Friday, June 1, 2012

On Multiple Perception

On Multiple Perception

File:Teleidoscope animation.gif

There is no singular or general point of view for Human beings. The world is complex, society is complex, our minds are complex. Our brains are wired for multiple perception already, an intelligent species could not survive if it lacked multiple perception.

There are however some that deny multiple perception, they are "iso-thinkers" who only think in terms of isolations, that is, one cause, one source, one strategy, one power, one idea etc. These people on a personal level suffer failure after failure from their simplistic plans; they are dogmatic, addictive, obsessive and power seeking. On a social level, these people create systems that wield the authority of the "one" and profit by it, making the rest of society suffer so they can enjoy their solitary value.

Multiple perception is a means to escape this suffering. It helps put us back on the path of evolution. It is a skill that we all innately have. Multiple perception is both outer and inner, social and personal.

Here are some examples of "MP", multiple perception:

Multiple values
Individuals naturally hold many values, desires, goals at once. This leads to the need for the individual to master skills for managing a complex life. Focus on only one value leads to unhappiness, mental illness and failure. Societies also have multiple values. An example: a conflict in our culture is whether we want to be a mono-value culture based on money and profit or do we want an economy with many values serving the needs of the whole community and of the whole Human being.

Multiple powers
Multiple values lead to the need for institutions each representing its perspective -- for example education vs. business vs. healthcare vs. government etc. Multiple values can only be practiced if there are multiple powers, that is, the independent sovereignty of each institution. If one value has much more power than others, then it will subvert them.

Diversity leads to the multicultural, this is multiple perception on the level of social groups and the problem of finding some unifying themes for a nation.

Multiple strategies
Complex problems require complex methods and tactics. For each aspect of a problem we may be applying different strategies though the overall goal is the same. Multiple strategy leads to great flexibility in thinking.

Multiple solutions
We might even be seeking different solutions for different problems. A solution to the same problem in one community is different for the next community. And we know in psychology that a solution for one individual may not work for another.

Multiple cause
This is the notion that we should be comprehensive in our understanding of causes. In some cases the cause of something might be singular, but in most cases the cause will be multiple. Multiple perception of a cause allows us to better understand phenomena and their problems.

Multiple truth
There are general truths that most of humanity holds, but there a specific truths that individuals, that particular cultural groups hold. In the complexity of our minds, each part of our neurology [judgment, reason, creativity, emotions etc] has its own 'home truth' that it champions against all others.

Multiple minds
Our brains are divided into sub-minds of judgment, reason, creativity, emotion, subconscious, memory. All of these must be managed. Further we create constructs of identity, moral code, personal philosophy and the spiritual. These help guide the complexity.

Multiple happiness
What makes you happy may include more than one thing. Further, in a population happiness is different from person to person.

Multiple centers
A 'system' or whole or organization/institution may have more than one center. This would be to enhance freedom of the parts and promote creativity. Phenomena with singular centers tend to be authoritarian and dogmatic.

Multiple evolution
Evolution is capable of proceeding in many directions at once.

Multiple view of epochs
When we look back at history each age may have a very different assessment of the contribution, strengths and weaknesses of a time period. It may also be that we can insist too strongly on there being some thread of evolution or 'progress' that runs through history, that there is a degree of aimless behavior in history as well as the expression of the peculiar and unique.

Multiple ethics
Yes, even multiple ethics, by that is meant that we have cultural standpoints on ethics that can be very different. Coexisting ethics may in general have the same ideals and goals but the actual details and actual practice can vary.

Multiple everything
This list does not exhaust the applications of multiple perception because the examples of multiple perception are endless.

Range thinking
Multiple perception leads to multiple thinking, that is, Range thinking which is thinking in terms of ranges of solutions for problems, multiple solutions for problems. Range thinking emphasizes openness, flexibility and transitional thinking.

We might divide up MP (multiple perception) into types:

Naïve multiple perception observes that is all is chaos and there is no primacy or bias in a collection of viewpoints. This is not a workable approach, although we have to admit that chaos at times does occur when a situation evolves to a stage where viewpoints become equal for a period, or new features are being born, or when we have bungled, thus producing chaos. Diverse Philosophy is sometimes accused of standing for chaos, but anyone knows that advocating a position of disorder and the absence of priority is not very helpful.

