The inquiry can begin only among those who are educated in the present civilization's "science"; but it must gain meaning outside that circle in order to be realized. (In other words, it cannot be realized as the secret of a priesthood.) As for those of the cognoscenti who think that they have already arrived at the best of all possible worlds, they will be averse to this inquiry. (As will those who have a vested interest in the humanities--or science, for that matter--or any other wellinstitutionalized pursuit.)

Because I am financially independent, I can think about anything I want to. I don't have to be attached to a discipline or a specialty. I don't have to defer to disciplines or specialties "outside mine." I don't have to accept the professional consensus in "the other disciplines" as the best that can be thought and done. So it is that I cannot be equated with a subsidized scholar.

* When I speak of an idea or a conspectus of reality supporting a civilization, what do I mean? I don't claim that new ideas cause the world to change--only that ideas are the imaginative medium or vehicle of a civilization or mode of life.[1] With reference to a given civilization's encompassing idea, one can distinguish such phases as

- a reality-definition or world-conception; - a human self-image; - a family of technological modalities.

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In particular, what can I say--about human self-image?--which will match the civilizationbuilding fecundity of the influential belief-systems; while differing from them as much as, or more than, they differed from one another?

** As a parable to suggest the magnitude of the endeavor, let me mention certain conspectuses of reality which were the imaginative vehicles of historical civilizations. I invoke these beliefsystems heuristically: to illustrate what I mean by an imaginative medium or vehicle--what I mean by an idea which engages the totality in a socially meaningful way. I address the beliefsystems in terms of the reputations they have today.[2] These sketches are highly composite; they run roughshod over the intricate nuances found in any major philosophical author. Religions are social packages; and diverse interests promulgate themselves through any given major religion. Those scholarly issues are irrelevant here. I'm not dissecting the belief-systems as historical scholarship would do. There is another qualification. A civilization may not really be defined by its overt ideology. There is a public ideology, and then there is what is believed by elites. The latter may be protected, and may have to be protected, from mass scrutiny. In spite of the qualifications, the sequence of public ideologies is worth reviewing as a heuristic exercise. Further questions as to the legitimacy of using the historical belief-systems as illustrations belong in a collection of ancilla.

Some of these belief-systems are anachronisms today. They have been run off the road by science, technology, and global capitalism. Nevertheless, when the atavistic belief-systems defined reality otherwise than as external and thing-like and mechanical, they were not merely stupid. When they ascribed epistemological value to non-alert, unpragmatic states of existence, they were not merely stupid.

A. Hinduism

Let me characterize Hinduism without disputing it.

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Meditation is a spiritual technology through which the individual can awaken from the waking state. One discovers that behind the veil of palpable waking consciousness, each of us is an illusory individuation of cosmic mind. (Human participation in the God-experience through contemplation.) Logic and the alert waking state are part of the illusion, the veil. The notion of waking up from being awake plays a crucial role epistemologically. The solution of the many-minds problem: empirically noncommunicating egos are illusory individuations of the one cosmic mind. Again, this can be discovered in experience, by meditation. Every person illusorily individuates the one consciousness. My expression for this result is cosmic solipsism. Cosmic solipsism can be validated in extraordinary experience. So, the highest avenue of verification is a non-mechanistic one. Meta-self or soul is immutable. (Comparison with the Greek idea of immutability.) How the soul persists through waking, dreaming, unconscious sleep is an issue. According to the doctrines of reincarnation and karma, souls are not tied uniquely to humans. A soul passes at the death of a being to another being who is just then born--manifesting a law of just deserts.

* B. Buddhism

Buddhism takes the question of personal happiness as the ultimate problem for a sentient being. The solution is found in the extinction of the self. Gutama Buddha's purported inability to find the substantial and eternal world-mind behind his palpable consciousness (via the Hindu avenue of meditation) led him to an "accidental" psychology and epistemology, a "process" psychology and epistemology. A doctrine of emptiness as freedom from illusion. Buddhism is a life-philosophy, a quietist, absurdist estheticism. A serenity purchased at the price of acquiescence or nonintervention. Buddhism was unmistakably on the poetry and attitude side of the science/poetry dichotomy. Buddhist logic confounded epistemology with logic, and at bottom was a body of metaphysical interpretation.

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* C. Neoplatonism (also theosophy)

Neoplatonism was never the name of a state ideology. However, it was widely influential in the Mediterranean world: beginning with the end of the pagan era and ending in the Renaissance. I am taking it out of historical sequence in this review. "Classic" Neoplatonism emphasizes a hierarchy of realities, descending from a supreme principle which is undifferentiated and beyond being. Below the One is a divine mind which contains the Platonic Ideas. Individual human minds and material things exist by virtue of participation in higher realities. Humans can know the higher realities via extraordinary experience--via selfpurification. Actually, I wish to emphasize a version of theosophy which claims to cognize the psychology of the divine mind who creates. Why does a perfect and eternal God create an imperfect and limited world, i.e. the material world and free human beings? Ten psychological attributes are ascribed to the divine mind (reflecting a belief, stemming from Pythagoras, that ten was a magical number). The material world exists as a symbolism of God's mental processes. (In a way which anticipates Freud's notion that the events in dreams are symbols of psychological dynamics.) For the Renaissance, natural science was an attempt to read Nature as consisting of signs of God's intent.

* Hinduism and Neoplatonism are anachronisms in the modern era.[3] Nevertheless, they represent attempts at a conspectus of reality which takes phases of consciousness as elemental; which understands that something weighty is required to embrace the plurality of minds epistemologically; and which understands that the existence of language at all would be a miracle, that to speak one word is a miracle. Hinduism and Neoplatonism acknowledge issues relative to which the modern outlook is in default.

* All the while, Hindu and Neoplatonist cultures encouraged gullibility and deceit. Legerdemain and hoaxes were preferred avenues of corroboration. While it is something of a digression, let me make my opposition to occultism explicit here. I repudiate the following.

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The alteration of experience through psychic brutalization and auto-suggestive delusion. Results which are not replicable for the generic "reader." Conjuring tricks performed to aid in defrauding the gullible. The notion of a miracle as magic trick, as a supernatural manipulation which overcomes regular (natural) causation. Deceitful reportage. Indeed, all hearsay.

* D. Ancient Greek philosophical thought and natural philosophy

The Greeks prepare the way for the first non-religious (non-mystical, non-magical) cosmology. We see the beginnings of the modern orientation in the Greek orientation--even though Greek philosophy will need to be deeply modified (by the embrace of the palpable world, pragmatism, and empirical law) before it becomes modern science.

According to Greek philosophy, if there is a faculty which defines humanness, it is cognizing. No serious attention is given to the question of reality in states other than the alert waking (logical) state. Consciousness, subjectivity, "the existential" are converted to things.--Or else they are disregarded.

"Opinion," and sense-evidence, are relative and variable and uncertain. Also, sense-evidence is unrationalized mathematically. Natural language is suspect because it is filled with relative predicates. ("This water is hot." The truth and falsity of the proposition are relative; therefore a contradiction is derivable: the water is both hot and non-hot.) So it is that opinion and senseevidence are contemptible and unacceptable.[4] Only permanent, certain knowledge is worthy of the name. Logical norms, even if overly schematic, have absolute and permanent authority. (And they have this authority without having to account for their origins.) When logical norms conflict with the evidence of the senses, it is the evidence of the senses that must be repudiated. Geometry and astronomy must be deduced from self-evident first principles.[5] The outcome is that the reality-type of the thing is displaced to the intangible realm to become the impersonal abstraction. The impersonal abstraction or mechanical abstraction eventually becomes the primary constituent of reality.

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In Plato, for example, reality is entirely divorced from the palpable. Nevertheless, all of reality has the reality-type of a thing; it must be cognized in the alert waking state; and it must be cognized deductively.

* E. Christianity (and its roots in Judaism)

Exclusivist worship of a personal deity who commands humanity morally. Repudiation of magic and of mysticism.[6] Radical separation of humans from nature.[7] Christianity, originally a movement for Palestinian Jews, becomes a mass ideology, a slave ideology, in the ancient Mediterranean world. It parallels Gnosticism in that fulfillment lies not in the mundane world, but in the soul's survival of death. Early Christianity is hostile to Hellenistic philosophy,[8] and to reform of Roman society on a religiously neutral basis. It prevails against the backdrop of the fall of Roman civilization.

Christianity did not begin with a philosophical conspectus of reality. The codification of such a conspectus was a labored process which took many centuries. At the end of the Middle Ages, for example, Christian philosophy appropriated Aristotle, as transmitted by Islamic civilization. In moral theology, the Church crystallized the doctrine of the primacy of the dignity of the person. During the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, Christianity mediated the transformation of Hellenic natural philosophy into modern science. (God the infinite; God the lawgiver.)

* F. Modern Natural Science

No comments are necessary because all of my work takes modern science as the issue.

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G. Modern Social-objectivism

This orientation, which arose in Europe in the nineteenth century, assumes that all of reality is "social." Presupposing the specifically modern construction of the historical past, socialobjectivism posits a natural, secular entity called society. Society stands in relation to the individual psyche entirely as cause to effect. Also, society is more fundamental than inanimate nature: indeed, the sociology of knowledge treats natural science as a societal myth.[9] Social-objectivism holds that propositions about inanimate nature, and about the supernatural, are "social" in the sense that they need not be more than fabrications serving one or another social interest-class. From its beginning in nineteenth-century Europe, social-objectivism evinced totalizing and ultimatist pretensions. The terrestrial biological aggregate called humanity, or society, was declared to be absolute being, the ground of being. My awareness that I am alive was only an effect, of which society was the cause. The sun, moon, and stars were only effects of which society was the cause. All theories were merely social faiths. One could say that socialobjectivism was the result of joining secular naturalism to human constitutivity in epistemology. The universe is something which the biological aggregate invents. Nothing more graphically illustrates the irony of progress than the rise of social-objectivism. In the name of naturalist relativism, social-objectivism regresses to the most primitive fallacies possible in philosophy.

*** It is evident from the foregoing that all the great belief-systems begin with affirmative doctrines which have to be accepted via credulity. Of course, each of the belief-systems are connected to a technology or "sensuous-practical activity" of one sort or another. But that is largely a selffulfilling prophecy or vicious circle. In no way does it "prove" the belief-system. Each of the belief-systems is in large part "imaginative nonsense"--with a tremendous slippage or padding relative to practical activity, which in turn has tremendous padding relative to sensedata.[10] Further, the world-views are filled with concealed violations of their own proclaimed logical norms. (An appendix will have, as an example, my critique of "epistemological diffraction" in Hinduism.)

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I cannot assent to this reign of credulity. I cannot agree to propound another affirmative dogma that has to be swallowed via credulity--another wish-fulfillment, another myth, another package of repressed contradictions. I must begin by spotlighting all contradictions and shattering all credulity. For the first time, I build an orientation on "cognitive nihilism" (if you want to label it as a detractor might). Thus, the initial stage of my presentation will have a superficial resemblance to skeptical exercises throughout the history of thought. How do we know that the empirical world is not a direct hallucination?[11] --how do we know the future will be like the past?--etc. Hitherto, the civilizations were too primitive to derive any practical advantage from such skepticism. Skeptics were the least honored of philosophers. They presented their posture as a passive aestheticism (Sextus' ataraxia; Montaigne). Their stance was viewed in the mainstream as futile, if not antisocial. My claim is that civilization has reached a threshold where "practical" benefits can be reaped by foregoing inherited objective-reality concepts. That is a promise which will be explained as I proceed.

I propose not to announce a new myth--but to bury myths. I seek to put an end to majority cultures which are elaborations of gullibility. At bottom, it is incredulousness which I propose as the source of a higher civilization. That is so unexpected and so weighty that it could serve as required.

** Becoming specific, I shall summarize material which I have presented repeatedly elsewhere; I include it here only for completeness. I take literally and seriously the question of the existence of language at all.[12] This question is the intersection of the problem of what is reality with the problem of the medium of assertion, description, and communication. The outcome is my "Is there language?" trap. `There is language' ought to be a substantive assertion. Yet `There is language' must be true if it can be asserted: its possession of meaning would manifest the existence of language. The necessity to answer yes to the question whether there is language implicates the existence of language in a universal epistemological antinomy or reductio ad absurdum. The existence of language is not a contingent fact but rather self-validating gibberish. A text such as "The Flaws Underlying Beliefs"[13] achieves a negative universal result

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on cognition--instead of affirming a trivially self-defeating "position." The text short-circuits the medium of which the text is a sample; yielding a short-circuit of linguistically embodied cognitive thinking as such. Discourse about the trap is a heuristic activity evoked by lack of insight. It cannot be expected to have safeguards against self-undermining formulations; and is far more compromised or hypocritical than the trap itself.

The cognitive short-circuit is paradigmatic in that its gambit can guide the selective subversion of belief-systems--or in other words, of inherited determinations of reality. The details of doing this may be difficult and circuitous. In 1980, I grouped all such ventures together as "astute hypocracy."[14]

The short-circuit decisively vitiates in principle the inherited world-views--spun as they have been from credulity and apologism. It decisively vitiates in principle all "new myths." I promise instrumental procedures which belie the inherited reality; but now they are going to come not from increased gullibility, but from the decrease of credulity.

There is a second exercise correlative to the "Is there language?" trap (which in fact preceded the trap in the evolution of my thinking): namely "radical empiricism." There is an analysis to define "experience" (immediate sensation or whatever) in a way stripped of "beliefs" (espoused propositions). This direction is more problematic than the "Is there language?" trap. The naive dnoement of this analysis, namely to announce that "only experience exists," is trivially selfdefeating. Indeed, the genuine lesson is that there is an "Is there non-experience?" trap, which is correlative to (and "implies") the "Is there language" trap. So radical empiricism does not hit the mark as directly as the "Is there language?" trap. But although radical empiricism is problematic and off-the-target, it is also a valuable intuitive guide in the selective subversion of belief-systems--that is, a means in astute hypocracy.

* When Hume precipitated a skeptical crisis in philosophy, the subsequent philosophers took as their mission to mediate between credulity and intellectual integrity: to crush skepticism and to "prove objective reality." The goal was to find moments which somehow smash through subjectobject estrangement. Each of the moments or devices which were proffered were discarded by the public after one generation: because they were mere gimmicks, mere casuistries.

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Nevertheless, it is appropriate for me to include here two of my responses to moments claimed to smash through subject-object estrangement. That is because my observations impinge on the problematic of the person-world--the topic of the balance of this essay.

1. The mere circumstance that "lived experience" has the dimensionality or texture of a self-world confrontation mediated by willing, doing, concern, etc. cannot prove that that ostensible "world" is objectively real or is the same for everybody. (And subjective temporality does not prove that everybody exists in the same objective time-stream.) The relative personal world which the self confronts has not been proved the same for everybody. I act, exercise will, etc. in dreams as well as in waking life. In general, dreamed experience fully possesses the dimensionality or texture which is claimed to prove objective reality. In short, philosophy has not distinguished worldhood from a mirage.[15] It was not stupid of Hinduism to note that.

