Universal Holism and Individualized Reductionism
What is the difference, if any, between my individualized personal experience and those of the social group I identify with? Is the experience of the group the reliable sum total of the individual participant’s experiences? Likewise, one may ask if the experience of Homo Sapiens, wherever in the universe recorded, predictable with reliable certainty? Experience is an account of what happened in the past and is happening now. At the personal level it is conditioned to my sensory-phenomenal perceptual experiences as influenced by inheritance and environmentally acquired circumstances in my biosphere. At the group level, experience is best characterized as a shared, common, consensual reality. Is it then accurate to consider universal holism as the sum total of the individualized reductions of the whole and vice versa?
It becomes immediately clear that the ontological, sense-phenomenal, perceptual experience is just a description of any object or event within the resolution capacity of our sensory detectors. Any invisible object or event below such personal or instrumental description can still be epistemologically, conceptually explained as a reliable experience, usually under a given set of time/space conditions. If not, how else can we then talk about invisible viruses, molecules, etc. as participating in a visible disease condition?
By using mathematical logic tools of analysis we can now predict reliable outcomes in certain interactions between the known and the unknown, between the ontologically visible perception and the epistemologically invisible conceptualization. We are now in a better cognoscitive perspective to proceed with a more detailed structural/functional dissection of our reality, life and self consciousness before we need to introduce theosophical criteria to compensate for our human species perceptual and conceptual cognoscitive limitations. This way, the conundrum of a biopsychosocial (BPS) model of reality, life and self-consciousness will become clear as it may apply to the various personality types we suffer or enjoy during ordinary, consuetudinary social events as the one considered below for illustration purposes. But first we may ask ourselves, what is it we’d like to converse about, when or where it happened or why it happened to him/her specifically or to anyone, anywhere, wherever in space-time? What degree of completeness or sophistication are we aiming at?
‘What’ refers to the measurable/observed, sense-phenomenal, perceptual domain of discourse ‘when’ linguistically described by a narrator at a given time in space, ‘where’ it happened under a given set of prevailing conditions (e.g. Standard Temperature and Pressure) until the incompleteness of the ontological description makes us to intuitively reach out for an additional, albeit tentative, epistemological conceptual domain explanation about ‘why’ it happened by using the tools of probable mathematical logic and/or theology.
Some experts (behaviorists, materialists, etc.) prefer exclusivity of the perceptual/ontological critical analysis while others (philosophers, mathematical theorists, theologians, etc.) prefer the exclusivity of the conceptual/epistemological model of reality, as i.e., is found in Kantian philosophy where the absolute truth about existential reality lies beyond the limits of all possible human experience and knowledge, the transcendental approach.
For Kant the ‘transcendental’ or ‘epistemological’ domain was a conceptualized empirical argument of a high causal probability value and ontological pretensions where its structural elements were anchored in both measurements/observations of phenomenological objects and events and/or validated conjectures about their probable statistical existence. Such modified comprehensive, multidisciplinary accounts of an evolving existential reality we prefer to label as an ‘epistemontological’ unit of a hybrid ‘biopsychosocial’ (BPS) model of existential reality. Consequently, it becomes perhaps unnecessary to invoke a God metaphor to explain the probability of a predetermined harmony as Leibniz -along Plato’s reasoning- found necessary in his writings, what we now call God in all theosophies.
A biopsychosocial entity includes an analysis of why, for humans anywhere, it may be true that an object or an occurrence/event may be judged as being evil, harmful, specific or universal, it only exists in the eyes of the beholder when subjected to an ‘individualized reductionism’. The analysis is now ready to briefly consider some genetic/environmental motivational or intentional forces influencing the reliability on our judgements.
Sometimes we choose to be pragmatic and intentionally try to emphasize on reliable results derived from measurements and/or observations. But, in this case their meaning is driven by my intention or motive when critically analyzing the results.
Suppose we may wish to evaluate objects or events as to their general potential to either do harm or good, now or in a foreseeable future, not personal but transcending the immediate present , as the case may be.
