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The Mind of the Steward: Inquiry-Based Philosophy for The 21st Century - by Eric Sommer (c) 2000 AD.

PART  1: BASIC CATEGORIES.

CHAPTER 2. EXPERIENCE, BEINGS, AND PHENOMENAL WORLDS
Our universe is a network or society of interacting beings. I want to begin my discussion of the categories of the universal network with the concept that our universe is made up of `individual beings'. By an `individual being' is meant any entity, living or nonliving, which may be found in our universe. I am a being. You are a being. And the bugs, stars, light bulbs, people, fish, dogs, trees, atoms, and automobiles of the universe may also all be thought of as beings.
These beings which make up our universe can be categorized, with a certain degree of simplification, as either `human'', `natural', or `divine'. I will not attempt to define `human', `natural', or `divine' here. But I will provide a few examples.
You and I are presumably `human beings'.
Trees, bugs, stars, and atoms are `natural beings'.
And God or the sacred dimension is a `divine being'.
In addition to the categories `human', `natural', and `divine', beings may be categorized as to whether they are `simple' or `compound'. A `simple being' is one which cannot be further subdivided; it is therefore immortal and indestructible. Such immortal and indestructible simple beings are also called `monads'. As for `compound beings', they are made up of simple beings or monads; they are therefore not immortal or indestructible since they can be further subdivided into the simple beings which make them up.

The Nature of Experience
Now I want to introduce a feature shared by all beings whether human, natural, or divine. This shared feature is that each being exists in its own `world of experience'. By `experience', I mean everything undergone or encountered by a being. My experience is my direct encounter with the world as `seen' from my side of the encounter. My experience includes all the sense data -all of the sights, sounds, tastes, touches, and smells - I encounter. But it includes far more than that. It includes all of the thoughts, feelings, emotions, body sensations, energies, and any other phenomena whatsoever which I directly encounter. Everything which I am directly aware of or which I encounter, whether it is `internal' or `external' to my being, is part of my experience.

It should be emphasized that experience, as the concept is used here, is not synonymous with consciousness. For a human being, such as myself, a great deal of experience is `conscious experience'. But by defining experience as "everything undergone or encountered by a being", we are positing experience as a feature shared by all beings, whether conscious or non-conscious, whether living or non-living, whether human, natural, or divine. A rock too has its experiences, if only in terms of `undergoing or encountering' the knocks of other rocks

Phenomenal Worlds
One way of labeling or discussing our experiences is with the term phenomenon and its grammatical variants. A `phenomenon' is a single experience. `Phenomena' refers to two or more discreet experiences. And `phenomenal', which is an adjective, indicates that the term or expression to which it is applied refers to an entity which is in our experience.
These terms allow me to introduce the concept of a `phenomenal world' or `world of experience'. By a `phenomenal world', I mean the collection of all the phenomena or experiences encountered by a being.
Each individual being whether human, natural, or divine exists in its own phenomenal world. I exist in my phenomenal world. A raccoon exists in its phenomenal world. And god, if God exists, exists in his/her phenomenal world.
At this moment my phenomenal world includes my computer screen; thinking about the text that I am writing; noticing my chest rise and fall as I breath; and feeling sore from sitting in the same place for too long. The sum total of all my `internal' and `external' experiences make up my phenomenal world.
The Individuality of Experience
One point I want to make about phenomenal worlds is that they do not overlap. Beings do not directly share any of their experiences. Their experiences may be similar. But they are not the same experience. You and I may both be looking at the `same' tree. But my experience of the tree is my experience appearing in my phenomenal world. Your experience of the tree is your experience appearing in your phenomenal world. This separation of phenomenal worlds is highlighted by the case of colour blindness. A tree whose leaves are turning in the fall may appear multi- coloured and multi-hued to someone with colour vision. But it will not so appear to someone who is colour-blind. What I most want to emphasize, however, is this: whether our experiences are markedly different or relatively similar, they are our own experiences.

This separation of phenomenal worlds might be called the `individuality of experience'. Its significance, and the reasons for assuming that is in fact the case, will appear as we proceed.

There is one other point I want to make before I move on. It is that the `individuality of experience' does not necessarily prevent us from knowing what other beings are experiencing. I cannot directly experience your experiences. But your communications regarding your experiences, and your behavior in relationship to your experiences, can enter my phenomenal world. Suppose I want to know if you are experiencing a tree. I can scan your statements for indications, or outright reports, that you are experiencing the tree. I can also watch your behavior to see whether you direct your eyes towards the tree, stand in front of the tree, appear to touch the tree, and so on. Your reports about the tree, and your behavior towards it, are as much a part of my phenomenal world as the image of the tree itself when I am looking at it. While not a foolproof method, attending to the reports and `orienting behaviors' of other beings can generally tell us a good deal about their experiences.