2. To be embroiled or mired in life, in activity, in such a way that you are cemented to your beliefs, which seem practically or pragmatically validated, does not prove that your beliefs are (uniquely) indispensable. A technical gimmick in metallurgy can be known for thousands of years, yet receive a different explanation (in terms of some invisible reality or organizing fiction) in every century.

** For completeness, I most mention meta-technology: even though it is not the topic in "Personhood IV"; and even though I expound it exhaustively elsewhere. The selective subversion of belief-systems leads to kaleidoscopic mutations of the experience-world and of scientific laws. A family of instrumental modalities is elaborated which act on inherited determinations of reality-"between self and world." Sometimes meta-technological procedures select already-recognized phenomena--interpersonally comparable subjective phenomena like the perceptual illusions, the fact of dreaming, etc.--using these phenomena in constructs which break the bonds of objective reality or of scientism. Every meta-technological procedure has to be replicable by the generic "reader." As for expositions of meta-technological procedures, they rely on apparitional meaning. The generic "reader" obtains meaning by imputing it. The conditions or junctures produced alter the boundary of the conceptually possible; so a new mental ability is exhibited, and a claim of realism is extraneous. Meta-technology excludes hearsay and psychic brutalization (including the deceptive use of hypnosis).

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In certain very general ways, meta-technology parallels the modern science which it proposes to displace. In some sense, it is impersonal knowledge. It does not aim to provide personal happiness. It is not a creed; to assent to it perfunctorily is meaningless. It is a family of specific results. It is required to be interpersonally replicable; or to employ interpersonally comparable subjective resources. What makes it different from science is that it acts on the determination of reality or on cognitive laws.

*** The body-text which follows is concerned with the person-world. The idea of the personal microcosm.--Which immediately provokes the question whether a generic analysis of the personal microcosm is viable. But before we turn to that question, I must insist on all the "structure" I include in the personal microcosm. Person-world analysis starts from the culturally supplied tenet (the common-sense tenet) that my/one's waking episodes have the longitudinal unity of an objective world and comprise the proper arena for motivation and morale, and for striving toward thematic futures. (As opposed to my/one's "illusory" motivation and morale in a dream.) My self counts when it is the longitudinal, thematic unity of my waking episodes. My self is my self.

- But I comport to "my" objects (this drinking glass in my microcosm) as everyone's objects. - I comport to speaking and attending to speech as everyone's medium of communication.

The topic of the doer as a thematic, motivated self which continually integrates a totality strongly requires a reality-hierarchy--but it is a reality-hierarchy which has never before been defined. Personalistic subjectivities are taken not only as palpable but as central; without any religious allegiance.

The vicissitudes of the person-world are the topic of the body text. The rather heterogeneous continuum of "cognitive nihilism," meta-technology, and personhood theory is my proposed replacement for all belief-systems.

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Footnotes: [1] Example: The relation of Marx to twentieth-century socialism in all its versions. It is hard to imagine twentieth-century socialism, as it unfolded, without Marx's grand ideational crystallization in the nineteenth century. [2] And not, for example, in terms of how Plato and Aristotle were seen by their contemporaries. [3] India hardly relied on Hinduism to make its atomic bomb. [4] Sophists and skeptics took a forensic pleasure in defending the weaker side; but overall, philosophy is deliberately intolerant of falsehood. [5] Heidegger writes well about this in What Is a Thing? [6] Here mysticism is defined as human participation in the God-experience. [7] Cf. Morris Berman, The Reenchantment of the World (1981), pp. 70-71. [8] Note the Christian destruction of Porphyry's magnum opus Against the Christians; and the mob execution of Hypatia in 415. [9] An object-lesson in the sociology of knowledge is Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality (1966). [10] Cassirer is one philosopher who had already acknowledged this; but neither he nor any of the other philosophers did anything with the admission. [11] Never mind representations in recent physics that there is a hidden cosmic reality relative to which our entire universe is of inferior reality. [12] Given the appearance of Kripke's Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language (1982), I had better mention that my "Is there language?" trap was first published in 1964. [13] In H. Flynt, Blueprint for a Higher Civilization (Milan, 1975). [14] In the draft of "Is Incredulity Self-Defeating." (The essay was later completed but has not been published.) [15] Max Scheler made solipsism the chief issue in his review of Being and Time. PERSON-WORLD THEORY

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1995 Tutorial 1997 Henry A. Flynt, Jr.

Part I. The totality as "individual experience" integrated around personal identity and purpose

Forward I. Motivations II. Person-world analysis as "journalism" III. Episodes which foreground personalistic subjectivity IV. From journalistic delineation to perspective-of-totality V. Roles for, and difficulties of, the premise VI. Toward a rigorous conception

Forward I developed the material to follow in a tutorial situation in the spring of 1995. (I extracted "Personhood Theory: A Sketch" from it, originally at the beginning of 1996.) So the material is conversational. One of the features of discourse is that only so many disclaimers and qualifications can be packed into each sentence. I am forced to borrow words and change their meanings, to improvise a terminologyand the addressee has to glean the meanings by osmosis, or by referring them directly to personal precedent. The student(s) were argumentative, and I noted down our exchanges. I am still in transition as to whether I want to retain these disputes. They slow the exposition. At the same time, they furnish object-lessons which are very much of the content and purpose of personhood theory. This material makes its first appearance in (I.iv). After that, capital letters in the text indicate where the material cropped up; the passages are collected as Appendix 1. When I suppose that the students mind-set would generalize to many educated laypeople, I attribute it to EL. When the resistance is specific to these conversations and the students biography, I attribute it to S. Because English doesnt have a legitimate generic pronoun, I am forced to use the plural for the generic.

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I have manuscripts on other facets of personhood theory, and bodies of research along complementary lines. There is meta-technology and there is my book-manuscript on psychology. I list these manuscripts as "References," Appendix 2.

I. Motivations The person-world premise originally arose in discussions held in 1980. The participants were motivated by a sense of crisis in three respects. i) The priestly custodians of realitythe pure scientistswere telling us in the back room that they know their knowledge is false and they dont care. What is more, they were denying psychological evidence (illusions, dreaming) which psychology says are concomitants of a healthy nervous system. What is more, they were displaying blind hostility to investigations which legitimately crossed academic boundaries. They had willfully stunted their faculties. None of the legitimate sciences can address the "ethics of inquiry and judgment" (to mention the facet of inspiritedness directly involved in intellectual exploration). If we want to talk about inquiry and judgment, we have to begin in unspecialized discourse, natural language and common-sense phenomena. ii) The intellectual foundations of the civilization were driving inexorably to mechanization, to an assault which treated "humanness" as a despised illusion. What I have called phobia of the psyche is found in every pretentiously rational authorBrouwer, Wittgenstein, Watson, Skinner, LeviStrauss, Minskyand in pretentiously modern authors such as Foucault. Most schools of modern philosophy and science are effectively behavioristic. (Whether they readily announce it doesnt matter.) It is important to realize that citing the modern authors in an atmosphere of disapprovalas I just havedoes not rebut them. If the authors are attacking specific "psychologisms," to quote them with disapproval does not make those psychologisms true. If there is a manifest case against psychephobia, it is this. Humans have concocted an intellectual foundation which progressively moves toward radical denial of "the human" (including the human process of concocting ideology). As we march out of the swamp of superstition, we learn that the superstition from which we have to be torn is we ourselves. The enemy which has to be eradicated is ourselves. iii) There was no compelling frame of reference in which to explore e.g. personalistic subjectivity, or private experience, empathetically, for its "phenomenology." The role of alternatives to mechanistic psychology was taken by cult-like doctrines, synthetic religions, with no constraints on ontology or credulity. As for the "ethics of inquiry and judgment" (again), none of the legitimate sciences can address the topic. We have to begin in unspecialized discourse,

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natural language and common-sense phenomena, if we want to talk about inquiry and judgment. Additionally, there was no compelling frame of reference which accepted ecstatic states elevated or preferred states. Its not just that the reduction of the psychedelic state to Tibetan mythology was hokey, for example. It was that our 1980 group knew preferred states which the cult gurus wouldnt have cared about because they werent scams. Manifestly, how could the intellectual evolution mentioned in (ii) arrive at empathetic attention to private experience or personalistic subjectivity? How could it acknowledge the ethics of inquiry and judgment presupposed by science? Another way of summarizing the situation. The prevailing culture establishes drastic disunifications of human life. On one side, the conceptual medium of ordinary apprehension of the world and ordinary social interaction (common sense); on the other side, science, which builds on common sense but also despises it. On one side, science which is inhuman; on the other side, "humanities" which are whimsical and frivolous (not to say nefarious, when we are talking about the cults). One is supposed to be a complete person by bouncing around these four corners like a Ping-pong ball. iv) Even though we obtained nominal agreement from some educated laypersons (EL) on (i)-(iii), when it became clear that we wanted to spotlight the fault-lines in factual realityin preparation for drastically reconstituting the world-picture, if you willthe EL told us that we werent entitled to do that. We werent entitled to take responsibility for our inculcated competences. High above us were the "angels," the Nobel-Prize winners, so high that they couldnt be seen for the clouds. They had already given all the answers to all the questions, even though the EL didnt know what those answers were. (But what happened to the circumstance that we were being told in the back room that the scientists knew their knowledge was false and didnt care? The ELs assent to our statement of motivation vanished at the slightest test.) We were not entitled to rush in where the angels feared to tread. We were not entitled to become self-conscious about the consensus assembly of factual reality. "You have no right; you arent entitled; the angels have answered every question; you should not want self-consciousness; you should not design and realize perceptual illusions which expose the artificiality of the objectgestalt." While they agreed nominally that the prevailing account of reality was unlivable, they turned into policemen for the status quo when they saw that we meant to do something about it. What they expected us to do, evidently, was to retrieve some inoperative myth and spread it over orthodoxy like a mousse. They were not prepared for our incisions in the prevailing account. But it was even worse than that. The EL believed in "the angels," but knew nothing about what they said or did. The EL did not know that science makes its own radical critique of common sensea critique whose particulars I can at times endorse, whose particulars can take us a

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considerable way in our inquiry. The EL did not understand that science views the common-sense notion of consciousness (not to mention the plurality of minds) with contempteven though that was one of the motivations for personhood theory which the EL presumably accepted. But it was even worse than that. Even though the EL worshipped the scientists as angels, and accepted that their theories were incomprehensibly abstruse, the EL assumed, all the same, that those theories substantiated the ELs casual notions about reality. The EL, who had told us that we had no right to rush in where angels fear to tread, ultimately assumed that the angels simply echoed what the EL wanted to believe. It was the EL who proved to be monumentally arrogant. They knew that the orthodox answers are less and less satisfactory, but they were so terrified at the prospect of departing from these answers that they demanded that they be affirmed before any inquiry could begin. It is a terribly conflicted impasse. But just to recognize that is the point of personhood theory. We needed a non-intellectual epistemologyan epistemology in which the destination is not separated from permission for the journey, from the subjects esteem and morale. II. Person-world analysis as "journalism" Person-world theory develops a journalism of the personally relative totality, the personal microcosm. It employs vernacular language to delineate "the selfs cognitive process in acting," in a way which acknowledges the mental (or "psychic") aspects. The EL tends to demand that the questions of what made the world and what the world is made of be answered "liturgically" before any fundamental inquiry can begin. That brings us to the most difficult feature of the inquiry for the EL. The pat theses about the substance of which phenomena or entities are constituted are going to be suspended. Also, the pat theses about the causes or source of the world are going to be suspended. No cause of the world is identified. While issues of causality will come to the fore later, I cannot treat them before we have conceived the arena in which they are posed. (Our answer, "scrambled causation," is going to be incomparable to the metaphysical dogmas.) We may start by narrowing the frame to the individual, in the world that he or she knows. Phenomenologically, I use the words mind and mental to discriminate a fragment of the totality such as my visualization of a cup with my eyes shut. Such a visualization could be said to be "a piece of my mind." A cup is not mental; and would not be a "piece of my mind" (in the sense in question). Neither would my body (e.g. a limb) be a piece of my mind. Phenomenologically, to say that an object, such as a cup, is "a piece of my mind" would just be false. Continuing, there are phases of lived experience which are complete "worlds" in a phenomenological sensesuch as dreamed episodes. Common-sense judges the latter to be mirages. All the same, the phenomenological distinction between my mentation and "external objects" (and my body) is as pronounced in a dream as in a waking episode. Thus, phenomenologically, a cup in my dream is not "a piece of mentation." (Irrespective of waking

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common-senses retrospective verdict that the whole episode is a mirage. The verdict that ones mind has manufactured the dream-world.) To insist on suspending the pre-emptive realityjudgments of common sense as we do here is highly non-trivial, of course. It is palpably false that there is no phenomenological distinction, no qualitative distinction, between mentation (e.g. a visualization) and "external objects." The common-sense judgment that an entire dream has a different reality-status from an entire waking episode is another matter. Person-world analysis does not divest you of the judgment that a waking episode is more real than a dreamed episode. But it demands that you acknowledge your proximate authorship of this (culturally correlated) judgment. Person-world analysis carefully delineates the role of these judgments of realismwithout subscribing to them and pre-empting the inquiry. What is ones "cognitive process in acting" when one casually reaches for a cup of coffee? You recognize (!) the cup, reach for it, and expect your fingers to touch something that feels like a cup where you see a cup. In so doing, you sequentially slot your perceptions/expectations/actions into a pre-established theory. (One name for this theory is common sense.) As psychology has long said, the palpable cup is an object-gestalt which is intersensorily correlated. As will be evident again and again, the individual continually integrates a longitudinal self and a "world" in a habitual and culturally correlated way. The individual engages, in that sense, in a continual "gymnastics." The observation is far from trivial. High-quality illusions have been designed and realized which force you to acknowledge that you apprehend object-gestalts by feeding cues into a pre-existing theory. To observe that common sense is not patthat we actively wield a culturally correlated theory just to find a solid world (or whatever term you prefer)is profound. Beyond that, the commonsense world-model can be shown to be saturated with logical faults. On this basis, personhood theory refrains from pre-empting the inquiry by invoking an external factual world which the present culture is supposed to know with unique assurance. The "factual" world is culturally mutable. Personhood theorys mission is to get underneath the variability. Elaborating, the theory rejects the use of objective foundations posited by science as building blocks. The theory proceeds entirely by unravelling "the obvious" (presumptive cultural competence). Continuing to explain person-world analysis as a sort of journalism, the subject-matter is required to include personalistic subjectivities. Indeed, i. centered presence and activation, also called alertness and force of will ii. control of your fantasies (assuring that they dont move into the environs and become part of the environs) iii. "uncertainty": your acts incur consequences but you dont know what they will be iv. choice-making at the level which is called "responsibility"