What we are about to narrate is about individuals who represent the .whole spectrum of human personality types, from the introvertà extrovertàshy lonerà, etc.
To understand personality types you need to analyze their biological, psychological and sociological (BPS) structural /functional component elements and how they amalgamate to become a unit biopsychosocial driving personality force.
The biological moiety can be conveniently dissected out to reveal genetically determined, environmentally steered and socially executed parts. The unconscious, neuro-hormone-driven features are controlled in their expression by circumstantial environmental operations at crucial times during fetal maturation and early development in the biosphere. This joint interaction of genetics and environmental determinants in any human individual is termed the subconscious. However, when the species survival, as driven by neuro-philosophical considerations of species predatory competition and evolutionary adaptation to a changing environment is critically examined, we call it self-consciousness. Notice that this is like peeling the surface (self-conscious) layer of an onion to see the under surface (subconscious) layers and subsequent (unconscious) hidden layers until the core sustaining the layers is analytically revealed to simulated vision, taste and smell perceptual equivalents.
But, what if an important feature exists beyond ontological, sense-phenomenal recognition? We then have no choice but to rely on the ontological descriptive consequences of the generating Artificial Intelligence (AI) activity of simulated invisible objects or events. If measurement values are consistent to all observers, all of the time, under a defined set of space, time circumstances, these epistemological explanations become an inseparable part and parcel of the ontological description.
Welcome to the epistemontological nature of the biopsychosocial (BPS) reality as narrated in an adopted language by cognitively limited human beings. So much for the reliability, certainty and absolute existence of objects or occurrences? That is the justification for mathematical logic probability as a necessary and convenient tool to statistically assist any description and/or explanation of existential reality. Yet, we have no choice but to use the tools available to use, especially when extrapolating from results obtained from other species since no other socially advanced pre-human species left narrative linguistic evidence to critically analyze our fast changing evolving reality. Both pre-human social Bonobos and humans have developed brains and there is good experimental chromosomal evidence linking both, i.e., all pre-human monkeys have 24 chromosomes that gave rise to the fusion of 2 chromosomes into the single human chromosome #2 and thus only 23 chromosomes are to be found in humans. Why then only humans were able to leave readable literary evidence of their journey through time?
The human species is the only one demonstrated to be capable of introspectively become aware that s(he) is different from the surrounding environmental biosphere and capable to improve on an inherited primitive Chomskyan protolanguage to describe/explain his existential reality. Subsequently, it made possible to distinguish between emotional and rational mindsets controlling psycho-social behavior both corresponding to their respective primitive, hormonal and evolved rational language.
Do we have emotional or rational personalities? Do we indulge into the delusional grandeur of utopia, or surrender to the uncontrollable forces of mental dystopias. Are we free to choose between the two contrasting personality alternatives? At this point we need to distinguish further between a species needs and conveniences. Needs are related to species survival, preferably in good health, happy and socially convivial in harmony with the group he shares the biosphere with, i.e., BPS equilibrium. It exists at all 3 levels of consciousness. Conveniences are exercised by and large, at the self-conscious level of behavior in pursuit of happiness.
If our own cognitive-limited human species, where behavior is determined by inheritance and environmentally acquired influences, are we really free? Are we different from other advanced social primates? Another relevant question comes up when we compare the life cycles of humans and primates at the cognitive level. Humans naturally display an adaptive array of complex solutions to a constantly changing environment and share that information with succeeding generations to benefit from. But evolving complexity is not a spontaneous natural event in our biosphere, because things naturally decay as a function of time! Is there an un-natural way or a compensatory activity to make up for our obvious disadvantage in reproductive activity when compared with other species? Why are us humans different?
It is not surprising to explain why any phenomena defying the entropy conservation laws of physics is likely the result of an ‘intelligent design’ by an un-natural entity we call God. This modus operandi is not different from the conceptual epistemological explanations when dealing with invisible objects or events beyond perceptual ontological description.
