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05 July 2007 @ 11:56 pm
when dealing across fields, i believe that it is important both, to not centralize epistemes in order to maintain the originary and effective use of such epistemes as well as to select for epistemes which are useful across the field. this may be a little like forensics, special effects engineering or general contracting, where we have various tools available, and it's up to us to use or misuse what we have appropriate to a context.

what follows is a bit of meandering between disciplines as i look at various selections available. let's start with words, and how words are only partial formations rather than events within a vaccum. after all, if words were vaccum packaged, we would not be able to mix words together to get any kind of surplus poetic affect.

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This post may veer off the beaten path for academics, as I'll be using video games, among other things like Zen Buddhism and software development theory, for the fulcrum to explain my understanding of complexity and multiple levels of reality. For those of you that know me, my primary game happens to be Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. However, I won't go too much into nerdy game-related detail, I promise.
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On the nature of sympathy and Oneness as a self-defensive measure

In recent times, the notion of sympathy has become tinged with negativity, synonymous with self-pity and possibly quite useless. On the other hand, empathy is a skill or quality whose necessity is indisputable. Take into account: a swaying, violently rocking boat, going up-down, rolling upon wave after wave as your head becomes tossed back and forth. You begin to feel quite ill and announce your intentions to heave your breakfast over the side of the boat.

The sympath, witnessing your gastrointestinal prowess, feels your pain and also becomes sick. The empath instead identifies your queasiness and seeks a remedy (a can of Sprite, a paper bag) to address your immediate needs.

Given this example, the empath is the person whose results achieve a practical effect. There are countless instances where sympathy is an outright hindrance towards getting anything done- possibly bordering on irresponsibility. Imagine that your pediatrician could not give an immunization injection (with big scary needle) to your child because he/she sympathized with your child’s impending pain.

However, as children, we are often taught to be sympathetic, to share with others, to be considerate of others(“How would you feel if he did that to you?”), or even the oft-repeated Golden Rule, “Do unto others as they would unto you.” And acting upon feelings of sympathy brings about an immediate emotional gratification.

In Zen Buddhism, with the negation of the Self(Void) and its often-brutal approach to reality, one is directed to perform whatever act is necessary to achieve enlightenment.
”Whenever anyone asked him about Zen, the great master Gutei would quietly raise one finger into the air. A boy in the village began to imitate this behavior. Whenever he heard people talking about Gutei's teachings, he would interrupt the discussion and raise his finger. Gutei heard about the boy's mischief. When he saw him in the street, he seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and began to run off, but Gutei called out to him. When the boy turned to look, Gutei raised his finger into the air. At that moment the boy became enlightened.”

This is not to say that Gutei had a penchant for cutting off the fingers of little boys. But it did achieve its desired effect.

From the perspective of ‘Oneness’, quite polar to the nothingness that is ‘Void’, if Gutei had wholly identified with the child as an aspect of his own being, then the cutting off of the child’s finger was an act of ultimate compassion and was just as necessary for Gutei’s enlightenment as it was for the child’s. Self-sacrifice, as it were. Likewise, a ‘compassionate assassin’ could see his victims as shadows of his own soul to eliminate, thus purifying his soul and eliminating his self-pitying ego. If that sounds just a little bit pathological, you’re probably correct.

However, the sympath who identifies all people as being parts of his own being, if his love and compassion was strong enough, might actually achieve something. By appealing to the sympathy of others with his own sympathy, the Sympath would be protected from(or discourage) intentional harm because his would-be attacker would be hurting himself as well as his intended victim. The doctrine of ‘turning the other cheek’ thus invokes feelings of guilt and remorse in the other. Thus one blocks not the attack itself, but the intention behind the attack(The Sympath could not kill the attacker to spare him the feelings of remorse and regret because he would then feel the pain of death in sympathy). Did Mother Theresa save a handful of orphans in an Israeli-Palestinian warzone by brandishing an AK-47? I think not. A truce had to be brokered between the warring sides through her intervention.

This being said, from multiple angles, sympathy still appears to be an immature attitude to maintain, but perhaps there’s something to it that remains to be seen if it goes 'full-circle'(an ascending spiral in 3D appears to be a circle in 2D).
Hi, I'm Thomas (Arlieth), and this is a general plan for the groundwork of this community. We'll start by first going over what is currently defined as transdisciplinarity, and then seeking the connections between different experiences and philosophies.

I'll begin with a reproduction of Seb Henagulph's "Three Pillars of Transdisciplinarity". It's a little opaque, especially when it begins to reference quantum physics, but I hope to clarify these principles in future posts.

The Three Pillars of Transdisciplinarity (Reproduced without permission)
by Seb Henagulph (sebhen@hotmail.com)

"The three pillars of transdisciplinarity -- levels of Reality, the logic of the included middle, and complexity -- determine the methodology of transdisciplinary research." -Basarab Nicolescu [8]

"There is much to suggest that when human beings acquired the powers of conscious attention and rational thought they became so fascinated with these new tools that they forgot all else, like chickens hypnotized with their beaks to a chalk line.

"Our difficulty is not that we have developed conscious attention but that we have lost the wider style of feeling which should be its background, the feeling which would lets us know what nature is from the inside." -Alan Watts [14]
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