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v. vacillation about what you wish or want vi. preoccupation with your emotional dependence on other people vii. sense of individual worth viii. a sequence of moods which affords a revelation about your attitude These are not segmented abstractions (hope, regret, desire); they are personalistic subjectivities in their "concrete fluidity," and "at high integration or interpretation." The totality here is self contending with "objectivities." I say that the totality is dimensioned. All the same, dreams are just as dimensioned as waking episodes of consciousness. I dismiss psychologies which would call the moments or junctures (i)-(viii) "the subjective illusions of an individual located in a material universe outside of psychology." Roughly, I insist on addressing "the individual, in the world that the individual knows" in an epistemological perspective. The inquiry does not subordinate itself to a conjectural objective foundation such as neuroscience. Moreover, the inquirys depictions are introspective, and invite introspective confirmation. (This feature is central and I will return to it.) Person-world analysis attends to the manifest "transactional" detail of the personal microcosm, integrated as self, in environs.Without a pre-judgment as to what source manufactures the world. The subject-matter is the selfs ongoing integrations of recognition and action, which invoke or deploy pre-existing theories. Person-world analysis compiles delineations which do not defer to reality-dogmas, whether they come from classic metaphysics or from biochemical science. An unworthy objection has been made several times to personhood theory. It would devalue the exposition to devote it to reacting to this objection, precisely because it is unworthy. I have moved the balance of my replies to it to Appendix 1. The objection says first that personhood theory puts it all in your head, has your mind conjuring up the world. (Metaphysical idealism.) And secondly, that personhood theory is merely psychology. The objection is already incoherent, because the two accusations are incompatible. Let me deal with the second accusation first. Nothing which is legitimately called psychology purports to be an account of "the universe," the totalitypurports to get underneath astrophysics, for example. But the aim of personhood theory is to envision the totality. Next, person-world analysis is incomparable to a primitive dogmatism or administrative pronouncement like "its all in your head." That should have been clear from distinctions made at the beginning of this section. Moreover, as I mentioned in the Forward, I pursue research along other lines. I have a campaign to break the framework of objectivity with intellectual considerations, without making an issue of the knowers interests. In Stockholm in 1979 I named this campaign meta-technology. Personhood theory dovetails with meta-technology. A cardinal example is "Superseding Scientific Apprehension of the Inanimate World" (1990), a study of the

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quantification of nature which began as E of the 1985 "Studies in the Person-World." Another example was my December 20, 1987 physics lecture. Meta-technology supports the present argument when it locates particular cases of the mutability of facts of observation (culturally correlated perceptual judgment). No metaphysical benediction has ever marshalled palpable evidence, and sought to reconstitute "the sciences," in this way. There is an entire aspect of the method which was not an explicit topic in the early years of personhood theory. Journalism? Reportage? Then codes of veracity must be involved. Actually, our code of veracity has several phases. There is testimonial veracity; one who keeps a dream journal must not not fabricate dreams, for example. Then, when I ask whether you recognize yourself in this generic depiction, that is a phase of veracity which will replace the notion of personhood theory as reportage. Then, the distinctions on which the analysis rests need to be upheld reliably; the cup I hold in my hand is not "a piece of my mind." As for warranting this code of veracity, I need to unfold the person-world premise at considerable lengthto find where it goesbefore deciding how to locate it in some more ruthless vision. (A) III. Episodes which foreground personalistic subjectivity Personhood theory proceeds to [report or] delineate the "transactions detail" of aspects of "your" conscious life. "Your" personhood theory is a text which you judge by whether you can recognize yourself in itas I will expand on below. a) Individual conscious life is a sequence of remembered, and present, conscious episodes, separated by unconsciousness. You count your past waking episodes, but not your dreams or episodes of psychedelic intoxication, in your thematic identity, your career identity. (Making distinctions of realism between one and another past conscious episode in your life.) b) There is a cognitive process in doing, in which you sequentially slot your perceptions/expectations/actions into a pre-established theory. It can be noted in simply picking up a cup of coffee, or in any conative moment. c) If it is asked whether 1988, say, was a leap year, you cannot answer by feeling whether it was a day longer than the other years. You have to look it up in an Almanac or otherwise rely on a precept which is linguistic and arithmetical. (A leap year is a fact of experience which is preserved only through intellectualization.)

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(B) Roughly, awareness is always glued to "objectivities" (or environs). Awareness is bonded to objectivities. Awareness not only attends to and addresses, but copes with objectivities. (Acknowledgement of "resistances.") Physical scienceall natural sciencetypically posits a universe without palpable individuated consciousness. Here that is designated as an incoherent fiction. (C) Let me leave off the conversation and become more formal for a bit. The person-world premise conceives thematic identity relative to personal action, self and objectivities, morale, esteem, and "sanity" as a unified subject-matter. The individuated, continual, motivated, thematic, imaginative integration of a regular self/objectivities configuration. (A process which is introspectively palpable.) This topic strongly requires a reality-hierarchy; but the required reality-hierarchy is incomparably different from those accredited by contemporary rationalism (e.g. the "common objective world"). It takes personalistic subjectivities not only as palpable but as central. My self counts when it is the longitudinal, thematic unity of my waking episodes. My self is my self. But I comport to "my" objects (this drinking glass in my microcosm) as everyone's objects. I comport to speaking and attending to speech as everyone's language. Once the analysis of the person-world has begun, I may try to make the person-world serve as a picture of the whole which is ontologically self-contained. If I pursue this approach, then the circumstance that the person-world is a personal microcosm becomes the most unreasonable or refractory feature of the proposal. After the first round of analysis, one indulges a higher level of credulity, and uses personhood theory's undermining analysis of an "illusory" structure to modulate the common notion of the structure. The goal of the theory cannot be coherence; it is to achieve a more authentically descriptive incoherence. In lived experience, there is a self-supervision of fleeting sensations and imagery and impulses or tendencies. On awaking from a dream, there is a moment when one grades the memory as a dream. Such examples evince a self-supervision of experience which yields personal identity, etc. This organization is, roughly, hierarchical. Personal identity is "higher" in the scale of selfsupervision than sensation, imagery, spasmic movement or action (a sneeze). Pain, thirst, phobic fear are not high-level affections.

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Personal identity involves your longitudinal judgment of some of your personas as impostures that dont pan out. It involves distinctions of your degree of honesty with yourself. It involves subtle evaluations about behaviors which are disapproved by others and behaviors of which your are ashamed. When the self-supervision goes awry, we say that a person is helpless, legally incompetent, out of control, insane. Affections which presuppose the subjects hierarchical self-organization are high-level affections. Morale, despair, romantic infuatuation, for example. They will be the topic of Part II. I have indicated the compass of the person-world for my listeners by invoking their episodes of intoxication. I speak of the importance of letting the trip be itself, "listening" to it. That is because I expect a trip to foreground or amplify the person-worlds features. The bearing of the psychedelic state on personalistic subjectivity etc. A psychedelic experience comprises, in the first instance, "nongrounded" perceptions (color streaks and twinkling in the air, etc.). Beyond that, temporarily losing the centered activation which defines self (like a fever without the debilitation). Beyond that, hallucinations of people on whom one is emotionally dependent. Beyond that, experiencing a course of moods which comprises a revelation of attitude. The most important thing about psychedelics is not the weird perceptions, but the way in which sense of self, and mood, are amplified or foregrounded. At the same time, the psychedelic experience attenuates the instrumental intention. It steers you to receptivity or self-expression. It makes instrumental cognition seem comical. What becomes of apperceptive cogency in the psychedelic state? Do your fantasies move into the environs and become part of the environs? Can you discern the "governor of yourself" from the welter of sensations? (Nobody is in charge, you are a throbbing nerve ending.) S proposed: In the psychedelic state, you feel in control of the environs but not of yourself. Unfortunately for this tutorial, Ss experience with psychedelics did not take a favorable course. In 1969, he had a few trips which he considered mild; he saw patterns. Then he took acid contaminated with toxins at Woodstock, and had a waking nightmare in which he was also somatically ill from the toxins. He saw the visions non-stop, whether he had his eyes open or closed. He couldnt close his eyes; and he feared that he would never come down. That permanently fixed the meaning of psychedelic experience for him as " hell." Thus, to S, "listening to the drug" means being imprisoned in a nightmare. The usual distinctions between "mental" and "non-mental" and "bodily," in lived experience, were not available for S in "psychedelic hell," or were blurred. All the more motivation for striving to expand our literal vocabulary for perceptions, to report perceptions literallyinstead of lapsing into hyperbole. And all the more motivation for personhood theorys respect for the experience. S had complained that personhood thery did not honor the categorical dichotomy of internal and external. Then he recounted an experience in which no such distinction was available

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to him. IV. From journalistic delineation to perspective-of-totality The person-world premise initially gets spelled out like journalismappealing to and refining vernacular discourse. Thats not a mistake; because person-world analysis intends to address "human" issues for which common sense and the vernacular are the only received ontology and vocabulary. The content of the person-world is the ostensible realm consisting of: self ("as psyche") addressing environs and objects, mediated by the body (wishes realized via the body). Co-constitutivity: Its the "dimensionality" of self bonded to objectivities, coping with objectivities. Other people are in the environsare "beings" in the/my person-world. They have a different "ontological status" or "epistemology" from me, because I am required to ascribe thoughts and wishes to them, but I cannot experience or have their minds. (My) self is a component in a situation with many non-psychic constituents. Its the configuration of a longitudinal thematic self bonded to objectivities, in environs, "suffering" the body and realizing urges via the body; etc. etc. Its the configuration, the dimensionality of this "totality." It would be odd if one could not understand the realm called the person-world, because who can leave the person-world? Journalistically, it ought to be urgently familiar. What makes it difficult is confusion over how to align it with ones learned reality-dogmas. Person-world theorys answer to contemporary neuroscience is as follows. We dont have to arrive at mind as the most remote and obscure epiphenomenon. We never left it. How could somebody find it skull-cracking to entertain the notion of consciousness as co-constitutive of "the totality"? Presumably consciousness is always a palpable constituent of the palpable totality. (Never do you apprehend without "apprehending consciousness"setting aside the conjecture of unconscious perception.) If I "mindlessly" pour myself a glass of water, my experience of self is of a self in the moment: my (career) thematic identity is way in the "background." Personal episodic memory is in the background. In contrast, if my life is put on the spot by a crisis, my (career) thematic identity comes to the foreground. ("Persona") I apprehend this identity, "my persona," as memories, for example. (Longitudinal thematic identity is "career" thematic identity.) Personhood theory acknowledges resistances, and insists on them (as was said earlier). When you are assaulted from the environment, your longitudinal thematic identity is challenged, and you are challenged to copehighlighting the dimensionality. Its the ostensible-to-you environs which delivers this assault. The person-world premise is meant to address the common hostility of ones "surroundings" (if I find myself in a war zone, for example)and even more, the contraction of

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ones faculties of thought attendant on being under assault. So "resistances" are a motivation for the person-world premise. All the same, the environments of dreams can be as fraught as those of waking episodes. None of this pertains to the question of what makes the totality or what the totality is made of; that question is held in abeyance. "Self" can be given numerous vernacular meanings. Mentation and feeling versus my body. Selfat-the-moment versus longitudinal thematic self. Body. Well-known belief-systems make the self an autonomous psychic substance which owns the lump of lard called the body. (D) "Ones microcosm" is each person, and is "the whole of reality." A "solipsism" which is generic. The person-world orientation has to untangle what, taken uniformly, would be an absurdityvia a lot of epistemological gear-shifting. It is time to address the disarray of the prevailing cultures conception of other minds. Let us settle the most important point first. The ELs picture of other minds comes from common sense. But science and "scientific philosophy" have no place whatever for the common-sense picture of mind. Didnt I say that in (I)? The EL is likely not to know that science has its own radical critique of common sense, that it is radically counter-intuitive. I showed S some scientific accounts of consciousness, to point out how pathetic they are, and he said, "Oh, Im sure they have better answers than that now." But the answers I was showing him were recent ones. S is prepared to give the scientists credit for answering all the questions, even though he doesnt know what their answers are. What happened to our agreement on the motivations of (I)? I refuse to let the common-sense picture of persons as minds-in-bodies on a physical earth enjoy the reputation of being reasonable. The common-sense picture has us as lumps of lard walking around on a physical earth, each with a psychic self in his or her head, the psychic self not existing anywhere that is physical, and observable only to itself. All of these non-physical vertices of awarenesswhich are observable only by themselves. No matter how much this picture is belabored, it never becomes any more sensible. We have the personal pronoun "I," which can mean "my psyche." "I think, I feel." What is your common-sense explanation of the role of the word I? Each person successively claims I as the name of his or her inaccessible-to-others mind. I name my mind "I" and you name your mind with the same word. You do that all the time; why dont you find it skull-cracking? Let us bring in professional philosophy. The minds of other people become, in the common-sense view, transcendentales. Another persons mind is a reality in my environment which the other person knows intimately but which I absolutely cannot know. The transcendentale is the most important epistemological mode in common sense, but it is impossible to make it reasonable. If

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the reality is an absolute other which it is impossible for me to know, why isnt it an empty box? Common sense cannot defend its notion of the psyche as an nonphysical substance connected to the head by an unclassifiable bond. (E) Common sense posits that I exist in the midst of other minds which I cannot observeother minds which are attached to bodies in a manner I cannot explain or even define. Meanwhile, most schools of modern philosophy and science are effectively behaviorist. (Didnt I already say that?) Modern science gives no recognition to counterpart sentiences and no recognition to my sentience. Modern philosophy and science do not give romantic affection anywhere to live, for example. (Didnt I already say that?) One may insist, from life-experience, not only that there are other minds, but that some of the other minds have the advantage of me. Personhood theory doesnt avoid that consideration; it returns to it again and againespecially in connection with romantic affection, wherein the other arrives like a miracle. But person-world theory has to approach the question about the other who has the advantage of me in its own way. A subtle, circuitous methodology will take shape. If the case of "the other" who has the advantage of me is cited to prove the truth of conformism, we havent even been told which conformism is being proved true. How many times do I have to say that science, so far from endorsing common sense, despises it? Personhood theory is mindful not only of my interactions with other people, but of my encounters of other people as antagonists. And another "disparity" between people has to be acknowledged. Some people are mentally retarded (or whatever the latest euphemism is). Personhood theory has to decide where to put that disparity. (The common-sense appraisal of the existence of the retarded gets treated as a hypothesis tacked onto the basic incoherence of the tenet of other minds.) We begin to sort out "generic solipsism" and "counterpart sentiences." The explanation will not be complete until (VI). (1) Person-world theory is like an anonymous book in the library which each person individually checks out. What you "check out of the library" is not you, or your world, but a text (a paradigm), personworld theory, which presumably will earn your respect by providing generic delineations which you can interpret into yourselfby delineating dimensionalities or configurations which you can interpret into yourself. Anybody checks the same book out: in no way is this a tenet that "everybody is one in substance." To repeat, we dont deal in pat theses about substance.

