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Overview of Metabletics


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Overview of Metabletics

  1. 1. MetableticsLiterally, the theory of changes is the psychology of historicalchange. It aims at grasping the intrinsic connection betweenpresent and past scientific and social phenomena.
  2. 2. Phenomenology and MetableticsJ.H. Van Den Berg!   Newton and the phenomenon of dispersion:!   “a beam of light reduced to ‘one’ single ray” ≠ sunlight
  3. 3. The six principles of the metabletical method1.  The principle of non-interference2.  The principle of reality3.  The principle of change, mutability4.  The principle of simultaneity5.  The principle of the unique incident6.  The principle of emphasis, of prominencyTheoreticalprinciplesPracticalprinciples
  4. 4. 1. The Principle of Non-interference
  5. 5. 2. The Principle of Reality(aka the materialistic or anti-idealistic principle)!   Are the phenomena which you (the phenomenologist) areconvinced one in no way interfere with real, that is, do theybelong to a concrete, objective, material world of reality?!   The phenomenologist would prefer to bracket such aquestion because she is unable to free herself from the tenetof philosophical ideal (i.e. that the objects themselvescannot be reached in that which they are of their own).!   The metabletician would differ in that she, in describingphenomena, would call them reality, hard concrete reality inthe first structure of everyday realism.
  6. 6. 3. The Principle of Change (Mutability)!   Discoveries simultaneously made by independently working scientists signifies a changein human beings as well as a change in the world. In other words, what’s discovered didnot exist before the time of its discovery. Once discovered, it means a change hasoccurred.!   Could the atomic bomb have been invented in the Middle Ages?!   No. Medieval matter, even in the celestial world explosions, is not the same as modernmatter.!   Is it permissible to transport to the past the scientific knowledge of the present?!   Nothing justifies this transplantation other than the unjustified and unjustifiableprinciple of constancy!   If we open a book written during the Middle Ages which contains stories about stars. Wemust take these stories seriously, if ever we expect future generations to take us and ourwords seriously.!   How does this principle affect the writing of history, in particular for that of the naturalsciences?
  7. 7. 4. The Principle of Simultaneity!   How far has one particular discovery, attributed to oneparticular discoverer, not after all also been made byother scientists and at the same time?!   Re: these “riddles,” think ‘morphic resonance’!   Two hearts, one understanding: William Harvey’sdiscovery of the circulation of the blood vs. JeanEudes’s devotion to the Sacred Heart
  8. 8. 5. The Principle of the Unique Incident!   Metabletics is interested in the dog; just because themajority of people agree on something that does notmean they are right or that their opinion is significant!
  9. 9. 6. The Principle of Emphasis, Prominency!   When we interpret historical texts, we look at the factsthrough the lens of the present. More is disclosed thanthe event literally suggests. This can lead us toemphasize things out-of-context, which is certainly theroad to error. Nonetheless, it is the investigator’s dutyto make interpretations according to the Principle ofProminency by examining and exploring the discoveredunique incident in an attempt to expose its innermostparts and to reveal the depth of its secrets lest we see itmore clearly as it stands all by itself
  10. 10. The Despotic Eye:An Illustration of Metabletic Phenomenology and Its ImplicationsRobert D. RomanyshynTheall-seeingeyeTheeyeofRaBigBrotherThe eyeof themind(aka theThirdEye)
  11. 11. Intro!   Reality is a reflection of human life!   The mirror relation between humanity and reality isone of participation!   Four psychological themes are identified in Van denBerg’s work: the character and place of psychologicalreality, as well as the therapeutic and ethicaldimensions of metabletic psychology
  12. 12. The changing nature of reality:visibility & participation!   Natural science (explanation) vs. phenomenology (description):What reality is is inseparable from how humanity imagines orenvisions it. Humanity’s psychological life is visible as the specificand concrete historical manifestations of an age. In other words,that we have split matter in the twentieth century is as much amatter of psychology as it is of physics.!   The atomic structure of matter is no more a mere discovery of whatmatter as a matter of fact is in itself, than it is a creation of the mind.This atomic structure of matter appears between humanity’s way oflooking and what is there to be seen (i.e. participation). In otherwords, human life is the real-ization of the world, that is the activityof making the reality of the world real.