Beings Have The Power To Effect One Another

Now I come to another important concept. This is the concept that beings have the ability to enter into, and produce effects in, one another's phenomenal worlds. When Jackie and Jennifer come to visit me, they enter into and produce effects in my world of experience. If Jackie sings a song she just learned, her performance appears in my phenomenal world. If I pour tea and hand it to Jackie, the tea appears in her phenomenal world. Jackie and Jennifer do not, as pointed out earlier, directly share any of my experiences. Nor do I share any of theirs. But we most certainly enter into and effect one another's experiences during our interactions.

In addition, Jackie and Jennifer appear when they visit me to pay attention to one another. They not only look at me; they look at each other. They not only talk to me; they talk to each other. It therefore appears to me very much as if Jackie and Jennifer are appearing in one another's worlds as well as my own.

Human beings, natural beings, and divine beings all have this power to enter into and produce effects in the phenomenal worlds or experience of other beings.

I have the ability to produce effects in the phenomenal worlds of other beings.

A raccoon has the ability to produce effects in the phenomenal worlds of other beings.

And god if god exists has the ability to produce effects in the phenomenal worlds of other beings.

One definition of a being is that of `a power with the ability to enter into and effect the phenomenal world or experience of at least one other being'.

The Reality of The World

Now I want to discuss, necessarily at some length, some of the evidence for this concept of `other beings'. You may, at this point, be wondering why I bother to provide such evidence. The notion that there are beings other than oneself is, after all, a self-evident proposition for most people. I have, however, two reasons for providing evidence for this notion. My first reason is that there is a viewpoint known as solipsism which contends that each of us alone is the author of all of our own experiences. My second reason is that my evidence for the existence of other beings will also serve me in essential ways in the development of other concepts later on.

How, then, do I know that there are in fact any beings other than myself? Since by definition I can never get outside my phenomenal world, how do I know that there is anything outside it? How do I know that I am not creating all my own experiences, and that the other beings I encounter are not simply my own projections?

My evidence comes from an examination of the character of experience itself. In examining my experiences I notice that some of them appear to be amenable to my will and some do not.

I am able, for example, to call up and dismiss certain experiences at will. Some, although not all, of the thoughts which appear in my mind are of this character. I may summon up or dismiss the idea or image of Jackie and Jennifer visiting me simply by willing it. I will to think of my last visit with them and I find myself thinking of it. I will to stop thinking of my last visit with them and I find myself not thinking of it. There is, in cases such as this, a direct correlation between my willing and my experiences. When such correlation's exist, they seem to point to `I', or my will, as a power or cause behind the phenomena which I am experiencing.

The case is quite different, however, with the majority of my experiences. The range of phenomena or experiences which are completely amenable to my will is in fact quite limited.

Other people, other living beings in general, inanimate objects around me, and particular aspects of my own mind and body frequently don't do as I like. They may resist what I want, or even do the opposite of what I want. They may also do things that I haven't willed or even thought of at all.

Such phenomena appear to have their own `character', a character independent of my willing, and of my likes and dislikes.

A piece of wood is characterized by its own particular grain. This grain conditions the ways in which I can work with the wood quite apart from the qualities `I' might prefer to find in the wood. My body continues to get tired when I don't sleep even though `I' would rather remain in a state of alert wakefulness. Jackie and Jennifer may decide not to visit me today even though I wanted them to come. Such phenomena, which appear to operate independently of my will, suggest to me that `I' am not the power or cause behind them. They lead me to posit the existence of `other beings'. I posit these `other beings' in order to explain those experiences in my phenomenal world which do not seem to be due to `I' or my will.

This impression that there are beings other than myself is reinforced by the existence of surprises. I go outside expecting a sunny day and it's raining. I run out of money and an old friend unexpectedly turns-up and gives me some. I think I see a silver shell on the beach but on closer examination it turns out to be a shiny piece of wood. Jackie and Jennifer say they aren't coming today and then they turn up. Such surprises again suggest the existence of beings or powers other than `I' or my will. These beings or powers are, I hypothesize, responsible for at least some of the experiences I encounter in my phenomenal world.
Conclusion
I began this discussion of `the evidence for other beings' by citing the `solipsist position'. This position, as you may recall, is that we each create our own experience. I think you can see now that the solipsist belief that `each of us is sole creator of our own experience' collapses in the face of the lessons of experience itself. For experience teaches that our world includes elements which resist our will, which don't do what we want them to do, and which offer us surprises. These elements of resistance and surprise in our experience point to the existence of other beings, beings with their own characters and wills who exist quite apart from us and our wills. It is our interaction or encounter with these other beings - and not ourselves alone - which produces our experiences. I can't think of a better way to pull all this together than to end this chapter with the definition of experience I introduced earlier: "My experience is my encounter with my world - and with the beings of my world - as seen from my side of the interaction."