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(F) It is as with the word I. Each of us is allowed to claim the first-person pronoun; that is not a tenet that everybody is one in substance. Nor is everyone claimed to have the same autobiographical particulars or temperament. Rather, there can be a generic characterization which each person can interpret into him or herself. So there is a text or paradigm which each person individually interprets into him or herself. The text is generic, as I already saidand offers itself to you to recognize yourself in it. Person-world theory proposes to "everybody"better, to you the readerthe configuration or dimensionality which I began to sketch above. The individuals changing moods are a motivation for personhood theory, because personhood theory wants to talk explicitly about the heterogeneity of the longitudinal self. The dramatic case is the case of having a different persona altogether in a dream. But commonly, changing moods means: the disjunction of moods or personas in my longitudinally integrated waking self. The normative demand is for your successive waking episodes be united as a reality, overriding your dreams, "psychedelic hallucinations," etc. That is a hegemonic construct. The commonsense norm of reality is punitive toward palpable evidence; it eradicates palpable evidence. I call our subject-matter "configurations of an ostensible realm." If you want common sense to be the real reality, then you have to treat many of the personas in the career of your person-world as illusions needing to be expunged. Person-world theory insists that your longitudinal self is heterogeneous. Person-world analysis is an anonymous text which "you the reader" are to interpret into yourself. If you cannot recognize yourself in the theorys generic delineation of the configuration, then the text is a failure. (Thats no more weird than the role of the pronoun I.) Again, I call our subject-matter "configurations of an ostensible realm." I am not making a of the dimensionality, or of the usual configuration, which gets called "personhood." On the contrary: eventually I will expose ordinary personhood as "attachment." Ultimately the analysis will open a route to personhoods self-cancellation. But at first, our task is to outline what is usual. V. Roles for, and difficulties of, the premise Personhood theory wants to take on the following roles, or to supply the following solutions: concurrentlyor from the same core. (1) a perspective-of-totality

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(2) a human self-image (3) a non-intellectual epistemology Given ones personal adaptation relative to the doctrinal precepts or content one defends known as occupation or vocation what sort of realm do we have to recognize to allow such a personal adaptation to exist? Cultural linkage of matters of fact and rationality to morale and esteem. (4) the totality is "generic solipsism" A generic solipsism of thematic self bonded to its environs is extracted from the portrayal of the personal microcosm. But I dont deny that generic solipsism is an oxymoron. The conversations showed that this oxymoron is liable to misunderstandings. (5) a longitudinally thematic self bonded to environs Bonded to "the exterior." (G) As was said, the person-world is an ostensible totality. Admittedly: the longitudinal thematic self is ostensible, because an individuals self shifts discontinuously in dream/waking junctures. At an "integrated level" of the experience-world there is a single, waking integration of the individual that discounts heterogeneous dream-personas. My radical-empiricist essays noted that the prolonged thematic self can be a mirage of the moment. Asking whether the prolonged thematic self is real is like asking whether the environs are real. Where does the person-world premise line up relative to the "empiricist" stances I have propounded: radical empiricism; the experience-world? The matter needs a full examination, here I only note it for the record. Radical empiricism would acknowledge the affections of the self, such as anxiety. But not the longitudinal thematic integration and not the thematic centered presence. Radical empiricism balks at the thesis that "my personal history is real." The person-world premise harbors myth in these respects.

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Husserls phenomenology is a dogma that "experience" is irrevocably split and directed as an arrow from self to object. Absolute dualism in experience; absolute directedness. One can hold a dowel vertically in the near center of ones visual field. Then, depending on ones focus, one sees one dowel or two identical ones. I took this case as an opportunity to ponder Husserls claims. Again, one can achieve two ranges of visual focusand one can effect the change of focus. Husserl would invoke these phenomena to prove the reality of the arrow of intentionality and of the self-object duality. He finds this rigid duality in the personal microcosm. The phenomena are said to prove the arrow of intentionality from self to object, the absolute directed dualism in "experience." I dont endorse the absoluteness or metaphysical conclusiveness of this proof. As to the personworld, the dimensionality which characterizes it, whether or not it is analogous to Husserls intentionality, is not propounded as an absolute. All that is a single philosophical remark. Beyond that, to be brief, Husserl purported to erect a proof of conformist reality on intentionality. Husserl was in a culture of metaphysics (there is no other word for it) which makes him irrelevant here. I dont want to have to deal with the transcendental ego, Husserls use of Erfahrung, etc. A screaming objection to the person-world premise. It elevates my own ignorance as the norm, the criterion, of the universe. I hear people talking in Chinese and the person-world orientation does not allow me to conclude that I am hearing a language of which I am simply ignorant. "Chinese is not a language because I dont understand it." This can be accused of infantile egoism. But to argue the external reality of the Chinese language, as common sense would, makes the existence of Chinese into a transcendental postulate in Schellings sense. "I know the reality of a world which, at present, is rigorously inaccessible to me." Common sense is committed to transcendental postulates about: objectivities surrounding me which are knowable hypothetically but of which I am individually ignorant. Hennix contributed a point to be taken into consideration. Ecstasyone cannot reach this by intellectual analysis in the banal state of consciousness. Referring to the aforementioned meta-technology, how do person-world theory and metatechnological creativity react on each other? Person-world theory can seek to discern the self in meta-technological creativity. What it finds: highly intentional, and elevated, centered activation. Meta-technological discourse cannot itself say that: because as originally conceived it does not see the self with its environs as an integrated phenomenon or totality. So meta-technology has a personal precondition which it cannot understand. We learn that the acknowledgement of elevated or preferred states is another motivation for

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personhood theory. Let me expand a little on the non-intellectual epistemology. We wish to conceive a realm which allows ones personal adaptation relative to ones asserted doctrinal precepts or content to subsist. We are interested, philosophically, if you will, in where the determination of reality comes from. The official line is that the Pythagoreans came to the incommensurability of 1 and [square root]2 because it is simply true. That Einstein came to Relativity Theory simply by transcribing reality. The cases under scrutiny are officially pictured as cases in which the great minds simply detect, or report, reality aright. But what of all the times they told us that they know their knowledge is false and they dont care? We find a systematic meretriciousness in scientific cognizing: which instills standard "delusions," and truncates personal affections, including perception, in standard ways. This exercise is meant to show where what the EL venerates as reality comes from. Devotion to reason, transcription of reality, is not how mathematicians obtain the tenet that 1 and [square root]2 are incommensurable. The non-intellectual epistemology has a subsidiary investigation which analyzes the state of morale of the nondescript person, the person who is not an intellectual or philosophical leader. VI. Toward a rigorous conception a. Formal person-world methodology "The person-world is obviously not an obvious and unarguable immediate." The person-world orientation is a paradoxical and undermining dynamic. It does not have to yield a creed to serve its purpose. If the pursuit of the analysis has the effect of unraveling conventional reality, that is an acceptable outcome. Person-world analysis is addressed to "you the reader." The analysis begins in the culture to which the reader claims to belong already. It invokes the circumstance that "you the reader" ostensibly know a language. In this discourse, the word "I" is interconvertible with you the reader and is to be claimed conjecturally by the reader. The person-world exposition is a text whose source is in principle unimportant. The text invokes the presumed shared culture in which you are competent. The analysis appeals to "world"conceptions which must be ordinarily familiar to a reader in this culture with conventional competences: the ordinary way in which I conceive myself as I cope. The analysis stipulatively

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selects a subject-matter from familiar conceptions: the individuated "conscious world" as it is integrated in action (or passivity or submission as the case may be). The text addresses "you the reader" and engages you: so that you "encounter meaning in it." But this portion of familiar conceptions is highly indeterminate and inconsistent. The analysis immediately selects certain tenets in the familiar conception to be taken literally and rigorously, to the extent of causing other tenets to be downgraded or suspended. In other words, certain tenets are posited literally and rigorously (and thus as rationally prior or elementary). The familiar conception is then scrutinized from this standpoint. (2) Person-world theory proposes that when the totality is conceived as disjoined from, and excluding, individuated palpable consciousness [my awareness], the conception-of-totality amounts to incoherent self-estrangement. It is an incoherent reductionist fiction. Since my environs and my body, along with my awareness, are constituents of the person-world, whatever claims the theory makes are made for the personal microcosmnot for "my mind." To repeat, the totality is taken as palpably conscious. In line with the above, every proposition of the analysis has to have some confirmation from introspection. Validation of the analysis always involves a component of introspection. The result is to utilize the chimerical commonality to unravel itself. Person-world analysis has a devolutional posture toward the purported shared culture. So there is attained an analysis of "my microcosm" or "my encounter of my world." One of the shared notions is that of other people as counterpart sentiences. (Symmetry of peoples claims to the pronoun "I.") The person-world exposition, in the course of analyzing "you the reader" as a personally relative totality, exposes your mental model of counterpart sentiences as being incoherent. After acquiring the analysis, you may step to a higher level of credulity and inject the personworld portrayal into the common notion of counterpart sentiences. (That is, take person-world analysis as a portrayal of other peoples person-worlds.) Again: At a higher level of credulity, this analysis can be bent to explain other peoples mentalities. In other words, it can be bent to become one of the hypotheses in the imaginative synthesis through which I respond to the world. At the same time, the incoherence of addressing other peoples mentalities has been spelled out and remains explicit. It never stops being incoherent. b. Difficulties of the person-word premise 1.i. The very form of language presupposes that many people can claim the personal pronoun; and that "my world" is not a totality, but is counterposed to something else. Indeed, for common

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sense it is obvious that I am only a "particle," surrounded by nature, other people, manufactured environments, etc. It is obvious that I did not originate my own cultural medium, the native language, routine skills, my garments and the "choice" to wear clothes; etc. It is obvious that I am only a particle in, and did not originate, that juncture of nature, people, and culture called "the economy." 1.ii. To posit the individuated ostensible totality as an Absolute would be liable to objections even more formidable than the common-sense objection (1.a).

2.i. When I close my eyes, "my world" undergoes a drastic qualitative alteration. Would this be claimed to be a real alteration (in an external world)? (An ancillary thought. The person-world has "furniture," objectstables, chairs, etc. Yet the usual apprehension of this furniture as objectivities cannot be justified from within the person-world. When we narrow the frame, the result is a configuration without a justification.) 2.ii. The person-world framework cannot treat other people symmetrically with myself. There is no place in my "self-world relationship" to put another persons "self-world relationship." Yet our personal pronouns presuppose symmetry of egos. 2.iii. How does the person-world approach deal with the phenomenon of foreign languages? What is the explanation of the immediacy of my relation to my native language, which immediate relation I do not enjoy relative to foreign languages? 3.i. To insist that the totality have individuated palpable consciousness as constituent poses various difficulties. What to do with "other minds" (which are presumably constitutive to themselves but absolutely inaccessible to me)? What to do with the interruption of my own longitudinal existence by periods of unconsciousness? 3.ii. The accusation that the tenet of the material substrate of Being, and the tenet that the universe embodies an abstract pattern, are foolishly disdained by personhood theory. We may summarize seven snags for the person-world premise. If I close my eyes, is that a qualitative alteration of the world? Do periods of dreamless sleep amount to non-existence of the world? Other minds. Mentally retarded people, nonparity of egos. The Chinese language: even though I dont understand it, its so obviously a code, transcending my microcosm.

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Are my birth and death the endpoints of time? Alteration of the palpable by hypnosis; psychological manipulation and the erasure of features of the environs from perception. To address some of the points. The person-world premise proposes that it is better to approach my own existence when unconscious, and other inaccessibles which common sense demands, as hypothecationsthan it is to begin with a dead universe [an erratic machine] and treat palpable consciousness as a hypothecation or fiction. A short answer to (2.i)-(2.iii) is that they are refractory for any proposed complete, rigorous world-account. (2.i)-(2.iii) are the reefs on which any world-account founders if it tries to be complete and rigorous. the egocentric predicament; the many-minds problem comprehension of language in thought Physics doesnt really attempt to be a complete picture: even though the triumphal literature of science contains many unchallenged bluffs that "mind" has been explained scientifically. (What they dont claim is that physics can explain its own ethics of inquiry and judgment.) A second quick preliminary answer is that I repudiate any attempt to make the individuated ostensible world an Absolute. To the contrary, person-world theory avowedly starts from a mythified subject-matter. Let me give a broader reply to the common-sense objection (1.i). If one starts by accepting the facts of nature, the facts of culture, the facts of economics: as externally established premises from which individual experience has to be deduced, one ends with: an artificially pedestrian reality, a (demonstrably) crippled praxis, a view of individual fate which makes the individual a pawn and a dupe implicitly. (Indeed, a world-view like that of the late and unlamented Soviet Union.) I take such ideology to be manifestly inadequate. It is possible to be much more severe with these objections, to remark that they are an insult to our intelligence. For example, (3.ii). Matter, and a pattern that may be ascribed to it, would be of opposing reality-types; the two realities invoked by the objection are incongruous. What is more, there arent any public intellectuals today who are materialists; which is to say that there arent any public intellectuals who have not "gone back to religion." To hurl materialist catch-phrases today is insultingly insincere. c. from "The Person-World Premise, IV" The person-world orientation begins with a personally relative totality; that totality is non-trivial. By that, I mean that constituents such as

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a.i) factual reality, or a.ii) cognitionand its aspects a.iii) factual perception a.iv) operative epistemology a.v) operative logic are viewed on a par with constituents such as b.i) choice-making (realized choices) b.ii) ostensible coherence of "lived experience" and in particular the self b.iii) modally different states (waking, dreaming, hypnagogic, fever, psychedelic, "morning amnesia") b.iv) thematic personal identity b.v) morale b.vi) loyalties b.vii) introspectively discernable self-deception b.viii) introspectively discernable autosuggestive delusion b.ix) overt self-degradation (all conceived as culturally correlated and not merely idiosyncratic) Two constituents listed in (b) require comment. ii: "Lived experience" typically has coherence, with the self as presence and centered activation, etc. This coherence may become overtly variable or may vanishparticularly in states other than the alert waking state. iii: Modally different states of the person-world. Not "altered states of consciousness": this psychological catchphrase perpetuates the scientific reality-assumptions which need to be overcome. An orientation is needed which elucidates the interactions or interdependencies between such constituents as a.i-a.v and b.i-b.ix: at the palpable, introspectively discernable and confirmable level. (If the notion of causal relation is appropriate at all, then causation would be circular or

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scrambled here.) The analysis does not find an inert or stable person-world. It doesnt find a single "condition" of the person-world. Rather, beginning with the condition called the ordinary person-world, it finds that this ordinary person-world is pervaded with rational incoherences, and that it requires active dishonesty and (introspectively recoverable) repression to be sustained. The "juggling" that upholds the ordinary person-world is habitual and works by being unwitting; that is why its elucidation can be surprising. PERSON-WORLD THEORY 1995 Tutorial

Intermezzo: A recapitulation with topical commentary

If person-world theory is popularized too muchas I have sometimes allowed to happenit becomes a dogmatic (and outlandish?) cosmology, propounded in reaction to the impersonality of physico-mathematical science. Such a result would be a charade. On the other hand, when person-world theory is presented rigorously, it may seem to the popular mind to be bleak, and even grim. I dont apologize for that. The details of a rigorous presentation are found in my essays of the Eighties; and are recalled in Part I of this tutorial. The methodology is highly counter-intuitive, because it is a devolutional methodology rather than a dogmatic one. In this recap, I only hint at the details.

i) I didnt start in 1960 with "materialism" or "mechanization" as the plagues of modern lifeand then invent a dogmatic cosmology to oppose these plagues. ii) I didnt start in 1960 by dogmatically propounding a cosmology called person-world theory. I came to person-world theory in 1980: as a supplement to "cognitive nihilism"/meta-technology. To address lived experience when "individual experience" is integrated around personal identity and purpose.