Enter the theosophical domain to assist the cognitive-limited human species with an additional epistemological reasoning tool. Why choose the human species? The evolutionary survival of the fittest in a rapidly changing environment dogma explains it well. In a biopsychosocial environment any theological gathering promoting friendship, cooperation and good will, will do. Arguably it can be considered not just a convenience but a human dire survival need sub-serving the preservation of dear life for the species! After all, the circumstantial shadow will inevitably always follow the object casting it! Like famous Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno argued, existential life refers to man plus his inseparable circumstance.
But life is a dynamic journey through an ever changing space time with no certain destination within cognitive reach of the limited human mind to anticipate. It would be interesting to see how the different subsets of consciousness portions out the emotional and rational components of reality to provide a biopsychosocial (BPS) equilibrium. Debary Lodge 8063 in Central Florida became the laboratory observatory where the biopsychosocial model theory of the 1980’s became alive again. There will never be a more friendly, cooperative, good will club where Members, family, close friends and neighbors shared the consequences of their only formal bond, military service, and made life for all so safe and convivial in a complex dynamic social interaction on Fridays (see illustration below) and the rest of every week. .
At Debary, Fl. VFW David was not crazy but for him any epithet was good enough to bring smiling looks in your direction while you loudly squeak your size 12 tennis shoes against the shiny, waxy terrazo tiles floor until the latter scream a noisy fart like noise. Meanwhile his attractive wife runs back and forth along the long hall distributing to each guest a copy of some future activity of the 8063 VFW Lodge or the Ladies Auxiliary group. Behind her, slowly walking Sandy, the attractive Club accountant, President of the Ladies Auxiliary, was selling 50-50 tickets to fund and promote the various welfare projects in behalf of disabled veterans or Boy Scouts in any moment of need.
It’s almost 7 pm and the ceiling lights are soon to go off except for the beautiful, multicolored displays that adorned the ceiling tiles. The busy kitchen, under the control of good looking Chef Yolanda and her employees were busy closing for the night. The musical group rehearsed its drums near the improvised podium arrangement not far from the kitchen area. The dancing was about to start. The kitchen staff soon disappeared through the kitchen back door and busy waitress Barbara undid her apron and returned to the main Bar counter high seat where her introverted husband was patiently waiting. The show was on.
After some brief welcoming remarks to the huge Friday crowd, the Post Commander wasted no time in displaying his unique Saloon dancing savoie-faire techniques with his elegantly dressed wife, all despite the very limited space available to the dancers to move laterally. The oscillatory wiping movements of the older dancers as they walked was a prominent non-intentional attention seeker.
The place was jam-packed celebrating the n-tienth anniversary of the original Brooklyn, N.Y. band, Monterrey Jacks, that now wouldn’t leave Central Florida. Meanwhile, the two bar counters couldn’t keep up with the brisk business typical of every Friday night. As usual, the canteen manager had taken careful care of all administrative and non-administrative details since her time of arrival on early afternoon with her friendly ailing husband.. The distant far end of the wisely decorated hall ceilings was hosting a private party. A riding wall panel, halfway opened, separated both activities as birthday cake from the private party and free salad crossed ways as they moved in opposite directions. Nobody complained and there was order and smiling looks, an organized friendly little chaos.
As usual, the afternoon and early evening some non-member crowds disappeared after repeating 3 times the delicious crispy whiting fried fish prepared by Chef Yolanda, the only southern style chef this side of Central Florida.
Soon after part of the neighborly eating crowd left through the side entrance door, another wave of door-ringing members rushed through the front door while other neighborly non-members also did the same through the same side door where the outside-rain-protected smokers were watching their entrance flow from their smoke-filled tables outside. The orchestra had been meanwhile busy arranging their podium and instruments near the closing kitchen, not at the elegantly decorated far end of the long hall, where their ego demanded. Smartly placed round tables had been reserved for the special insider groups elite soon to arrive.