  13. 13. Linear Perspective:The Eye of Distant Vision and the Eclipse of the Human BodyImage of Florence, circa 1359
  14. 14. “Map with a Chain”Image of Florence, 1480
  15. 15. What’s the difference?!   Linear perspective: developed by Filippo Brunelleschi and descrived in LeonBattista Alberti’s treatise on painting, De pictura (1435-36)!   Linear perspective, which pre-supposes that space is infinite and homogenous,relies on the notion of a vanishing point (aka the centric point, the punto difuga, or the point of light). It fixes in pictorial space the point toward whichparallel lines converge!   The result is a change in the relation between the see-er and the seen, betweenhumanity and the world, or a correlation between distance and knowledge!   That relation which the fifteenth century artist newly imagines and makesvisible before the scientist, will turn into a method, and the philosopher willtransform this relation into an epistemological principle; making the body, asa vehicle of knowledge and as humanity’s ground in the world, dispensable!   The fourteenth century illustration of Florence seems primitive and confusingbecause it is an uncentralized representation (i.e. there is no center)!   The confusion which we see reflects or mirrors the eye with which we see. The artistwas trying to represent what it felt like to walk about, experiencing structure,almost tactilely… In other words, a see-er whose eyes are embodied
  16. 16. The screen, or Leonardo’s windowAlberti in 1435 described this screen (aka velo or a veil) as a “means for organizingthe visible world itself into a geometric composition, structured on evenly spacegrid coordinates.”The seeing eye (the detached eye, the disincarnated eye, and the eye of singularvision) is always veiled. Humanity sees the world through a veil of symbols ormeanings.Albrecht Dürer woodcut, 1525
  17. 17. What’s the problem?!   The symbolic veil has become a literal fact. It has become an object actually placedbetween the see-er and the world.!   The mind as a symbolic veil?!   The veil has become literal in a specific way, as a window and as such it has invited thesee-er to gaze upon the world as if he were now an outside looking in.!   Alberti’s velo is not as a window a transparent piece of glass, but rather it is a grid whichis mathematical and as such it invites the see-er to look at it rather than through it. So it’smore like a magic glass which projects a world to be seen. We may even call this magicwindow the first ‘movie projector’!   The velo, portrayed in Dürer’s woodcut, intends to squeeze the world into the eye and inthis respect the artist already anticipates that narrowing of vision by which Newton willsqueeze color out of the light of day (and out of the life of things).!   Due to the veil of separation, distance, and reduction… the eye has now become themeasure of the world.