Skillful MP notes that we have both primary and non-primary ideas at work. There are themes in a given situation that have more importance than others. We develop a sense of priority and can thus organize an analysis and concoct a plan.

Primacy is case by case, problem by problem, specific by specific. So it would be hard to fashion any set of rules to construct primacy.

But we can list a few examples here:

The general
In some cases, the general issue is most important -- the higher themes or the more fundamental themes or the common themes or the themes of continuity that all entities share.

The situation
In other cases, we are faced with a particular problem, a particular situation that demands its unique solution. The general, common, higher or fundamental themes may not be the issue. Some secondary item may be the offender. But it is so much of a problem that nothing can get done. And once this problem is solved, evolution will dictate that a new problem will arise.

The personal
Personal choice is another theme that determines the key. Value, need, desire or an ethic will guide you to the primary issue when viewing a complex set of themes.

Differentiation and wholes
If we look at the relation between differentiation and forming a whole, we may find ourselves in one phase stressing differentiation, and at another focusing on connection and wholes. And this shifting is true with all dualities in a process of development.

Many more examples of how we may determine primacy may come to mind.

We also may want to list problems in another format:

•             No Overarching theme has been created for a collection of differing POVs [point of view]
•             Perhaps, no satisfactory framing theme is possible in a very eclectic grouping
•             Perhaps, no singular theme works for a collection but a cluster of ideas may work
•             A complex of concepts could be a self conflicted set of POVs of good and bad, right and wrong
•             A thing in evolution may not yield any clear new ideas because it has not matured as of yet
•             A phenomenon in development will show a mix of old and new features that are in contradiction in some ways but compatible in others
•             Intuitively, we know that a whole exists for an array of elements, but we are not sure how this whole operates or what all the parts to the whole are
•             A whole is conceptually understood but the specific structure and centralizers are not yet discovered and built
•             We have a good understanding of the basics of a diverse collection or whole and we blunder anyway causing big problems because of poor technique and execution, not for lack of knowledge, structure or tools
•             And so on.

The key to creating primacy is not always the same. There are a variety of issues and situations, there are no simple formulae. The trick is to discover the relations of cause and effect, major and minor causes, and their interconnection.

Skillful MP sees wholes. But it would be helpful to make an important distinction about types of multiple perception.

One form tries to combine diversity and variety into a harmonious whole giving freedom to the parts, and at the same time, some coordination and overall purpose too.

Another type of "whole" thinking wants a whole but not the freedom of the parts, it wants the structure but not the individuals, the command but not the community, the top but not the bottom, the central institutions in the system but no attention to others, monologue and no dialogue, feeding but no feedback, a part of the whole but not all of the whole, connections as long as they are one way, etc.

This type of whole goes by other names -- hierarchy, dictatorship, statism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, absolutism, boss. This kind of whole does not have any MP within it, the whole is one entity, it is not a community or collection. And further it has blended out all of the differences, and reduced the parts and individuals to uniform, regimented elements that have no points of view or differences. And thus should be ignored.

True whole MP sees a whole as two parts. One part represents the majority of the whole, the life of the whole, the many independently functioning elements. The second part of a whole includes the various structures that help coordinate the whole. These would be collective management forms, communication channels, types of limited executive leadership, and centralizers that have the job of managing certain necessary functions to make a system work (e.g., central bank, fiscal policy for an economy)

False whole MP subverts the coordinating function and makes the managers and centralizers primary.
The whole is redefined, the people and the parts are not the whole. The whole is now the top, the management, the organization. And sometimes the new whole is defined as the "people", conveniently doing away with the real people, and instilling the "spirit of the people" somehow in all of its acts.

When this false thinking has eliminated diversity and variety, it has eliminated the world, it has deleted reality, it has killed the field of action of life itself. For it is in the parts and in the individuals that we have work and creativity, ideas and dialogue, competition and improvement, markets and richness, culture and ways of life, vitality and spirit, and wealth in many forms.

The manipulative whole is the parasite that imagines itself the whole, has converted the real whole into the host, and made itself the congregation. It has no multiple perception of the many that it drains, it has one great perception of itself as the multitude.

The true whole is diverse and full of multiple perception. It is the whole that includes all, the whole of things.