CHAPTER 3. NOUMENA - THE POWERS BEHIND EXPERIENCE

I have now placed before you a case for the existance of other beings. These other beings are, as it were, powers `behind the scenes' of my experience. They, along with the power behind the scenes whch I call 'I', are responsible for my experiences.

I call these powers behind the scenes noumena. By `noumena', I mean any human, natural, or divine being currently outside my direct experience but possessing the power to enter into and effect my experience. When Jackie and Jenifer are not visiting me, they are from my perspective noumena. They are beings outside my phenomenal world but possessing the power to enter into and effect it, as is proven when they periodiclly arrive for visits.

Noumena may be contrasted with phenomena. Noumena are human, natural, or divine beings outside my experience. Phenomena are human, natural, or divine beings inside my experience. In addition, noumena may be regarded as the source of phenomena. As powers behind the scenes, noumena have the ability to enter into and effect my experience. Phenomena, entities inside my experience, may be thought of as the manifestation or actualization of the noumenal powers behind the scenes of my experience.

Let's look at an example. When my friends Jackie and Jenifer are not visiting me, they are, as we saw, noumena. They are powers or potentialities which are completely outside my phenomenal world. But suppose they call me on the phone. As I hear their voices their power to enter my experience and effect it is actualized. They cease to be purely noumenal and become to an extent phenomenal. At the same time a large part of them remains noumenal. I only hear their voices. The rest of them - their bodies, minds, inner selves - is outside my experience. But this noumenal portion of Jackie and Jenifer, though it is outside my experience, is not irrelevant to my experience. It is Jackie and Jenifer as noumena, as powers behind the scenes of my expereince, who are in fact responsbile for the voices on the phone.

Now let's consider a noumenal cold virus. Such a cold virus is outside our experience. It represents, however, a series of potentialities including the potentiality for illness. The actual experience of a cold - a runny nose, weakness, perhaps a mild fever - represents the conversion of this noumenal potentiality into phenomena. The cold has ceased to be purely noumenal and become to an extent phenomenal. It has, in other words, entered my experience. At the same time a large part of the cold remains noumenal or outside my experience. I don't, for example, ordinarily see the cold virus. It may also be that the cold virus is not the only cause for the cold. Perhaps my body has gotten into a weakened condition and therefore become unusually susceptible to colds. And perhaps I have abused or weakened my body in this way by the way I have treated it. In that case there would be at least three noumena, or powers, behind the cold. These would be the `I' which mistreated the body, the condition of the body itself, and the cold virus. In addition, a cold virus has the power to enter my experience in ways other than the production of illness. With the aid of a microscope, for example, a cold virus can manifest its shape and movements in my visual field.

This process of converting potentialties into actualities underlies all experience. As I open a can of diet pepsi and drink it, my experience consists of converting noumenal pepsi, pepsi as a potentiality or power to slack my thirst, into phenomenal pepsi, pepsi going down my throat and in fact slacking my thirst. Experience is the process of actualizing potentialities, of transforming noumena into phenomena.


CHAPTER 4. NOUMENA AND PHENOMENA AS POTENTIALITIES AND ACTUALITIES

In this chapter I want to introduce an important pair of concepts. These are `potentiality' and `actuality'. These concepts parallel those of noumena and phenomena introduced in the last chapter.

Noumena, as I explained in the last chapter, are `powers behind the sciences'. Noumena may be human beings, natural beings, or divine beings. But they are in any event beings outside my direct experience but possessing the power to enter into and effect my experience.

Noumena may also be thought of as `potentialities' or `potentialities for experience'. By a `potentiality for experience', I mean any being or any portion of any being, which is currently outside my phenomenal world but is able to enter into and effect it. Such potentialities may be human, natural, or divine. A part of my city I have not yet visited, a cold virus I have not yet caught, or a part of god I am not currently encountering would all be potentialities for my experience.

Contrasting with `potentialities for experience.' is the concept of `actualities' or `actualities within experience'. By an `actuality within experience', I mean a potentiality for experience which has been actualized as an experience within one or more phenomenal worlds.

Suppose I visit a part of my city I have not previously visited. In bringing it into my phenomenal world I convert it from a potentiality for my experience into an actual experience. Or suppose I catch a cold virus which was previously present in the environment. In appearing in my phenomenal world, the cold's symptoms are converted from a potentiality for my experience into an actual experience.