What (i) mentions would be a maneuver of facile reassurance. Person-world theory is way on the other side of facile reassurance. Its undercutting of "materialism" or "mechanization" is the sideeffect of a devolutional methodology.

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Essaying a recap with a degree of popularization. I will propose an unheard-of "evaluation of reality" (to use language subsequently to be discarded).

As the predominant "evaluations of reality" have sorted themselves out, we may specify two groups which have come to matter most.

A) Common senses naive realism, variously refined. Subjective selves, human minds, in an objective external universe. B) Philosophical idealism: "its all in your headthe universe is my mindso now we can turn the lights off and go home." Such "philosophy" is a benediction which merely counsels resignation. (European philosophical idealism does not invent or change anything.) In no way does it actually get beyond (A); it defaults to the reigning common sense.

To me, (A) and (B) are obviously bankrupt and destructive. To escape them, for me, is a minimal act of self-preservation.

Referring to the texts naming Aristotle as author, do you think that Aristotelian theory is straightforwardly common-sensical? If you do, it is not your lack of education that is the problem. I could communicate with somebody who truly had never been indoctrinated. Your problem is that you have just enough education to give infinite benefit of the doubt to a canon which you have not read, much less reflected on. I meet people who are willing to give the canon too much credit. To assume that superstring physics is common sense, and not only that, but that it meshes with psychology to produce an acceptable and adequate account of "human subjectivity"; and not only that, but that if the account of "human subjectivity" is not complete, then it can be perfected by uniting it with Parisian irrationalism and with bygone occultism. It is an idiotically ramshackle bluffthat is being accepted as straightforward realism.

The official reality-pictures are tortured adaptations of (A). They are highly artificial, and amount to logical shell games. Physico-mathematical science is put together as a highly artificial and derivative construct.

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Moreover, although physico-mathematical science is justified today by technological efficacy, the "germ" of science is a type of abstract cosmic speculation which did not translate to "scientific" or "rational" technology in the straightforward way we now expect. In conjunction with figures such as Newton and Liebniz, Europe propounds a baffling sort of spirituality. God is essential as the apex of the physical universe; at the same time, the crucial step of objectification has already been taken in conceiving the cosmos. (One finds it already in Aristotles Physics and Metaphysics.) In post-Leibnizian physics, the apex is not God but the ghost of God. Only in advanced branches of personhood theory do I attempt to sort out the perversion which is modern European spirituality; there is a mention in the Appendix, where I discuss meanings of the word spiritual.

I expect my audience to have been exposed to a lot of physico-mathematical science and "scientific psychology," to the cliches of psychoanalysis, to the classical "problems of philosophy." I expect my audience to understand that familiarity with s opened a zone of experience which philosophical anthropology had not attempted to address. I expect an audience which is not merely servile, and understands how flimsy the "knowledges" here are, and understands that when you add them all together, you get not a complete answer, but complete incoherence. I presuppose a reader who realizes the degree to which "the world" is imagined, or supplied as "a model." Perhaps this realization requires an unlearning of the obvious as arduous as training for a profession. (A subtle, but legitimate, illustration. The dyad c/g played on the piano. Is it a fifth? Here is a fact of perception which is culturally mutable relative to the popularization of the tempered scale.) My research is meant to be radical enough to get underneath the succession of mirages called "the factual world"to address the mirage at the point of the believers responsibility in hewing to it.

Lets spend a moment on a standard philosophical problem. What philosophy calls the "egocentric predicament." 1) Ones so-called comprehension of reality is an individuated "achievement" or processeven if one attributes it to external influences on oneself hypothetically. 2) Ones consciousness is individuated; one is not a telepath. No matter how necessary the ascription of consciousness to other people may seem, it is, by scientific standards, an "excessive speculation." Person-world theory squarely acknowleges this as a conundrum or snag. Let me add to this another aspect of my sense of crisis. People have tried to rebut me by saying that there is already so much fulfilling communication that intellectual reservations about other minds or mind-to-mind communion is laughable and self-defeating. But in my perspective, what

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is commonly called communication among people is no better than commands to a dog. I dont take it as evident that there is a vibrant community of understanding which makes intellectual reservations superfluous. I assume an audience steeped in these issues. It is then evident that a drastic move is required: otherwise we will not take all this into account, and get above all this.

Topical commentary

The most sophisticated scientists (Marvin Minksy) proclaim an indifferent, purposeless objective world "out there," in which we are just speckswhich we can affect only by manipulating matter. Scientific objectification marches toward an account whose treatment of the self is dogmatically dismissive.

The present civilization exhibits a bifurcation into "two cultures," the scientific and the humanistic. Compensation for "scientific dehumanization" is supposed to be provided by "humanistic studies." Let me detour for a bit to characterize the "humanistic" side of the bifurcated culture. As the territory conquered by scientific cognition grows, the humanities pay a higher and higher price to defend subjectivity, emotion, instinct, etc. The latter are found to be capricious, irrational, infantile, mad. That is inevitable, if a polar opposite to scientific objectivity is demanded. Further impetus was given to this conception by psychoanalysis and its doctrine of the beast in the basement (that human instinctual appetites are the source of all creativity). By the late twentieth century, the humanistic studies undergo a sea-change. The problem of the two cultures remains as real as ever; but something happens to the side of the dichotomy which is supposed to uphold humanness. "The humanities" begin to devour their own. Structuralism and poststructuralism attack the humanness of humanness, construing the person as a mechanism (structuralism) buffetted by chance or chaos (poststructuralism). The self does not exist: this precept appears as dogma in hundreds of university textbooks. The self, it is said, is a pastiche of replications of an anonymous social mind enmeshed in an incoherent symbolism. The underlying essence is not human, it is bestial. But I refrain from writing the social satire which these developments invite. Epistemologically, poststructuralism is a howling hysteron proteron, but since Parisian philosophers do not know epistemology, they dont notice that. From the beginning, the import of poststructuralism has been multiply incongruous. It is screamingly irrational and anti-scientific, but its reduction of mentation (?) to anonymous chaos is immediately analogized to the "baffling" tone of the new physics. Derridas earlier works already equated deconstruction to the latest hard

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science. The claim is expanded in secondary works such as Christopher Johnsons System and Writing in Derrida (1993). After all, deconstructionist architecture, while ungainly and uncomfortable, is hardly untechnological or unmercenary. Meanwhile, ludicrously, poststructuralism has endorsed a "social" mocking of physics which is an outright hoax. The purpose of these remarks is to derive a history-of-ideas lesson about the self-assigned mission of "the humanities." "The humanities" have abandoned their role as the bulwark against scientific objectification. Lately, the neo-Romantic predilection for the capricious, the infantile, etc. has been joined to a crude social-objectivism: to mock the human qualities which Romanticism presumably seeks to protect. Late-European man finds the guarantee of his humanness in brutishness, in gibberish, in gratuitous insolence, in the disappearance of the individual in the anonymity of the herd. The latest fashion amounts to a malevolent behaviorism. (Of course, this commentary is not a rigorous intellectual rebuttal. But before one offers a rigorous intellectual rebuttal, one must have an authentic intellectual experience to contend with, and poststructuralism never sought to provide anything of the sort.)

Militant secularism was a proclaimed stance in the academic world and Leftist politics in the earlier twentieth century. The promise to deliver us from parochialism and superstition was a feature of early analytic philosophy. After the deaths of such founders as Russell and Carnap, this feature was conspicuously abandoned. Taking the contemporary reality-picture wholesale (noting especially that corner of it which ridicules the self), it proves to be unlivable. Consequently, whoever proclaims militant secularism publicly no longer adheres to it privately (if they ever did). Public intellectuals are seen to embrace bygone credulities and dogmas candestinely, as a compensation. Analytic philosophy is now confined to technique; and technique is not supposed to preclude superstition. The latest highbrow discourse grants religion its ancient authority in the most matter-of-fact way.

Again matters of principle

Scientists cannot live with reductionist answers to the "human" questions any more than anybody else can. They get their answers furtively, from bygone occultisms. There is a hidden compartment of anachronistic superstition in their lives. If you pounce on their commitments, and speak of them with the contempt with which they speak of "humanness" in public, they become apoplectically enraged. Science is simply evasion and insincerity wearing abstraction as its public face, and having as its payoff the manipulation of matter in mundane life. The endeavor which I have launched does not countenance such derelictions. Let me make the

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point formal.

1. Scientific orthodoxy is normally shielded from unspecialized objections by professional discipline.

Examples of unspecialized objections: How do you add electrons to protons and get, not another object, but a subject (the so-called experience of consciousness)? Where are human minds located in space? Where is linguistic meaning located in physical nature? Additionally: Where do you put conscious choice-making in the physical universe? Doing science involves "the conscious experience" of striving for a goal. Where does that posture belong in the physical universe and how is it justified as a "choice"? How do you attend respectfully to experience on its own terms? How do you justify moral prerequisites for scientific investigation such as abstention from "fraud"?

2. The scientist clandestinely practices a credulity which could not be defended in public. The evasion and insincerity involved here typify the scientific personality.

Again, my endeavor rules out both of these derelictions.

If you think the idea being proposed is too strange, if you are shocked, that is doltish. I guaranteed that it is strange. Only a naive person supposes that any serious "reality-evaluation" ever consisted of down-to-earth common sense. A serious challenge to the prevailing picture will

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need to overstep the bounds of "sanity." If it didnt, it wouldnt dislocate sufficiently to matter.

The person-world premise has the totality constituted by self bonded to "objectivities." Alternatively, a personal microcosm as the totality. I am told that this formulation risks being misleading. Let me recap where we were half-way through Part I. The picture, conception, is a roundabout one. Person-world analysis gives priority to the personal microcosm, provisionally described as self bonded to "objectivities"relative to a depiction or account of it which you the reader are responsible for interpreting into yourself. Questions about what made the world and what the world is made of are placed in suspension because I dont accept their terms. The person-world premise is "a single book which each person checks out of the library individually."

As an investigation, person-world theory has so far consisted in a natural-language discourse. It awaits "a readers" introspective confirmation (or repudiation as the case may be). Academic psychology views an individual mind as a minute variable in an objective external universe. Inner or subjective reality, the external objective reality, and the phenomenon of language are walled off in separate compartments. Person-world theory is not a psychology. Nor does it "confine the individual to the inside of his or her head." It is a perspective-of-totality and a non-intellectual epistemology. From the outset, it squarely acknowledges the issue of "reality as external sources of frustration." (Selfs coping with objectivities.) It squarely confronts the egocentric predicament. It squarely confronts impersonal knowledges such as physics. The individual "mind" and "external objective reality" are correlative in this analysis: because the vantage-point is the juncture of active integration of the reality-model in the individuated microcosm. In other words, the juncture at which "the framework of reality" is addressed is: the individuals active "cognitive" integrations, moment-to-moment. "You the reader" deploy a (learned, culturally correlated) reality-model moment-to-moment in coping. (Critical scrutiny has already found the consensus reality-model to be an imaginative fiction, and beyond that, willfully self-deceiving and dishonest.) The juncture in the totality which needs to concern us is self bonded to "objectivities" or "external resistances."

The reader is assumed to realize the degree to which "the world" is imagined, or supplied as "a model." Here I must stipulate all that. Person-world theory is always shaped by encountering common-sense issues in a journalistic way and then undercutting them on behalf of an extracultural extremism. It is cheating to address an audience which has not been certified as having unlearned the obvious; but I cant cover everything in every manuscript. Biographic identity itself is a model, pieced together from graded episodic memories separated by

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jump-cuts, and from pieces of paper like birth certificates and school transcripts. That was spelled out in the early person-world manuscripts. When I get this far, my hearers always say, "But thats not common sense!" (Well, I mentioned [the dyad c/g played on a piano] as a hint to the refractory student that there is a culturally correlated spread in facts of perception.) Person-world theory does not have social competence as its destination; it accounts for social competence as a mirage.

Person-world theory is a natural-language discourse devolving relative to "you the reader." [?In principle, the discourse is all of a piecerivers to the same oceanwhether my writings at different times, or submissions by other authors.] Each person "checks it out of the library" individually. You the reader are "the universe" correlative to a discourse which you interpret into yourself. Natural language gains a new indispensability here. At the same time, we find new treacheries in the natural language: as will be spelled out in detail near the end of Part II. I would wish person-world theory to be freed of its dependence on the natural language. Elaborating new media for the transmission of cultural values. Nevertheless, I and my colleagues learned by the end of the Seventies that one has to reach a different place by verbal thinking before wordless media can even gain attention, and before the intended effect will register. PERSON-WORLD THEORY 1995 Tutorial

Part II. High-level affections when "personal experience" is integrated around personal identity and purpose

Forward

VII. Identifying the high-level affections VIII. Correlative modes of affection a. meanings covered by morality b. esthetics proper

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c. character d. comportment-to-death e. despair-as-a-disability IX. Attitude highs and timelessness X. Emotional sensitization and media of evocation XI. On abstract metaphors for spirituality a. mind b. infinity c. light XII. Abstractly defined postures as opponyms

Epilogue: Proactiveness, visionary elevation, reciprocity of personhood

Forward

In the remainder of the tutorial, our declared topic is high-level affectionsI will explain the phrase at length. On the other hand, the vernacular term for our topic is "spirituality." (Another, less enduring term was "meaning.") That was how I had to announce the topic to the student(s) or interlocutors in order to get them to unburden themselves. When physics and brain science came up in the conversations, as I said, the students wanted to believe that the experts had already given perfect answers, even though they didnt know what those answers were. Even though they had agreed at the outset that we needed a new idea, they had no burning dissatisfaction with the official answers. When I announced the topic of spirituality, I found the same situation. There already was a spirituality which already satisfied them. "Spirituality" allows the modern rationalist to drop his trousers, to believe in the elves and the goblins. It was utterly incompatible with the scientific answers to which they had just blindly subscribed, but they couldnt grasp that their beliefs were

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incoherent. And the reason was simple: it was that both of the incoherent positions had social prestige, had a constituency. They would not believe that cracks in the sidewalk could foretell your future, but they would believe in astrology, because it had social prestige. Thus, for them, to say spirituality meant that the problem had been solved and it was quitting time. They had no burning dissatisfaction with socially approved answers, and they could not understand my dissatisfaction. To me, it was idiotic to announce how scientific we all were now, and then to turn around and derive our humanness (and the politics of human rights) from stories from thousands of years ago about men conversing with gods who live in the sky. (Or, the worship of the five-legged frog, if I may express my contempt thusly.) One acquaintance even reproached me for requiring consistency, insinuating that I was being objectionably fastidious. Such are the defenses one encounters. Do I have to say that astrophysics does not give anybody permission to believe in elves and goblins? Do I have to say that astrophysics does not give anybody permission to throw the canons of rationality to the winds? Do I have to say that if you announce elves and goblins as your astrophysics, the profession will ostracize you? If the educated laity is so ready to abandon scientific rationality on weekends, their commitment to it was never worth anything. The net result was that the aforementioned acquaintance was giving the "cultured" status quo a clean bill of health. Really, if somebody feels that way, why am I talking to them? Today, everybody rings in idiotic superstition as the answer when science proves inadequate. They dont care how many billions of years the universe will lastthats just lip service to modernity. They care about themselves. It is their own fate which they want to comprehend with idiotic superstitions. But why is that adequate, why is it credible? Why do they want to entrust the most important things to doctrines which the science they defer to dismisses as trash? The answer comes all too readily: they know themselves to be trash, and saving themselves with trash feels just right. Its a screaming object-lesson for personhood theory.

