Wholeness, encounters and responsibility

This past weekend I had time to believe at least six impossible things. About Encounters, Other, Wholeness, Division, Responsibility, Perspective, Purpose and Meaning. Not all of them before breakfast though.

This post is about our immense responsibility in our encounters with other conscious entities.
I recently meditated on my relationship with my dog. I only now realize how important I was to her, and she to me. The way we greeted each other every day said it all. I was her entire life, and with that perspective I can’t say I took full responsibility for our encounter, whereas she did in every single minute and action.

It made me think about all our daily encounters, from brushing shoulders with strangers on the sidewalk (pre-Covid) to seeing our parents and siblings, or significant others. Meetings, encounters, achieving temporary resonance, with something that isn’t us are the foundations of all meaning. Thinking about it, truly othernesses can’t interact at all. Matter and consciousnesses must be part of a common whole to feel each other.

Bortoft elaborates beautifully on the topic of wholeness and artifical division into separatedness in this essay.

The quantum mechanics theorist David Bohm‘s book Wholeness and the implicate order is similarly eloquent and awe-inspiringly creative in its use of everyday language to talk about impossible things, about the reality we can’t access.

You just have to get past the first chapter on the need for a whole new language, before the book really starts to shine.

Later Bohm explains how our current word constructions and verb conjugations, as well as our flawed ideas about observer-based experiments (there can never be an outside observer in an experiment, the observer is always part of the experiment), are what stands between us and actual understanding of reality. Ambitious agenda to say the least.

In earlier blog posts and newsletters I have described my ideas about the importance of increased perspective for enhanced appreciation, and experience of meaning and purpose.

Meetings are what drives reality
I would now like to add the idea of encounters between consciousnesses being the ultimate event for experiencing newness, learning, increased perspective and personal growth.

Meetings are what drives reality. Nothing would happen without interaction, be it between particles or people. Several attempts at solving the mystery of unifying quantum mechanics and gravity even take the view that time and space are just event epiphenomena emerging from “encounters”. There is no time or space, just events, interactions, loops.

In this video Donald Hoffman briefly states his intriguing case against reality, explaining how evolution has no interest in the actual reality, but only in functional shortcuts in order to survive and procreate. Just as you don’t care what really goes on inside the computer when moving icons around, humans don’t have the time or capability to take an interest in what’s actually going on. We’re happy watching the virtual reality rendering provided by the brain (whatever the brain might actually be, rather than the jelly desktop icon we perceive). Actual reality is too much to handle to be able to avoid predators quickly enough.

One of my favorite books of all time is The Master And His Emissary, by Iain McGilchrist. He makes a great case for why the brain is divided and what the different hemispheres see and do. It’s nothing like the obsolete and debunked ideas about language vs spatial perception you might have heard about. This 12-minute video might inspire or confuse you enoughto actually read the book. I still need to be absolutely focused to keep up with the absolutely brilliant video, despite having watched it many times (and read the book less than a year ago).

What I wanted to convey here is that we’re not consciously seeing reality as it is. However, we are probably picking up a lot more than is commonly believed. The right hemisphere might actually have a clue what reality is, but won’t tell you anything about what it knows unless under the influence of ancient plant medicines.

When in contact with others, originally artificially separated from a common wholeness, every thought, intention, inattention and emotion affect the quality and end result of your resonance. Two others meeting need to be the same to interact, lest they pass through each other like materia and dark matter.
In every encounter, short-term and long term, we have a responsibility to be fair but kind, genuine but gentle. Prioritize, i.e., take responsibility for making the encounters you choose productive and rewarding, while avoiding having meetings tainted by suppression, oppression, lies, inattentiveness and so on. Communicate your expectations as well as level of certainty clearly. Strive to enable informed decisions and inspire the same in others; and cut out social cheaters and leechers altogether.

Metaphorically, cast them out of the tribe to die on the savannah.

I used to provokingly say “every man is an island”, and think that grown-ups are responsible only for themselves, as long as they don’t initiate violence or practice other asymmetric ethics.

I still think nobody owes me anything. I nevertheless now see how “violence” can be interpreted more widely. Words hurt. Inattention has consequences. Thus, choose your encounters and your treatment of them carefully.

Good vibrations is what it’s all about.

It’s a potentially perfect world
By the way, I think it’s wonderful how this world can be so perfect and complete. Spending an early summer’s day in the presence of a good friend or lover, enjoying a gentle breeze, beautiful clouds, a good meal, the discrete dancing of mosquitos in the shadow on safe sucking distance, brilliant greens and blues – harmonius, just perfectly dissonant to add enhancing contrast, all “unnecessary” but nothing redundant, not a twig or molecule out of place. We must have evolved layers and layers of filters until it all was perfectly aligned for us to want to keep on living and meeting.

Or, maybe we created it as a game. Since it’s not reality we perceive anyway, it could be just about anything out there.

The neuroscientist György Buzsáki says in this interview (and his most recent book) that the brain has an immense repository of pre-programmed patterns and spontaneous action. The brain gradually maps inputs and movement to what patterns are practical. He calls the patterns nonsensical, but I suspect they are reflections of actual reality in the right brain HS.

Please accept my sincere hopes this leaves you more considerate than you were when you woke up today,

Karl-Mikael Syding

Summerland, by Hannu Rajaniemi, author of the absolutely amazing Jean Le Flambeur series (The Quantum Thief, The Fractal Prince, and The Causal Angel) was pretty cool but not quite what I had hoped for. I’m simply not interested in crime novels, no matter how much weirdness, afterlife and ectoplasma you put in them.

In sterquiliniis invenitur – Where you least want to look, you’ll find what you need to know the most. In filth it will be found.