Today Friday, at a time when most employed personnel in town are out of work and ready for a relaxation moment at the club before going home, the arrangement of seats was different from Wednesday, another very popular Karaoke Day. Today’s psychosocial expectations of activity would be accordingly very different, qualitatively and quantitatively.
Just like any other social click, the ‘insiders’ group had 3 modalities, depending on the psychosocial orientation of the Post Commander and/or his staff, their dissenters and those who couldn’t care less, one way or the other.
Under the new administration the club had slowly evolved from the very exclusive Members-only club of the 1980’s to become a very successful and popular Members and Debary middle class neighborhood ‘club’. Members and the mostly upper middle class non -members from Debary neighborhood established a very friendly functional relationship.
The moment you pulled out and insert your Member card and open the front door entrance, the orange setting sun brightly illuminated the semi dark general area now occupied by the drink toasting extroverts surrounding the main bar counter on the left. On the right-hand side was the entrance to the main bathroom immediately. A few more steps ahead there was a set of high table seats against the wall where the administrative elite shared drinks, experiences and an occasional Friday night pool table match on their right side. From that vantage point they could watch the only other of the three high tables arrangement against a wall, two on their left -near front entrance- and remaining one directly in front of them -near side entrance-.
If you wanted to know the breaking news on the club operation, stand in line at the bar and listen carefully while you wait for a smiling Sandra or Jodie to serve your special drink concoctions they had already memorized. In stark contrast was the lonely presence of introvert Larry, patiently waiting for his busy partner, now working at the kitchen closing routine. Most of the introvert types of personality clients are usually scattered around, all you needed was an isolated corner or an occasional half empty table. As the evening matured there were a few quasi extrovert converts as liquor sales lines got larger….and they became more socially conscious. Unfortunately a few could become aggressive but fortunately not yet in this Debary Post, thanks to the special previous biopsychosocial training and orientation peculiar to the military mission to live, let live and survive anywhere, regardless of their heterogeneous composition as driver, nurse, engineer, pilot, physician, lawyer, academic or otherwise.
It was always interesting to watch how two amiable extrovert retired Post Office guys, used to meet so many people and pets during their many walking mailbox distributions, would socialize with their wives, one would gravitate towards the gambling machines leaving his attractive wife to socialize with others. The other one, in contrast wouldn’t take his eyes away from his equally attractive blue eyed blonde for a moment. In both cases the female looked happy and enjoying the party with their husbands and went home together smiling! Some wouldn’t stop talking to anyone displaying the least interest in the subject matter until they hit a mutually interesting topic. Others would insist in answering their own somewhat related question when invited to react to a very different question by his/her friend at the table? Others, with a smiling face, would rather remain silent as they politely listen to one or more simultaneously ongoing dissertations! Some may agree with an original exposition while accepting a contrasting explanation! Yet another participant may care less about the issue under discussion, one way or the other, regardless of the content. They rather drink and toast for a better material life.
The one participant enjoying the most profit from his/her physical presence at the Club is the ‘non political’ politician who doesn’t need to identify his party affiliation to promote and defend his political point of view in the most affable self-indulgent demeanor. This will obviously contrast with introverts who, while having a party affiliation, will prefer a neutral academic perspective when analyzing a psychosocial issue. Others, nonetheless, will tolerate them, offer a drink and pay no serious attention. C’est la vie when you are de facto socially isolated.
The interesting part of this preceding brief illustration is the analogical diversity between a social Friday evening at the 8063 Debary VFW Post in Central Florida and the rest of Continental United States and its territories when the Constitutional democracy features are duly respected and observed while both examples constantly evolve into better places to make friends, cooperate, share, learn in convivial happiness and inspired in good will. .
May God bless the Club, its administrators, Members, their families, friends, and neighbors and God Bless America. Respectfully, Dr. Angell O. de-la-Sierra, Esq. Life Member VFW WWW.delasierra-sheffer.net/index.htm