As I said before, this draft is in transition. I have chosen to retain some of the discussion of spirituality which catalyzed the conversations. Although "spirituality" would be the vernaculars rubric for the entire discussion, I pursue a novel inquiry which will diverge more and more from what "spirituality" has meant to my audience.

After mid-1995, I was able to enrich my treatment of these topics substantially. Here I have mostly preserved the content of 1995 for documentary reasons.

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(H)

VII. Identifying the high-level affections

Our topic is affections, an archaic word for conditions or comportments of the psyche. We are concerned with affections which are palpable. Also, we are concerned in the first instance with affections which are high-level; which presuppose the subjects hierarchical self-organization. I originally offered the "high-level" notion in a chapter in Depth Psychology as a Post-Scientific Modality called "Apperceptive Cogency." Then I transferred the notion from my psychology to person-world theory. To repeat from Part I, III. In lived experience, there is a self-supervision of fleeting sensations and imagery and impulses or tendencies. On awaking from a dream, there is a moment when one grades the memory as a dream. Such examples evince a self-supervision of experiencewhich yields personal identity, etc. This organization is, roughly, hierarchical. Personal identity is "higher" in the scale of self-supervision than sensation, imagery, spasmic movement or action (a sneeze). Pain, thirst, phobic fear are not high-level affections. Personal identity involves your longitudinal judgment of some of your personas as impostures that dont pan out. It involves distinctions of your degree of honesty with yourself. It involves subtle evaluations about behaviors which are disapproved by others and behaviors of which your are ashamed. When the self-supervision goes awry, we say that a person is helpless, legally incompetent, out of control, insane. As examples, morale, despair, etc. presuppose longitudinal thematic identity as their basis. Or, for example, one cannot become romantically infatuated (to put it cautiously) without having a thematic identity which the other person can vivify and upset. In general, from the outset, I conceived the person-world as the realm characterized phenomenologically by these affections. Again, the phenomena are palpable. Emotional responses. Romantic infatuation. Sorrow. Awe. Nimbus-experience. They can be unbidden. We have highly developed capacities to stifle these affectionsthat is, to numb ourselvesonce they arise. But that they arise is not subject to skeptical nullification. Speaking of nimbus-experience, the nimbus occurs in the external fieldyet the consensus reality posits that we supply it, as we do our dreams. A sense-event which is self-supplied imposes itself on youso the story has it. These observations are not "uplift." There is nothing saccharine about these observations. Nothing says that high-level affections have to be pleasant or pleasurable.

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Another consideration which should be explored as we proceed is that some of the affections considered here do not demonstrably presuppose, or need, the hierarchy of self-organization. Yet another surmise is that some affections which are not credulous or judgmental nevertheless arise only in a mature person.

I will want to pass to the extreme standpoint in the Epilogue. At that level, high-level affections which I have just now called palpable could be judged mirages. It is not that the subjects agitation is doubted. It is that the dimensions which the subject imputes to the "models" which occasion the agitation are suspect. Of course, the person undergoing the agitation will be the least likely to consider that "the objective situation agitating me is a mirage of some sort." But that is attachment carefully examined in the early person-world manuscripts. Perhaps you will be forced to leave the city in which you live because of changes in residential rental economics. That may disrupt what you wish to do with your life. I cannot concede a status to the described objective situation beyond that of a mirage. Admittedly common sense is irreconcilably resistant to the lesson that the confronting "objectivities" are a mirage.

Terms which pertain to this realm are spirit, inspiritedness, morale, esteem, dignity, seriousness and originality, [intellectual honesty,] wonder (as might accompany psychedelic apparitions), emotional sensitization, compassion, romantic infatuation, apprehension of gracefulness; responsibility; comportment-to-death; sublime gratification; nimbus-experience; reverie. Other, less beneficent terms are equally evidentiary: despair; [guilt, humiliation,] shallowness, self-hatred, exhaustion, aimlessness, dispiritedness, servility, irresoluteness. The age we live in is such that it is easier to motivate the topic from these infelicitous qualities.

Popular inspirational literature has its own phrase for the topic: what makes a whole person.

As I just noted, I have a conception of "human possibility" specific to me, specific to the extreme standpoint, elicited by "radical empiricism," say. That compels me to say that people have hitherto understood "humanness" or "a real person" wrongly: because of the sectarian perspectives of the cognition of reality to which they have tied the idea. In particular, an evolution ending in the modern European treatments of "humanness," whose debacle I note in the Appendix. (H) Even more fundamentally: the observation I made above that various aspects of "a whole person" amount to mirages. But that is not to say that I am the first person to know high-level affections. Resuming the

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journalistic commentary, high-level affections are culturally correlated. Various traditional cultures appeal to them, and cultivate them, explicitly. (The examples of India and Japan). There must be shared or counterpart affectionswhich do not require my perspective to be launched. I will try to speak of these venerable and generic affections first. Certain qualities are found in traditional cultures without being accompanied by awesome instrumental efficacy; and they can appear in the individual without awesome originality and inventiveness. Emotional sensitization, intellectual courage, respect for ones consciousness, responsibility: none of these are new.

We can learn much from considering what it means to be young. A youth faces, in an unguarded way, the ideals which his or her elders proclaim, and the vocational options which are already established. This ready-made guidance may be mismatched to the youth and even deeply injurious. A young person may be able to survive only by reinventing a branch of human endeavorand that may mean going off the map, becoming socially invisible, going underground. If you are mismatched to the ideals which are proclaimed to youand if you cannot break with the consensus in a "creative" waythen you will be crushed in one way or another. The young person will not come through, and come out on the other side, unless he or she already has certain generic advantages well in advance of knowing what he or she ought to be doing. You have to trust that there is such a thing as a path, at odds with the consensus, which is honorable; even as your elders and peers classify you with the fools, the losers, etc. Something far more difficult than stubbornness is involved here; you are demanding and asserting a nobility which others cannot seelong in advance of knowing what you ought to be doing. What is the capacity to uphold an integrity, at odds with the consensus, long before you find the content you permanently commit to?

Let me explore certain general terms. Anticipatory comportment. It is a basic characteristic of lived experience that one's intentions run ahead of the present, that one plans and projects, that one is mentally ahead of the present moment. To forego or escape anticipatory comportment may not be impossible, but it is untypical of lived experience. [Recognizable sentient life involves an emotional orientation to the future. I must orient myself toward the future and make projections of the future.]

Longitudinal themes in one's life are at issue. One acts not from nothing, but from a mission one has already chosen or assented to. So one comports to one's past biography, one's cumulative identity.

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Hope. The expectation of a gratifying event. Also, the broader meaning of anticipation of a gratifying outcomeas when you anticipate that some preferred longitudinal theme in your life will be vindicated. Even more broadly: the expectation of increasing personal worth, increasing autonomy. See morale, below.

I have made special claims for coherent novelty, for an unprecedented fate, in an individual life. Aside from that, is it meaningful to ask, about any person, what the identity-themes unique to the person might be? The most comfortable identity-themes? The most challenging identity-themes to sustain and uphold? (Is this language inflated in an American way? "The exciting challenge of writing toothpaste ads.")

Self-confidence has a meaning of action uninhibited by timidity, fretting, etc. But it can also mean that I judge myself favorably. I judge myself regarding effectiveness, fulfillment, sanity, etc. (as in "The Person-World Premise, II"). Self-confidence, then, can involve satisfied or hopeful self-judgments.

The original meaning of morale concerns the attitude of groups of subordinates. But we can also speak of the morale of the independent individual. In that case, morale may involve selfconfidence, and the ability to apply oneself to the missions one sets oneself (or assents to). Morale can mean that your life has preferred longitudinal themes and that you anticipate that they will be vindicated.

Shame is self-disgust reflecting other people's disapproval of oneself because one has behaved in an unworthy or derelict way. Envy is distress at one's lack of qualities or possessions and hatred for a person who has them. Both of these are tormenting emotionsmaking one feel like a vehicle of the torment.

As we explore the topic, we will come upon a profound and perhaps unexpected failing in natural language. If we wish to address people in unspecialized terms, as wholes, we are forced to use natural language. But that does not mean that natural language does not have features which betray our endeavor. Syntax has the effect of cutting the spectrum of meanings to create parallels (between meanings) which are highly artificial: as when English says, he has tuberculosis, he has money, he has honor, he has Russian.

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This situation affects our discussion because there are abstract descriptions of attitudes which in fact cover contents of opposite import. They are opponyms, rather like the word cleave.

pride mindfulness of death purposefulness emptiness

Futile debates over what attitudes are spiritually attitudes are provoked because these words cover attitudes of opposite import.

VIII. Correlative modes of affection

I have narrowed the topic to (palpable) high-level affections. Even with the topic narrowed in that way, we accomplish more if we acknowledge that these affections are correlative to modes which have traditional boundaries and labels. Morality. Sense of beauty. Character. Comportment-todeath. (Capacity for humor.) Also, despair and self-hatred apprehended as a disability: a mode which needs explicit recognition. We find, then, that correlative to the high-level affections is a venerable compartmentation. How real is the separation of the moral, the esthetic, character, comportment-to-death, humor, despairas-a-disability, etc.? I dont think the question has ever been asked. Is it of the human essence that these modes are separated; or is it merely a cultural contingency? Another key observation about these modes. Morality, sense of beauty, comportment-to-death, humor do not, of themselves, explain what I call attitude highs (defined in detail in IX to follow). Nor do they explain originality or "genius"; and originality is a quality which I dont want to lose sight of. (That is a reason why I introduce the term character.) Clearly these diverse "modes" can be combined in different societies to yield markedly different cultural profiles. Religious worship can be sensuous ("esthetic") or austere; religion can be or not

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be the source of moral injunctions.

a. meanings covered by morality

Moral conduct means e.g. refraining from injurious selfishnessas a matter of socially instilled obedience. As such, it is not our topic. A person can be fastidiously moral while having no originality, imagination, sense of humor. Originality, imagination, and even sense of humor are not obligations. They are advantages. What is more, there are world leaders who continue to be admired even though they were more or less vicious. There is a topic here which at another time and place must be examined. Great men are expected to live by a different morality.

Morality consists in prohibitions of injurious selfishness; and can be instituted as mere obedience. We should not overlook the underlying assumption that the social system be it slavery, feudalism, or capitalism is just, or at least inescapable. The assumption that transactions which are legal do not injure you, are neutral at worst. Moral compliance has little to do with fully awakened humanness; and, embarrassingly, it has little to do with historic political stature.

I cannot be morally commanded to be another persons soulmate. I cannot be morally commanded to recognize intrinsic stature. I dont owe anybody understanding, or emotional sensitivity and resonance. It is a privilege: to have understanding, sensitivity, resonance to give. In Caesars confrontation with the soothsayer in Shakespeares play, Caesars failure did not consist in abusing another person (except for the minor fault of rudeness). Caesar did not fail a moral test by not heeding the soothsayer. He refused to accept a favor and doomed himself. He did so because he wasnt aware; he was shallow; he was witlessly arrogant. All this notwithstanding, a moral dimension intersects our topic. Self-discipline; not being dominated by resentment or spite; not having an insatiable hunger for comfort. Honesty: not in the sense of not practicing fraud, but in the sense of not being a pathological liar, for example. (The person continually engaged in purloining social status.) These counsels are classified as moral; all the same, they foster "a real person." Also, such a moral affection as compassion is part of "a real person."

b. esthetics proper

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I appeal to an older meaning in which the topic is not art in galleries, but the appreciation of beauty. Beauty in nature, as it was called; not the showcased artifact. Also an esthetics of the fabricated environment (as opposed to the exhibited artifact). Yet another meaning was the claim of beauty which used to be made for mathematics. We have such a word as gracefulness as one of the meanings of beauty. To appreciate gracefulness is an aspect of humanness or of "a real person"; but now this trait is classified as esthetic. The capacity to enjoy gracefulness is an advantage, not an obligation.

c. character

I use the word character for a topic which receives too little attention. In the literature of victimhood, spokespeople of the oppressed see the applause for genius, and conclude that the Establishment gives genius to the privileged as a gratuity. They then demand that the Establishment give them genius; they want to receive it like a diamond brooch so that they can wear it as a status symbol. Setting aside all the nuances of the topic, this conception nullifies the very meaning of genius. The spokespeople in question dont understand the difference between being given something, and having something to give. Since the possession, or lack, of seriousness and originality is of overwhelming importance here, I need to provide a decisive reply to those who want to receive seriousness and originality as a gift from the Establishment. My provisional answer turned on the inseparability of your identity from the course of your choices; your responsibility in who you are. Its not morality: because its not obedience, and its not limited to the issue of not selfishly injuring other people.

i. One's identity cannot be divorced from one's cumulated choices in given circumstances. You must expose yourself now; you cannot wait for the future utopia to decide and to act (to take a stand). Rigorously, identity cannot be divorced from choices (creatively) assimilating given circumstances. If you strip a person of his or her cumulated choices in given circumstances, you get not a more accomplished person, but a no-one. (The question of living divested of cumulated choices in given circumstances is so extreme that it would confuse the level if I tried to incorporate it here.)

ii. For many people, it can be said: Social conditions do not absolutely bolster you, nor do they absolutely crush you. Social conditions militate in many directions. For many people, it is unwarranted and cowardly to conclude that the universe crushes you. The universe presents you with a profile of opportunities and restrictions which has no ultimate consistency; it is up to you to make of it what you will.

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As a member of society, I find myself inundated with ready-made solutions for everything. But these solutions are not automatically binding on me. I have to choose, and to go on choosing, whether or not I will accede to these ready-made solutions.

iii. As prospective recipients of a cultural message, people are not empty boxes. Every "unimpaired" person is willful. Every unimpaired person already "thinks" something. Every unimpaired person upholds a biographic identity. Every unimpaired person already pursues something. I have never met an unworthy person who was not resolute in defence of the nothing he or she had. People stubbornly glorify crass lives; that is the reason for the popularity of certain genres of cinema and TV.

The conclusion is that your identity cannot be separated from your choices, you are not an experiment that can be redone. Humans do not run on rails like a train. They invent their goals and they improvise their preparation for life. Whatever you accept as lifes true goal, and whatever you accept as the perfect preparation for it, the responsibility for your acquiescence (if it is even that passive) is yours. Again, we need an adequate perspective of the capacity for originality, for moving into uncharted territory. "Genius." Lack of character is an evasion of responsibilityone who believes that one has no contribution in ones fortunes. The slang for such a person is "a worm." That is not to deny that routine success may have the character of a windfall to social identity. But that is a topic for a discussion with sociological premises.

d. comportment-to-death

Death can be preceded by a long period of debilitation and incapacity, which may be accompanied by gloom. But just as much, we dread a sudden death in which we have no time to adopt a suitably morose and regretful attitude. (Being blown up in an airplane.) There are emergency situations in which to give up hope will assuredly bring death. (Being adrift at sea.) There are many instances in which people prefer death to life. (The euthanasia candidates.) The discussion of comportment-to-death aims at a lesson such that a long course of debilitation and gloom is not the point of the lesson. Indeed, a non-biological definition of death is suitable here: death is longitudinal finitude, the end of personality. Then comportment-to-death becomes comportment to the longitudinal limit. The latter phrasing is not pretentious; it gets to the required level of generality. In the back of ones mind is the threat of a limit on oneself which absolutely

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isolates one and nullifies all meaning or worth. "You cant take any of your achievements to the grave," as it is said. This attitude must be explored without relying on any particular medical biology or mythology of the soul.

