Framing Global Transformation through the Polyhedral Merkabah
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 22 May 2017
Neglected Implicit Cognitive Cycles in Viable Complex Systems
22 May 2017 – Despite the widely commented implications of a post-truth era, few would deny the fact that the unresolved issues between the Abrahamic religions continue to inspire violence — with no end in sight. This encourages major investment in armaments and the development and deployment of military forces. The situation in the Middle East is such that the imminent possibility of World War III is itself a focus of commentary (Joseph V. Micallef, Are We Already Fighting World War III? Military.com, 24 January 2017; Robert Farley, 5 Places World War III Could Start in 2017, The National Interest, 17 December 2016; Paul Craig Roberts, Why World War III is on the Horizon, Global Research, 28 December 2015).
It has however become virtually impossible to engage in fruitful discourse on these matters, with every avenue of dialogue having seemingly been exhausted. Avoidance of physical violence is however no indication of the adequacy of available insight necessary for a sustainable and fruitful aftermath, as previously argued (And When the Bombing Stops? Territorial conflict as a challenge to mathematicians, 2000). The absence of insight is highlighted by the currently widespread assumption that “Not-Trump” is a viable global strategy in its own right (Ungovernability of Sustainable Global Democracy ? 2011).
The complexities of the situation encourage a high degree of mutual suspicion and blame. Each of the major actors is variously framed as being part of the problem or claimed — self-righteously — to be part of the solution. The consequences of inability to address these dynamics in any fruitful manner is evident in the tragic massive movement of refugees fleeing insecurity and deprivation in quest of a more fruitful existence — and thereby engendering further instability.
Especially curious in a post-truth era is the role of symbols and of symbolism. Declarations of strategy and principle, made via the media through photo opportunities, are carefully framed by flags. These are also a primary feature of popular demonstrations and their media coverage. At the time of writing the appointment of a new US ambassador to Israel is seen as highly significant through the support for increase in settlement construction, however controversial. Especially significant however is the manner in which it is viewed in the light of the symbolism inherent in the provocative proposal by the Trump administration to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Again however, these have been the focus of widespread commentary of a seemingly fruitless nature. Especially problematic is that such commentary readily triggers further accusations of anti-semitism. This exemplifies a wider pattern of “anti discourse” with respect to religion, science, ethnicity, ideology, populism, and the like. There is little indication that the current mode of discourse can transcend such binary dynamics, as previously discussed (Guidelines for Critical Dialogue between Worldviews — as exemplified by the need for non-antisemitic dialogue with Israelis? 2006).
Given the seemingly irrational and unscientific importance widely attached to symbolism, the following exercise focuses on the possibility that the typical two-dimensional representation of symbols may be reinforcing a mode of thought inhibiting recognition of more fruitful multi-dimensional insights. This is evident in their use on flags to rally supporters in support of binary confrontation.
Curiously, as with the primary political ideologies, the three primary Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism), as a trinity of “siblings”, have seemingly been unable to reflect the nature of their elusively complex relationship in any widely recognized symbol of value. More curious is that a number of fundamental cognitive insights, variously portrayed in the form of a triangle, invite only the most modest degree of recognition — whether they are of religious or academic nature.
The argument here is that there is scope for portraying fundamental “symbolic” insights otherwise, as previously discussed through use of a therapeutic metaphor (Visualization in 3D of a Trinity of Connotations as a Cognitive Pill, 2017). The expected major impact of augmented reality technology is a further justification for this.
Given the central role of Israel with respect to violence-inducing tensions in the Middle East, the symbol of the Star of David, as displayed in two dimensions, invites particular attention. This is especially in the light of the symbolic value attached within the Judaic tradition to its three-dimensional equivalent — the Merkabah. Ironically appropriate for the times, the main battle tank of the Israel Defence Forces has borne that name since the 1970s.
Over centuries the symbolism of the Merkabah has attracted speculative reflection, most notably by mystics in all the Abrahamic religions sharing the insight it offers into the so-called “Chariot of God”, as described by Ezekiel. In that sense it merits recognition as potentially the only fundamental symbol reflective of the unexplored commonality of those eternally quarrelling religions.
Arguably it is the very fact of the unquestioned focus on two-dimensional portrayal of symbols that detracts from attention to implicit cognitive cycles vital to the viability of the complex systems characteristic of sustainable global governance — if that is to be achieved. The concern in what follows is not with religious insight in particular but with representation of the dynamics of such cycles — and the evident dangers consequent on failure to recognize them.
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