Or suppose I encounter an aspect of god, assuming god exists, which I have not previously encountered. In appearing in my phenomenal world that aspect of god is converted from a potentiality for my experience into an actual experience.

I want to emphasize that all `potentialities' are `potentialities for experience'. To be a potentiality is to have the power to appear as an experience within the phenomenal world of some being. I want also to emphasize that all `actualities' are `actualities within experience'. To be an actuality is to appear or be actualized within the phenomenal world of some being.

Finally, I want to emphasize that the character of most everyday objects is such that each of them carries a great many potentialities for human experience.

Suppose an ordinary glass is in front of me on the kitchen table. I can look at the glass and elicit its potentiality to present a shiny semi-transparent appearance to my eye. I can pour water into the glass and elicit its potentiality to contain liquids. I can bring the glass to my lips and elicit its potentiality for me to conveniently drink liquid out of it. I can tap the glass with a spoon and elicit its potentiality to make a musical kind of sound. I can turn the glass upside down and use it to support another object. I can melt the glass down in a furnace and reshape it. And so forth.

A glass, like most everyday objects, is brimming over with potentialities which can be actualized within the phenomenal worlds of human beings.

CHAPTER 5. CHARACTER

In the last two chapters we saw that noumena or potentialities are `powers behind the scenes'. They are beings, or portions of beings, outside my phenomenal world but able to enter into and effect it. Jackie and Jennifer, for example, when they are not visiting me. and are not in my direct experience, are noumena or potentialities for experience.

In this chapter I want to examine the concept that every noumena whether human, natural, or divine has its own particular `character'. By `character', I mean the specific characteristics or potentialities for experience carried by each being. I have a character. You have a character. A raccoon has a character. The large rock in my garden has a character. The tree outside my window has a character. The former Soviet Union and the United States, have character. And God if God exists has a character.

It is the character or potentialities carried by these beings which makes each of them just what it is - and not something else.

You can, for example, climb twenty feet off the ground by climbing up the tree in my back yard. You can do so because the character of the tree includes the potentialities to bear the weight of a 200 pound human being and to be climbed twenty feet into the air. You cannot, however, climb twenty feet into the air by climbing up my back. The character of my body does not include the potentiality to support a 200 pound human being, nor does it include the potentiality to be climbed twenty feet into the air.

Or consider my character and that of my friend Jennifer. If you query me about a particular point related to computer technology or religion, I may be able to answer you, as my manifest character includes a relative degree of familiarity with computer technology and religion. My friend Jennifer, on the other hand, can tell you far more about mathematics than I can but knows relatively little about computer technology or religion.

Every Being Has Its' Own Character

The point I have been making is that all of the beings we encounter have their own particular characters. These characters, together with our own, determine the kinds of experiences we can have with those beings.

I want to emphasize that the characters of other human, natural, or divine beings exist independently of our own. Their characters are what they are regardless of what we might like them to be.

I might wish that my friend Jennifer knew more computer technology or religion, or that the cherry tree in my backyard were really an apple tree. But my wish has no effect on the fact that at this time Jennifer does not know much about computer technology or religion or that the cherry tree is not an apple tree.

It is, then, not my will alone but the character or potentialities of other human, natural, or divine beings which determine the kinds of experiences I can have with them. As I put it in a previous chapter: "A piece of wood is characterized by its own particular grain. This grain conditions the ways in which I can work with the wood quite apart from the qualities `I' might prefer to find in the wood." in short, every being has a character which determines the kinds of experiences which are possible when it encounters another being.

CHAPTER 6. MANIFEST AND LATENT CHARACTER

In this chapter I want to briefly discuss two important aspects of character. These two aspects are `manifest character' and `latent character'. By the `manifest character' of a being, I mean its overt character or potentialities. The manifest character of a being is, as it were, `on the surface'. It consists of those potentialities which have been developed such that little more than change of spatial relationships is necessary to bring them into actual experience.

Suppose a dinner is already laid out on the table. Little more than a change of spatial relationships - i.e., walking into the dinning area - is necessary to bring such a dinner into my phenomenal world. Such a dinner is part of the `manifest character' of my world.

Or suppose a building is already built. Little more than a change of spatial relationship is necessary for me to encounter the building. Such a building is part of the manifest character of my world.

Or suppose I have developed a skill such as bicycle riding or the ability to engage in compassionate dialogue. Little more than getting on a bicycle or encountering someone I can engage in compassionate dialogue with is necessary to actualize these skills. Such potentialities are part of my manifest character.