  18. 18. Aesthetics, the Rule of Third, and the GoldenRatioPhi (φ):1.61803398875…
  19. 19. The World Grid
  20. 20. Two peculiar features of this eye,and the psychology of infinite distance!   It is an eye, a singular eye, a seeing which is a monocular vision!   It is an eye which is fixed, a static eye!   This inaugurates a psychology of infinite distance, whose precondition is a denial of thebody!   In 1543, Copernicus will ask us to see a moving earth with this eye of distant vision!   Vesalius in the same year will portray for us what this discarded body has become: acorpse, itself an object of vision!   Brunelleschi will father that eye, but after him Galileo and a Descartes will becomeinevitable. Brunelleschi will inaugurate that vision, but after him Copernicus andVesalius, Harvey and Newton, will become psychological necessities.!   The living eye will be studied by Descartes from the distance of death!   The fixed and singular eye of distant vision with its eclipse of the body is anticipated inthe canvas of linear perspective in the 15th century
  21. 21. Tension between the eye of distant vision and thebodyThe background space is notexecuted in linear perspectivestyle even though the paintingdates from same year asBrunelleschi’s experiment (1425).The Virgin’s body appears toolarge (an index of herimportance) but it is not accuratein terms of its size and ratio inrelation the background, if weare to think mathematically &geometricallyJan Van Eyck’s Maddona in the Church, 1430
  22. 22. Horizon Line Isocephaly (HLI):body-less heads; detached distant eyes“Aligning the heads ofall standing figures bothin the foreground andfar distance along acommon horizon line…”The vanishing point is thepoint at an infinitedistance where allparallel lines meet. Asfigures are placed closerto the vanishing point,the body except for thehead shrinks inimportanceLinear perspective drawing with horizonline isocephaly
  23. 23. “Men without chests” – C.S. Lewis!   This principle of HLI places us upon the path whichleads to the Cartesian cogito!   Leonardo da Vinci’s praise of the eye in the context ofmovement: “This eye carries men to different parts ofthe world.” The eye now carries the body; the body nolonger carries the eyes!   Since the 15th century, we have increasingly moved overthe face of the earth, going farther and faster, but as wehave done so, we have increasingly lost touch with theearth over which we have moved
  24. 24. Two reflections of the despotic eye of distantvision in 15th century life!   1400: the arrival in Florence of Ptolemy’s Geographiachanged the art of map making (i.e. good angle,direction and distance vs. Giotto’s art and portolancharts)
  25. 25. Two reflections (cont’d)!   1454: the appearance of the Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed in theWest by the process of moveable type that offers a form of communicationwhich is predominantly visual and it makes possible and even demands a fixedpoint of view.!   The printed page tended to increase silent reading fostering the new sense ofdistance and isolation!   The typographic man is an “outsider” according to McLuhan. The silentreader is like the artist on the hill above and beyond the city (i.e. bird’s-eyeview)!   The artist and the reader share silence, which is the condition. Theconsequence of that new vision is increase in the distance between humanityand the world.!   What are the implications of this in the context of capitalism and our currentrelationship as human beings with nature and with one another worldwide?
  26. 26. Eurocentrism and MappingMercator projection (inaccurate) Gall-Peters projection (more accurate)
  27. 27. Psychological reality is a metaphorical reality!   Reality is mutable: between man and world reality changes.!   The Florence of 1359 and that of 1480 are different cities. The city haschanged. And yet, it is the same city. It is Florence.!   The principle of mutability presents a paradoxical picture of reality: a thing isboth what it is and not what it is.!   The real is a relation between the see-er and the seen. If we change the way wesee (e.g. the fixed eye of distant vision), what we see changes, too.!   Metabletics leads to metaphorics. The changing nature of reality andhumanity rests upon the participatory relation between them.!   The key is non-interference or non-judgment. In other words, pure experience.
  28. 28. Psychological reality is visible as world!   If the character of psychological experience is metaphorical,its place is the changing world.!   Psychopathology is an illness of not only the mind, but alsoof the world and of the body.!   Psychology as a natural science is historical and psychologicaland not purely empirical.!   Metabletics is a meta-psychology: a psychology of psychologyor a psychotherapy of modern psychology and apsychotherapy of modern culture as a whole. In other words,a cultural therapeutics.
  29. 29. Metabletic phenomenology as a culturaltherapeutics!   After Brunelleschi’s experiment with LP in the 15th century, a Galileo and a Descartesbecame psychologically necessary.!   “At the moment that history comes into being, everything is certain.” “Nothing iscertain.” Or everything is at that moment open. Metabletic phenomenology situatesitself between these two moments of the uncertain or the open and the necessary.!   In the movement between these two moments, MP remembers that what we experienceas the world is also how we experience the world. The recognition that the visible is also avision.!   MP in its reflections on the cultural-historical world as the field of human psychologicallife recovers the reflections of the see-er in the seen. This work of recovery, of re-membering, of de-literalizing; this work of restoring the how to the what is the work oftherapy, of cultural therapeutics.!   The cultural world from which we seem to be apart is in fact a part of us, a visibleexpression of a story originated by us and continuing today.!   The psychotherapist hears the patient speaking of himself in speaking of his world.!   Neuroses as “socioses” because human life is radically social. The social-cultural world isthe field of human psychological life.