What is my anticipational picture of my own death? The latter is presumably based on my registering deaths of others during my lifebut strictly, deaths which I observe are not commensurate with the notion of my death. What does the fear of unexpected sudden death mean (as if I unwittingly booked myself on a flight which crashed)? Phenomenally, it is fear of being robbed of a future; and of being cheated of all worth; as well as fear that people to whom I matter will be robbed of me. The problem of death as a problem of apprehensiveness. Extinction of the psyche. Being isolated in a way that divests you of all meaning, that cheats you of all worth. Deaths power to render any individual life meaningless. The moment of death divests even a "fulfilled" life of all meaning (robs you of a future and cheats you of all worth); isolates you, consigns you to the society of the cemetery.

I do not know when I am going to die, whether it will be before or after the future which I continuously project. I should not attempt to supply the personal worth of my life from posthumous fame connected to a social movement (or any future beyond my death?). It is not a virtue to be too "cowardly" or "selfish" to ever risk my life. The self-creation of my character can at times require that I take the risk of not fleeing or surrendering to an antagonist. *NOTES (22)

e. despair-as-a-disability

How many people secretly feel that they are nothing and that they have nothing? Lack of motivation, or purpose from within. Aimlessness and uselessness, boredom. That they remain alive is a triumph of life as a phenomenon of nature. This disability, impairment is held (in Islam, for example) to call for a healing, for medicine, in a metaphorical or holistic sense. [At present, there has been a sea-change. The condition is called clinical depression, and is viewed exclusively as a biochemical abnormality. The remedy is one of a family of pills. It would not be sensational, except for two reasons: the life-situations which are captured for treatment with pills; the sheer number of urban middle-class individuals receiving the treatment.]

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Kants second or third Critique, which definitively ensconced ethics or esthetics as a "branch," did not similarly ensconce the topic of despair as a branch.

IX. Attitude highs and timelessness

There are various situations in which one accedes to "a radiant occurrence," a glow, to relish of the destination. [relish at the destination] I label these as attitude highs with a conscious edge of patronization. (The tacky phrase "blissed out.") That is to underline the equivocal value of these situations. A felicitous experience with a psychedelic drug can afford this result without your [having to earn it]. [Rejoinder: if you get it, you earned it.] One of the qualities of the attitude high is the sense of having escaped differentiation and discursive thinking. Then it can seem elemental and not dependent on the hierarchy of selforganization. All the same, it is evidently a phenomenon of adulthood, not childhood. Also: the value of the attitude high lies in prolongation; the sense of persisting at the destination.

Discussion. An LSD trip throws you to the different state of consciousness, but the recreational users didnt have the preparation to take it as anything but entertainment. What I thought after giving my lecture "From Fundamental Philosophy to Meta-Technology" in Stockholm in 1979. The locals did not bring the worthiness to glean anything from it. Hennixs rejoinder. A psychedelic trip is too heavy to be "just entertainment." Then: the recreational users are entitled to be shallow; they are entitled to life. The high-dose acid experience of being in the light is self-justifying; but it is also deceptive. (You cant just bliss out to deliverance.? Is that an apposite comment? Deliverance need not be claimed by the subject.)

The attitude high is palpable and is not tied to any religion; nor does it depend on credulity. Thus, it can be misleading to link reflections about the attitude high to reflections about religion. Nevertheless, there is a connection. "Eastern practice" is characterized by proposing to proceed to the attitude high without further

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ado.Or, to achieve it via discipline in which this condition is conceived as the one purpose. "If I can erase differentiation from my mind, that will overcome reality and give me magical efficient causality." This Eastern surmise about how to acquire magical powers is a mistake. Let us stop being gallant toward the "Eastern salvations" which operate primarily on attitude. India and Pakistan build atomic bombs, and shift their economies to computer programming. The devotee assents by default to science, technology, economy, the bifurcation of subjective/objective, interior/exterior, human insignificance in the astrophysical universe. Hinduism grows out of fables about divine people which are like baubles for children. More about mythology in a later section. Buddhism promises what amounts to an attitude highin some versions, a sensuous relish. It is in default on the intellectual and practical issue of reality as resistance. It deals with the human necessity of doing via an insincere cleverness: [a posture that] "nothing matters." "I can like everything and therefore nothing matters, so I am above it all." Let us spend a moment on versions of Buddhism which say that they enable you to "transcend Ego." [The Buddhism that reconciles you to everyday life.] You are going to do it by including a daily meditation period in an otherwise everyday life. If religion really wanted you to transcend social role, and the hierarchical content of the personality, it would tell you that everyday life and its purposes are obstacles. If it wanted you to find what being without a personality is like, it would tell you to sever contact with other people, to avoid threatening environments, and to avoid participation in mundane activities, institutions, purposes. Insofar as the practices "to transcend Ego" don't take this direction, I suspect them of being compensations. The actuality of the practices is self-hypnosis and a highly willful, selfish cultivation of indifference, a willful numbing of caring. The practice which religion calls meditation is designed to support everyday life and its purposes, as opposed to obstructing and challenging everyday life. To divert the venture of transcending ego to this pathetic path is more of religions malice.

Certain of the arts of ancient or traditional societies afford attitude highs. Those traditional performances are simulations of happiness which presuppose the dichotomy of professional, virtuoso entertainer and passive audience. When the performance is over, the bright lights are turned off, the props are packed away, the hall is emptied, and the theater is shut, then performers and audience alike crawl back to resume their desolate lives.

The attitude high, then, can seduce deceptively. If modern civilization is to be superseded by a civilization which respects the ecstatic condition, cerebral examination has to take place. The attitude high tempts you not to take the work seriously. It's like putting on sunglasses and deciding that you are unscathed by the sordidness of society because you are cool.

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It is not stupid, is not to be scorned, to challenge the logic you have internalized [been inculcated with], and to challenge it in the alert waking arena. You grapple with some of the structures blocking receptiveness to ecstatic experience. Contending with logic affords cognitive disillusionmentand even more, affords the new logical experiences (such as are gained via my illusion-supports). You accede to a wondrousness which is different from the attitude high. The attitude high has you feeling silly for worrying about intellectual structure. It has you telling yourself that it is more important to relish the destination than to strive [undergo the work of reaching the destination]. In fact, your effortless escape from the sordidness of the world was a temporary respite which depended on sequestering yourself.

There may be occurrences in my life which are rich: in that through them, I surmount the dread of being cheated by death. That is one sense of fulfillment or plenitude. The attitude high. But also: an intellectual insight of great scope. Again, the unique value of the attitude high lies in prolongation; the sense of persisting at the destination. Apprehensiveness is overcome by relish at the destination. So-called "time stopping." [So-called timelessness.] (Actually an escape from apprehensiveness? More like a different quality of time?) To locate such experiences in a timeseries of events is to lose their point.

To conceive an event as occurring in a time-series is to ascribe to it the banality of things which come and go. The empiricist construction of a subjective time as a preparation for physics must rule out any orientation to "radiant" occurrences. This observation is one example of how personworld considerations shape the artificial, imaginary universe which the physicist seeks and finds. The physicist gets the brutal, numb reality which he wants and deserves.

Let me spell this remark out in a little more detail as an intimation of how these considerations interact with "physical reality." Even if the example is premature and weak, its suggestive value is important.

i) The construction of linearized subjective time is rationally prior to the construction of the physicists artificial time. ii) Radiant experiences actually belie the uniform linearization of subjective time. "By keeping you in the moment," as it is said.

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You cant have it both ways. You cant leap forward to physical time, to rectify subjective time [thinking that you correct subjective time], when you havent secured subjective linearization yet. If you ask physicists why they dont take radiant episodes into account in their apprehension of time, they say "we dont know how." Thats not their reason. They dont want to take it into account. Let us also note that physics is justified by the immediate and comprehensive power to manipulate matter in mundane life only lately. This goal is not in the forefront in the classic texts.

X. Emotional sensitization and media of evocation

joy (awe, the luminous) the morose and the macabre when sublimated (Tantric painting?) the sombre; inconsolable losses

A community's "tradition," symbolism, ritual, etc.all are emotionally charged. Different cultures are specific: promulgating markedly different values, cultivating markedly different human faculties. Emotional sensitization is correlated with cultural tradition; and with mythology or concrete imagery. The particular inherited culture; and the way that it both actuates and hobbles those native to it. This phase must be considered one source of my emotional sensitization or capacity. A person has a native culture just as much as he or she has a native language. You don't reach advanced human possibility by becoming more and more vague. You reach it by becoming more and more particular. Such advanced possibility can be appreciated from outside the "nationality"; yet is a living practice only from within. I dont mean to praise tradition in the abstract. What we find specifically is that traditional

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societies manifest a sensitivity which is glaringly absent in modern culture; at the same time, they are superstitious, and cruel and autocratic. One may well seek to uncouple from tradition. As to why the world confronts us with unreasonable alternatives, as we see in this case, it is outside the scope of this discussion. So the collective creations called cultures are undeniable as sources of "richness"of the content which might be called the "there." But then there is an interplay of tradition and originality. One aspect: the vernacular culture of Africans brought to the U.S. was shaped with great originality into a new tradition. Another aspect: how does the particular tradition which is a birthright relate to the universality of human issues? Perhaps a key is that culture is layered, with different layers having different scopes. (The Roman alphabet has greater scope than given languages.) To repeat, a definite culture is both an enabling medium and a cage confining the individual (a cage which transcends individual control). The level at which one works may be "native" to narrower or broader groups of people. Does the move to a broader scope entail a loss of particulars, as happens with abstraction? Often yes, but not necessarily.

non-pictorial arts

Vicarious and sublimated affective experience "conveyed" by thematic modulation in a musical language. Incidentally, I derive much from Hindustani music without knowing the very specific mythology and codified explanations that accompany it. Visual ornamentation. A graceful image which is beyond the threshold of perceptual comprehension, which I can sense to have pattern, but cannot grasp the pattern in perception, evokes awe. The principle of Islamic tracery. The immense gulf between theseand twentieth-century Europes "abstract painting" and certain modern musics employing "private languages."

One consideration in mythology is that it is images, the more concrete the better, which evoke the affections which I call sensuous relish or relish of the destination. And yet, a mythology cannot be the answer for us; so how do we proceed without these images? Some of Hennixs workalso the 1979 Kitchen concertshowed how a novel medium, a personal language, might [convey in the manner to which we aspire] without depending on a common mythology.

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XI. On abstract metaphors for spirituality

There are a number of venerable attempts to find a principle for spirituality. I could have reviewed them along with the modes of affection, but I preferred to wait until we had explored the subject-matter rather widely. Here I delve into history of ideas for the heuristic benefit. The influence of Aristotelian and Leibnizian theology on modern scientific formulations is still urgently relevant.

a. mind

There is a long tradition of finding the principle of spirituality in "the mind." The hope for survival of death focuses on survival of the ontologically autarkic "mind." "The mind" is found to elevate humans above animals. There is a long-standing philosophers ethic that the most worthy person is the person who controls his or her desire for corporeal comfort, and devotes him- or herself to contemplation. I live the life which various philosophers and theologians endorsed as ideal: insofar as I have reflective thought as my vocation, and maintain a tolerable level of comfort rather than seeking opulence. But I chose that more from default than because I idealize contemplation. In much culture and much historical experience, the instinctual and the refined are constructed as opposite poles. An anthropologist would say that shame, modesty, and discipline are universals of human life. That implies that the conquest of instinct is what elevates humans to nobility. Somehow, "the Dionysian" gets socially constructed in a package with the sordid, the scabrous, lack of character, exploitation. (Sacred prostitution in pagan cultures. Inebriation.) All the same, I am not convinced that what are culturally called the instinctual and the refined are at opposite poles. Do unworthy alternatives set up this polarity? Banal clutter and abuse are inimical to exaltation; thus everyday life, in historical experience, has been found to be inimical to enlightenment. But again, the outcome is due to unworthy alternatives. Ideally, one would not renounce communal existence as contemptible; one would reconstruct it.

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["Outcomes set up by unworthy alternatives." All the same, the lesson remains that if one adopts certain personal goals, then one discovers a certain code of conductfar from what is comfortable to the average personwhich is realistically required if one is to progress to those goals. One discovers a personal code; or perhaps one is herded to it by the school of hard knocks. There is no point today in talking about learning this code from a mentor, even an atypical one. Todays intellectuals glorify rakish, pandering conduct. The self-motivated contemplative and ascetic life is unpopular as it has never been. One is pushed toward a non-trivial discovery of a code of conduct (else one loses oneself). Let me change the subject, and make an observation about "any person." One has a stature which one can come to appreciate only by trying to win oneself. Nevertheless, ones stature extends beyond any purpose which one can contrive. Changing the subject again, let me recall that it is a privilege to have understanding, sensitivity, resonance, to give; that it is a privilege to be capable of seriousness and originality. The first two of these lessons are faint, long-term lessonswhich I neglected in previous years. But having come to the present topic, these three lessons together cast an unexpected light on it, and must be considered carefully. They are orientationswhere previously I saw no orientations.]

To continue with the ontologically autarkic mind, I give it no credence. Further, I give no credence to the schemes of self-aggrandizement which were based on uncovering ones autarkic mind. (The Swamis magic.) The new conception of possibility in my perspective is evident from my cumulated writings on meta-technology, etc., already mentioned in Part I. It has nothing to do with isolating an autarkic mind. So we have the perspective of "spirit" found in the philosophers ethic. All the while, the vertical polarity of matter and spirit is a metaphysic of unfair choices, and one would ideally escape it. The preferential view of "the mind," then, is a rule of thumb motivated by what seemed realistic to past generations. Its importance stems partly from regrettable social reality and partly from magical beliefs.

b. infinity

There was a tradition which crystallized in neo-Platonism and reached an apex in early modern Europe. Following on the antithesis of instinct and refinement, the path to spiritual realization is

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pure philosophical cognition. The mind is turned from the horizontal to the vertical, to the sky, to higher and higher abstractions and to greater and greater compass; the mind looks higher and higher in the chain of causation. One understands that the ultimate of possibility is the completed infinity of actualization and puissance. The seeker cognizes God as infinite Being and power; that weds the mind to God. There are differences between Vedanta, neo-Platonism, and Thomism which it is not my purpose to register here. Generically, the mind is turned toward the limit of abstraction and the totalization of possibility; that evokes an awe considered to be crucial for spirituality.