Contradictory MP has a set of ideas that cannot work together, they involve highly antagonistic behaviors, they include an impossible pairing of true and false ideas or right and wrong ethics or constructive and destructive ideas etc. Contradictory MP pairs antithetical concepts that cannot balance, that cannot be in harmony.

This form of multiple perception is quite common, it arises spontaneously as part of a learning process. Knowledge proceeds from ignorance, and it does so piecemeal. Knowledge does not appear to us fully formed, even when we have a realization, a sweeping idea, this revelation must be applied, it must be tested, it must be adjusted, it must become specific, it must find a way to work with other realizations, and it must learn what ideas are its enemies, no matter how innocent they may seem.

The true, the right, the beautiful, the creative, the transcendent and the positive arrive not fully formed but fractional, embryonic, and in potential. They arrive into a mix of mental impressions and beliefs, and must struggle in this ecosystem of delusion, in this Diverse of notions, impressions and opinions.

This is a natural process, we all go through it, this is part of life. Contradictory MP springs from this reality.

Unfortunately, some individuals do not learn, they do not grasp that something is amiss, that there is a contradiction in their system. So while they may have grasped the essential idea of multiple perception, a diversity of perception, they may not be able to discern what idea is good and what is not. And they tolerate the chafing incongruity and internal warfare with unhealthy personal behaviors that take the individual in great crashing arcs. Here we have multiple perception becoming a kind of multiple personality disorder.

To make matters worse, there are those that will manipulate these people and manipulate this process of knowledge formation. A false idea will be planted amongst good ideas. The goals are misdirection, sabotage or exploitation of an individual or social group. One only needs to study media, marketing and politics to see this phenomenon at work. Such systems do "work" but at the expense of many people.

Multiple Perception is reality
Multiple perception can lead to multiple problems, there is no doubt of that. But the alternative method of simplistic analysis and plans, of iso-thinking leads only to disaster. Individuals may "function" in the delusion of iso-think, systems may operate for centuries pursuing singular values, but existence, tangible presence, heritage and continuity do not mean something is healthy, free of suffering and inequality, and optimum.

Multiple perception is a highly important concept in Diverse thought. There are different points of view per individual in society. Within a single complex Human mind are also competing perceptions and behaviors. There are different cultural perspectives in a society and different perspectives of entire epochs. There is no singular or general point of view for Human beings. Further, there are multiple goals, multiple strategies, multiple behaviors, multiple causes, multi-culturalism, the multi-centered, multiple values and multiple powers.

Look around at reality. It is complex; it contains living systems, ecosystems, climate systems, planetary systems. It includes the social systems of Human beings: global economies, governments, education, healthcare and more. Within the brain is a highly elaborated organization of sub-minds, of ideas and ethics, of competing personalities, of numerous emotions and drives.

Where is the simplicity of the cosmos? Perhaps one can argue that the big bang was this simplicity, when there was just pure energy or field of some sort. But even if that were true (which is quite doubtful) we have long passed that stage. We live now in an elaborated universe, actually, a Diverse where we have an infinity of elements in motion and in connection. There is no simplicity out there or in there.

This condition has produced living things, Human beings and brains. We are a product of the diverse realm, amalgamated into systems, into highly complex organization, managed by very sophisticated agents, moving in cycles.

And yet some of these products of a multiple reality look upon the external world and say, oh, it is so simple. Idiocy is indeed on the long list of multiple perception. A product of a Diverse may not see or understand the Diverse. Neurology, a product of a multiple realm, must evolve, must catch up to reality so that its insights match its physical structure and match the forms of the external world. This requires a process of evolution. We are evolving, striving to catch up to the cosmos. The form is trying to catch up to the content.

Diverse philosophy submits to the overwhelming reality. When confronting a seeming chaos naturally we want some simplicity, some reduction of the many items that swirl around us. But if we give into the temptation of the singular, of the one, of the effortless, the dogmatic and the infatuated, then we will gain perhaps a method, an institution, success for some sector or fraction, However, the loss is far greater, because what we could have had something in balance and whole, something democratic and free, something that could learn and evolve.

The multiple viewpoint leads to a path of solutions and success. It supports and expands the diversity of the world. It is a way that is responsible and leads to no harm. This method develops knowledge and skills which help us handle the variety and the complexity of the life.

No comments:

Post a Comment