  30. 30. Metabletic phenomenology as an ethicalpsychology!   We are responsible for what we see and what we say.!   We are responsible for our visions which becomeincarnated as the visible cultural world.!   We are responsible for the ways in which we imagine,dream, envision, and build the world.!   Frankenstein as a prophetic warning.The creature created by Frankenstein is a monster preciselybecause he has been abandoned by his creators.What are the effects of the vision of the despotic eye in thecontext of our current technological world?
  31. 31. Mirror and MetaphorImages and Stories of Psychological LifeRobert D. Romanyshyn
  32. 32. Psychology and the Metaphor of Science“In the Middle of Things”!   The term psychology is born in the 16th century. Philipp Melanchthon[1497-1560] is the first one to use the word to describe a separate field ofstudy. Something as old as humanity is first named in modern times.!   The multiplicity of psychological life (as studied through metaphysics, logic, andphysics) gives way to the unity of psychology. It becomes a study of mind vs. that ofsoul. Psychology becomes free from the clutches of philosophy.!   In the language of alchemy, which [James] Hillman regards as “the depthpsychology of an earlier age,” psychological life is essentially a mass ofconfusion, a “mass confusa.” In this context, it is a positive confusion.!   Confusion has a place in psychological life. Psychological life is confusion. It isnot an error to be corrected (or explained), but a madness to be cured (ortreated).!   Confusion means “to our together.” It suggests a blending or mixing of things.
  33. 33. What’s in a name?!   The science of psychology becomes a historical appearance ofpsychological life, the way in which psychological life appears inmodern times. Psychology becomes the modern name, and face, ofhuman psychological life.!   In the 16th century a positive confusion of studies pertaining tothe soul becomes a study of mind, and with this change a newdream of human existence is born. The brief history of psychologyas a science is a continuation of this dream. It is a cultural dreamtied up with the modern history of things and the human body.The Faustian character of this cultural dream made psychologicallife bargain away its soul to become a science of mental life then ascience of behavior then through the skepticism of Locke andHume it loses its mind (in addition to its lost soul) till it finallyloses its consciousness in a consulting room in Vienna in the 19thcentury.
  34. 34. Three issues!   The long past of confusion is indicative of the indirect character ofpsychological life.!   Psychology as a science is a historical appearance of psychologicallife. It is the reflection of psychological life in modern time.!   The short history of psychology tends to conceal more than revealthe long past of psychological life.!   What does it mean to understand psychological life as a reality ofreflection?!   What are the specific features of psychological life in psychology?!   What does the discipline of psychology conceal of psychologicallife?
  35. 35. The Mirror Reflection!   Where is the reflection that I see?!   The reflection is not on the glass any more than it is inthe mirror.!   The reflection (the explanation) vs. the experience ofthe reflection (the description)
  36. 36. Examples!   Taxi Driver.!   The confusion between the see-er and the seen,the touching and the touched, the listener andthe speaker is a positive phenomenon accordingto MP, which he calls chiasm.!   Who is in the reflection?!   The reflection “de-realizes” the reflected.!   The mirror reflection as a double vs. as a figurein a story!   Thursday’s Child.
  37. 37. Tales!   The one who sees through the reflection only aduplicate of himself on this of the mirror is the onewho tells the tale of science.!   The reflection as a figure in a story infects thereflected, and the one who sees the reflection is caughtup in the story. The reflection “de-realizes” thereflected as it transforms the one who is on this side ofthe mirror into a character in the tale.
