Encountering Otherness as a Waveform
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 30 Sep 2013
In The Light of a Wave Theory of Being
Human civilization has a serious “otherness problem” — as indicated by the media on a daily basis. The problem is evident in the relationships between the principles and the adherents of the Abrahamic religions in particular. It is also evident in the relations between science and alternative perspectives, between one political ideology and another, or between “development” and “environment”. The challenge to any worldview now has potentially ever more dangerous implications (Us and Them: Relating to Challenging Others, 2009; Guidelines for Critical Dialogue between Worldviews, 2006).
The argument for framing experience as a “waveform” is developed separately (Being a Waveform of Potential as an Experiential Choice: emergent dynamic qualities of identity and integrity, 2013). This contrasted such an experiential framing with use of conventional categories such as “organization” or “network” — as articulated by authoritative others by whom identity and existence is effectively defined. In quest of a more radically fundamental approach. The case was made there for drawing on the analogical thinking associated with the remarkable development of wave-related thinking in fundamental physics, as extensively argued by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander (Surfaces and Essences: analogy as the fuel and fire of thinking, 2013) — as a further development of Hofstadter’s earlier work (Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies, 1995).
The question here is the nature of the encounter with otherness as it might be associated with “being a waveform” — especially if the other can also be meaningfully “sensed” to be a waveform or is so framed.
Engagement with otherness of any form is clearly a fundamental challenge in society — with its extremes of violence and being in love. Whether understood in the form of dialogue or otherwise, that engagement can be explored metaphorically as “intercourse” (“Human Intercourse”: “Intercourse with Nature” and “Intercourse with the Other”, 2007). Rather than “images” presented as categories framing and defining the other and determining the relationship, the argument here endeavours to elicit insight into an encounter experienced in “wave language”. It is argued here that many frequently experienced encounters may be more fruitfully and appropriately articulated in this way as is evident from metaphors in common use. This applies in particular to the universal focus on “contact” with others as an unrecognized electrical metaphor for explicit “networks” of relationships, characterized by implicit “waves” of communication within them, and a preoccupation with “switching” from one otherness to another.
The argument concludes by exploring the experience of globality as a form of otherness fruitfully to be understood in terms of “wave language”. Engaging with death is considered as an ultimate form of otherness meriting consideration in this light. Provocatively, the framing suggests that it is already possible to detect signs of the emergence of a new human species — Homo undulans — whose experiential “undulation” is more appropriate to navigation of the waves of change and the adaptive cycle.
Images of the other and the paradoxical mirroring implied
Varieties of encounter susceptible to meaningful framing through wave language
Comprehension of wave reality as “experientially otherwise”
Wave theory of being?
Metaphorical articulation of wave-language bonding through science
Wave-language potentially implied in encodings elaborated by cultures
Experiencing otherness as wave-like globality
Engaging with illness and death as otherness
Emergence of Homo undulans — through a “grokking” dynamic?
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Sep 2013.
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