... infinity cannot be ascribed to God in respect of multitude, seeing that it has been proved that there is but one God, and that there is no composition either of parts or of accidents in Him. Nor may we say that He is infinite in respect of continuous quantity, since we have shown that he is incorporeal. It remains therefore to inquire whether infinity is becoming to Him in respect of spiritual magnitude. ... in God the infinite is understood only negatively, because there is no bound or end to His perfection, and He is the supremely perfect being ... Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Ch. XLIII

The notion of vastness appears in various cosmologies and traditions of worship. The notions of completed infinity and of infinite puissance were themes in the modernist revolution of the seventeenth century. As we see, the infinity in question was denied to be quantitativeuntil the modern era, when it was argued that infinity is necessarily quantitative. (Bolzano, Paradoxes of the Infinite.) That was the issue which belied the inspirational literature that wanted "the infinity of transcendence" to be spiritually intuitive. The entire chapter was in fact a massive injection of neo-Platonism into theologysubsequently conditioned by Aristotelian and post-Aristotelian natural philosophy. All schemes of elevating the mind through the contemplation of the infinite echo neo-Platonism. The ontological hierarchy of participations, culminating in some impersonal infinite, or in Being. (There was also modern Europes notion to the effect that the subject is an infinity, introduced by Kant? The inner infinity.) What the inspirational literature had in mind was meditation or spiritual reverie: autosuggestive delusion, a cultivation of humility, and of aspiration, via delusional fantasy. It was preposterous, because any intellectual substantiation of infinity got trapped in sectarian positions in analytic philosophy. In modern Europe, infinity becomes wedded to the mission of physico-mathematical science. (Galileo, Leibniz, Newton, etc.) (Already Greece had elaborated the fanatical mysticism of objectification.) As I say over and over, the spirituality of Leibniz and his contemporaries will

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drive relentlessly to the conclusion that we ourselvesthe affectionsare the imperfection which must be eradicated.

c. light

The notion that "light" is the principle of spirituality is a broad tendency in archaic thought. This notion that "light" is correlative to spirituality is defensible. Perceptual conditions strongly affect mood. And there is more to it than that: there are experiences of non-physical white light at moments when one is "transported" (as archaic English called it).

XII. Abstractly defined postures as opponyms

Abstractly defined postures which are traditionally held to matter spiritually can be presented either as virtues or as liabilities. It is a feature of natural language itself, which assigns the same or parallel phrases to phenomena of opposite import. Like the abstract metaphors for spirituality, I could have reviewed these postures along with the traditional modes of affection, but I preferred to wait until we had explored the subject-matter more widely. The following are examples of abstractly defined affections traditionally held to matter spiritually, with their meanings as virtues and as liabilities.

self: to honor ones uniqueness and possibility a banality of grasping and mundane role

awareness:

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deliverance means increasing it an illusion, bondage

emptiness [elimination of awareness?]: escape from illusion; the unsayably significant shallowness, hollowness, burn-out

effortlessness: instinct, knack wanting reward gratuitously, without effort

purposiveness [striving]: meaning, vigor regimentation, submergence in the means, vain bustle

aimlessness: openness, escaping the mundane burden of personality boredom and uselessness

aspiration self-ennoblement

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greed

constancy: integrity rigidity

plasticity: balance in unstructured situations imitativeness following from hollowness

pride: dignity foolish self-importance, self-sufficiency

humility: respect for what faces you, acknowledging your limitations cowardice, subservience

the mysterious or infinite: awe and possibility, the endless a belief in an inaccessible indifferent externality which makes you insignificant

mindfulness of death:

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strips you of greedy goals, of mercenary, grasping wants morbid fear: panics you into a search for quack compensation

Much of what is called spiritual wisdom counsels this or that "inhuman" extreme (e.g. extinction of self, attainment of emptiness)by trumpeting one of the foregoing words as a slogan. Assuming that the virtue expressed by the slogan is self-evident. But natural language does not cooperate. The wisdom in question is facile or even a sham.

Epilogue: Proactiveness, exaltation, reciprocity of personhood

Luminous awareness

To develop at all, to try to accede to anything not already imposed or given, is not an impersonal act. So, there is a deep relationship between esteem and morale, and what one impersonally finds about factual reality. This is so problematic that it cannot be taken for granted; and must be spoken about explicitly. There is also a deep relationship between esteem and morale on the one hand, and the way in which one treats ones faculties and ones emotional sensitivity on the other. Much can be learned from old cultures, but to me, luminous awareness, in itself, is not about tradition or nostalgia. Given the way that historys ranking of reputations is rigged, one must consider "seceding from history," in the words of one of my earlier essays. There is a worthy role for impersonal "knowledge" or thinking. A way of life should be confirmed by its resilience in an environment of testing, pluralism, and self-consciousness. "Personal liberation" is work; one has to work through life. Given these views, I find many of the supposedly sophisticated life-attitudes advanced by religions to constitute posturing. The seeking of insight should not be expected to be a selfish hygiene of happiness. It should not be expected to be a detachment from ones own life, or to be the extinction of ones self. Pious, cheery imperturbability is a facade. The willful, selfish cultivation of indifferencethe numbing of loyalties and of caringis shown up when it allows the individual to fulfill a conventional social role in which every mundane thing remains the same.

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I reject that the benefit of luminous awareness should be a passive attitude or sensibilityor compensation or consolation (conjoined with acquiescence to todays science, todays technology, todays mode of life). But the inherited culture is not a waste of time; it is a stage that has to be worked through. Today, the possibility of metamorphosing reality will have to proceed from the disintegrating structures of a sophisticated civilization. The notion that utopia could come from a simple repeal of civilization and regression to a past mode of life only blocks our apprehension of human possibility. The question of factual reality is interactive with human self-image and with the meaning of human action. It is important to personalize the question of ones posture toward factual reality. In personal terms, self-consciousness about so-called factual reality means the opportunity in life to grapple with deceit, gullibility, insincerityeither as imposed by inheritance and conformism, or as allowed by ones own compliance. (I dont mean dissimulation at the level of prudence; I mean the embracing of self-deception as the principle of ones life in some demonstrable way.) There are any number of counteracting considerationsdemoralization, fashion, loneliness. All the same, one has the opportunity to gain a considered and mature victory over gullibility, deceit, insincerity. At any time that it becomes possible to be self-conscious about the inherited view of factual reality, and to go beyond it in an operative way, we accede to the level of shaping the terms of life, and not only acquiescing to them. There is a mastery, or plasticizing, of the constraints imposed by so-called factual realityand we accede to an uncanny life-world. For me, there is no question of apologizing for this as "worth doing." In my perspective, factual reality is conceived also as being created by technologyby instrumental activity. But what this means for me is very different from what it means for past and present cultures. For me, it is a matter of the invention of new instrumental modalities which involves the invention of new mental abilities. The dispelling of deceit and gullibility enters concomitantly with the awakening of ones faculties and with emotional sensitization: yielding intellectual techniques which supersede the compartmentation of faculties characterizing the present cultures. So it is that new mental abilities are invented. A scheme for comparing different cultures will wish to conceive of the awakening of all of ones faculties, and of the range of ones emotional sensitization, as distinguishable from ones posture towards factual reality. And the person who seeks to do what I envision here will find that there are faculties and sensitivities (involving mentation and involving personalistic relations to other people) which have the characteristics of windfalls to individuals. For the individual who has the faculty to begin with, life will progressively elicit it. Possession of such a faculty or sensitivity is evinced by highly distinguished communications to minorities who are receptive (in the "arts," for example). (If this constitutes an elite, it is unplanned and self-selectedand while there is no reason for it to remain invisible, neither is it guaranteed to achieve fame or wealth.) As for the nondescript person who lacks the faculty or the sensitivity, it cannot be given to that person from without, and it is not latent in that person. So the lack cannot be remedied. What is involved is not only "aptitude," but unalterable features of morale, commitment, etc.seemingly the individuals whole fate. Apart from this, there are of course variations in what is called sensibility among people who are equally sophisticated.

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Emotional sensitization and the awakening of faculties are also culturally correlated. When we apply the above scheme to past, achieved cultures, we find that the dispelling of gullibility, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the awakening of faculties, or emotional sensitivity, need not go together. The historical record suggests that democracy and rationalism may be accompanied by all-pervading commercialism, and thus by crassness and banality; and that nobility may accompany despotism, superstition, squalor. Addressing this last point, to be aware of dimensions of human potentiality which hitherto were supported only by different culturesand to hope to find a unitary experience which transmits many of themmay be an unprecedented undertaking. In any case, even if seeking to transmit all of these dimensions in a unitary experience is too ambitious, to nurture any of these dimensions in oneself (which also means forestalling demoralization) gives one a chance at something like a metamorphosis in the course of a life. What has been achieved by other peoplein particular, in old culturesselectively shows what is possible beyond the provincialism of ones birth and ones era. In an entire lifetime, one can follow up only some hints provided by what others have done: to awaken ones faculties; to achieve the level of astuteness and integrity to break through socalled factual reality and to become an exemplary presence for illumination. It takes a lifetime because, after all, we spend so much energy in compromise, in just coping, in recuperation, in indulging ourselves. One may ask about a given occupation or pastime, then, whether it is anything a sane person would freely do. Does it advance the metamorphosis, the illumination, which is before us as a possibility?

I may interject that this commentary may seem to stress intellectual integrity or lucidity over feeling. But one has to read carefully. Feeling is acknowledged here. As for my showcasing of intellectual integrity, there are good reasons for it. What I want to emphasize most is my call for the supersession of the dichotomy of thinking and feeling.

In personhood theory, I evolved a definition of dignity in mindfulness of Hennixs exhortation to visionary elevation. To elaborate, Hennix did not consent to mere waking consciousness (the mundane) as the arena, but wanted to speak of visionary elevation in whatever sense of that phrase we could justify. (The realizable visionary impulse.) When I adapted the word to my perspective, I could not avoid declaring that I have a very different conception from a contemporary scientist of what is materially possible. In my adaptation, self-actuation is relative to meta-technology.

Dignity is one's supportive expectation from oneself of responsible caring, emotional receptivity,

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independence, steadfastness, ability, honesty, astuteness (and such traits).Relative to the perspective of personal faculties and personal possibility allowed by meta-technological dismantling of culturally correlated credulity and objectification.

The conception, then, was an interpretation of exaltation. It was not a contribution to a definition of the dignity which all have in common which appears in theology and is invoked in "human rights" doctrine. After all, the latter takes factual reality as an unexamined given. All the same, Hennix paid tribute to the notion of the intrinsic worth of every person in saying, as quoted in IX, that even shallow people are entitled to life.

Referring to the venture of plasticizing reality, "radical empiricism" is the vantage-point. One is enabled to rotate the determination of realitythrough a combination of principled hypocracy (selecting one's arenas of engagement), and destabilization. Meta-technology: immanent destabilization of the ambient medium of thought, of "mundane consciousness." Then you engage the mundane world in order to press the consequences of its incoherences. Accommodate, or engage, the delusion in order to destabilize and metamorphose it. To move from one determination of reality to another. Intervene in the ordinary world to undermine and transform it. But who and what is the doer? Meta-technology has no commitment to the social-thematic ego. But that does not settle the issue. Engaging the mundane world in order to rotate the determination of reality presupposes centered activation

which is self-respecting and inwardly assured which admits "skeptical detachment" which is energized which is analytical which is persistent.

This self goes unexamined in meta-technology.

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Engaged in meta-technology, you plasticize, metamorphose "reality." You gain access to what is beyond ordinary personhood by actively metamorphosing the ostensible world or ordinary person-world. You dissociate to plasticize/mutate; and then to eliminate the subject-object interface.Always within the palpable (not necessarily the ostensible). You get rid of ordinary personhood to swim in uncanniness. Visionary elevationor exaltation deriving from escape from mundane credulity and from achieving manipulative power over the determination of reality. Engage the mundane in order to destabilize it. Fragment it, and use the fragments as raw material for alternative realities. The extreme standpoint anticipated in VII. Whoever has the capacity to "rotate" the ostensible world or cultural determination of reality is in a position to make him/herself disappear to him/herselfwithout reductionist half-fantasies. From the vantage point of radical empiricism, your longitudinal identity would have to be a catalyst which would be discarded. You make yourself disappear to yourself in a nondepersonalizing way.

Let me contrast with older notions of "manifesting enlightenment" and "ecstasy." Metatechnology is not an enterprise of getting rid of matter, and then ego. You do not dissociate to escape to mind, and then to mind-beyond-mind. Rather, one accedes to a world and a technology (praxis) which are not things.

Reciprocity of personhood means that meta-technology will not be able to be comprehensively realized in a collectivity in which a privileged class lives off of goods and services provided by a servile class.

The new mode of life excerpted from "Escaping Social Reality" of 1992

We apply to the life-world (lived experience) an understanding shaped by the intellectual dissection of the framework of objectivity. We find the life-world (lived experience) to be an integration of:

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substantial, operative interdependencies of awareness and objectivity; the conventionalistic grading of experience (as to "realism"); logically impossible situations (states of the world)i.e. situations requiring simultaneous mutually exclusive descriptions in the medium of thought inherited from scientific civilization.

The principle of the personality's orientation in "reality" is: consciously to maneuver through the logically impossible world-states, manifesting instrumental mastery over objectivities inherited from the previous civilization. (I.e. scientific objectivities).

Self-subsistent objectivities, and affirmative consistent theories, are no longer sought as foundations of reality.

The foregoing cannot be achieved merely by adopting a neutral, inert mental state, by positioning oneself mentally relative to propositions. Sustainable inspiration (exalted centered activation and presence) and uncanny states of consciousness are required.

The principles of evaluational processing of experience (or grading of experience) which underlie a novel determination of reality are shared or collective. Only thus can novel determinations of reality be [exteriorized] promulgated in the life-world. The novel determinations of reality are linked to intersubjective emotional gratification. Only thus can the novel determinations of reality appeal to a community.

The other persons have parity of "station in life" and parity of authority in the culture with "the self" ("this individual," myself). Only thus can they stimulate inspiration and uncanny states in "this individual." It follows that the new mode of life is not compatible with a social order in which most people are

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consigned to material servitude. Not only would the sought-for inspiration not appear; the uncanny instrumental activity or praxis would not appear. So its not like Pakistan and the atomic bomb (or the priesthood in ancient Egypt)advanced technology coexisting with a population of paupers or slaves.

The community from which people concretely originate and "learn to feel" becomes the same community that pursues mastery over scientific objectivities and gains an uncanny or ecstatic sense of the world. Inasmuch as the required shared principles of grading experience, and the required intersubjective emotional gratification, connect, a person-configuration freed from demeaned pragmatism is evinced. Here uncanniness and ecstasis are positioned as notions reactive to everyday banality. In the new mode of life, such counterposition would no longer be necessary.

The individual experiences "desirables" as qualitatively specific.

Individual and the collective entertain spontaneous "amusement" or "play" ("brend"), without seeking to displace or objectify it.

Sensuous-concrete vehicles for the collective expression of exalting values are encouraged.

Individual and collective are receptive to future novelty which is unpredictable and incomparable and yet is coherent or thematic.

To the present civilization, the new mode of life would seem a waking-dream-reality or enchanted reality.!

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