  38. 38. Two features about the reflection!   The mirror experience illustrates that the reflection matters.The image counts. It has weight.!   The example indicates that the reflection also transformsthe reflected. The image de-realizes the reflected. It refiguresit.!   The reflection is always in need of being recovered from theforgetfulness of habit and routine, but it is also alwaysdestined to be re-covered (covered over) again.
  39. 39. The Immaterial reflection matters!   What does it mean to refuse the placement of psychologicallife on the other side of the empirically real and to insist thatpsychological life shows itself through and is a deepeningand re-figuring of the empirical world?!   What is the place of the reflection in relation to personsand things?!   What is the place of psychological life in relation to personsand things?!   Our psychological life is not in things, or because of them, itis given through them.
  40. 40. A paradox!   Psychological life is and is not the empirical world.!   In place of dualism (or reductionism), the paradox offers a difference. Therelation of difference exists in physics as well, in addition to psychological life,between classical and modern physics.!   “Leibniz logic loop”: the analysis of the physical world, pursued to sufficientdepth will lead back in some now-hidden way to man himself.!   The person (the life of the ego) in psychological life vs. a figure in a tale.Depth psychology recognizes that human psychological life is not identical tothe life of the person. There are empirical reality and psychological reality,what should be their ideal relation?!   Psychological life is a third reality between persons and things, man andworld, subject and object, a story appears. The story which appears is theappearance of psychological life. It is a reality of reflection, as an image, it isneither subjective nor objective. Perhaps, inter-subjective?
  41. 41. The reflection re-figures the person!   Person is a philosophical notion; figure is psychological.!   If person has a logical primacy, figure has a psycho-logical one.!   Psychological life lies between fact and fiction when it comes to autobiography.Influences and archetypes as figures.!   If psychology is to be psychological it must respect the difference between persons(empirical) and figures (psychological). It is a difference which the fantasy or dream ofscientific psychology conceals.!   Recovered means only “found again” but also “hidden again.” The mirror reflectionwhose significance is recovered must eventually be abandoned in order that one maypursue the tasks of the day.
  42. 42. Summary!   Psychological life requires a discipline which is redone inevery age. As the world changes, so does psychological lifechange.!   Things of the world and the human body changes and theway in which psychological life reveals and conceals itselfchanges. So it’s a dynamic process.!   What does it mean to understand psychological life as areality of reflection?!   A recovery of how psychological dimension of human lifematters by re-figuring the world of fact as story and the personas a figure in a tale
  43. 43. The Ponzo illusion, is it real or what?
  44. 44. Mona Lisa’s smile is the face of modernpsychology
  45. 45. Can the visible spectrum be equated with therainbow?Explanation (natural science) vs. description or experience (phenomenology)
  46. 46. Evelyn Glennie!   How to truly listen!   Embodiment and listening with one’s body as a wholeand not just with one’s ears
  47. 47. Literalization and the psychology of nightmare!  The physiology of the nightmare does not equal the experience of it.!  The increased heart rate is not the dreaming figure’s panic. On the contrary, it is when the figure isfearful, when the dream is in a fearful world, that the heart rate increases.!  Psychology focuses on the events and (in)tends to see the experience in them. For psychology theseevents are the facts of the experience. They are the literal transcription of the experience. They are thedate of psychology. They are psychology’s facts. The events are seen through the experience and notthe other way around.!  Psychology’s focus on nightmare is originally metaphorical, and its date are not facts but metaphors.Focusing on what it sees, it forgets how it sees. And in this forgetfulness what originally mattersmetaphorically is taken literally.!  The physiological length of a nightmare is less than one minute vs. the psychological length!  Literalization and interiorization are concealments of psychological life which are revealed.!  If psychological life is revealed in psychology as interior, literal fact, then what is conceal in thisrevelation? What does the discipline of psychology conceal of psychology life?
  48. 48. Metabletics in the Light of Indo-TibetanBuddhismPadmasambhava’s handprint in stone