LATENT CHARACTER

But now suppose that the potentiality to experience a building consists of materials on a construction site which have not yet been assembled; or that the potentiality to eat my dinner consists of raw foods, kitchenware, and a stove; or that the potentiality to engage in compassionate dialogue or ride a bicycle consists of basic cognitive or motor abilities which have not as yet been developed into these particular skills.

In such cases the noumena or potentialities are part of the `latent characters' of the beings involved. Like the manifest character of a being, its latent character consists of potentialities for experience. But unlike its manifest character, the potentialities in its latent character require modifications well beyond a simple change of physical location to be accessed. This distinction between a being's manifest character and its latent character may also be thought of as a distinction between its `manifest being' and its `latent being'.

Finally, I want to sum up these two chapters on character.

The first message of these chapters is that every being whether human, natural, or divine has its own character. This character consists of the potentialities for experience which the being carries.

The second message of these two chapters is that the characters or potentialities of beings exist independently of our beliefs or desires about them. My character, a raccoon's character, and god's character if god exists are just what they are regardless of what we might believe or want them to be. The third message of these chapters is that it is fundamentally the character or potentialities of beings, and not our beliefs or desires, which determine the kinds of experiences we can have with them. And the fourth message of these chapters is that beings have a `manifest character' consisting of potentialities for experience which are readily available and a `latent character' consisting of potentialities for experience which are not readily available.


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CHAPTER 7. EXPERIENCE AS INTERACTION

In this chapter I want to introduce you to a crucial principle. It is the principle that all experience is generated by the interactions between beings. Suppose I encounter you on the street. If you wave a friendly greeting as we approach one another, my experience of that wave will be an interaction between the motion of your hand on the one side, and the ability of my eyes and mind to see and interpret such a greeting on the other.

Or suppose I am holding a glass of water and experiencing its cool, round shape. This experience will be an interaction. It will be an interaction between the character of the glass on the one side, and the character or abilities of my human hand and mind on the other. Since it is an interaction, my experience of feeling the cool, round shape of the glass will last as long as I continue to hold the glass. But, since it is an interaction, my experience of feeling the cool, round shape of the glass will also cease the moment I end the interaction by putting the glass back down on the table.

Now I want to expand on the principle that all experience is generated by the interactions between beings.

Each being, as we saw in the previous two chapters, has its own particular character. This character consists of the noumena or potentialities for experience or being which the being carries. These potentialities which make up the character of a being cannot, however, be actualized except through its interactions with other beings. When a being interacts with other beings, its potentialities rub, as it were, up against their characters or potentialities. In so `rubbing', some of the potentialities carried by the beings are elicited or activated; they are converted into actual experiences within the respective phenomenal worlds of the interacting beings.

This process of converting potentialities for experience into actual experiences through interaction can, I think, be best understood by contemplating a range of examples.

Suppose that Jackie, Jennifer, and I carry potentialities to experience stimulating conversations with one another. Those potentialities can be converted into experience only by the interaction of an actual conversation.
Or consider my body's potentiality to be squashed flat by a truck. That potentiality, one I would like to avoid actualizing, will be manifested only if I interact in a `flattening way' with a truck.
Or suppose I am allergic to bean sprouts. My potentiality to experience an allergic reaction will only be actualized if I actually eat bean sprouts.
Or consider my mind's potentiality to remember what I had at lunch. This potentiality will be actualized only if I interact with my mind in a way which elicits that memory.
Or consider my potentialities to enjoy and appreciate classical, rock, and jazz music. Those potentialities can be actualized only by actually hearing or interacting with these three kinds of music.
Or consider the potentiality for a seed to grow into a tree. That potentiality will be actualized only if the seed interacts with appropriate soil conditions, sunlight, and a generally appropriate eco-nich including the other flora and fauna in the area.
Or consider my potentiality to experience God or the sacred if it exists. That potentiality will be actualized as experience only if I interact through prayer, meditation, or another appropriate means with God or the sacred.
All experience, then, is produced by interaction.

My experience of a human being is generated by the interactions between that human being's character and my own. My experience of a natural being is generated by the interactions between that natural being's character and my own. And my experience of a divine or sacred being is generated by the interactions between that divine or sacred being's character and my own.

The Formula For Generating Specific Experiences

This dependence of experience on interaction - and on the characters of interacting beings - has an important consequence. This consequence is that to elicit a particular experience not just any interaction will do. It takes particular kinds of interactions between particular kinds of beings to elicit a particular kind of experience. Put differently, beings with the appropriate characters must come together in an appropriate way.

If I want to experience a baseball game with Jennifer, for example, I must meet her at the baseball court. It won't do if I go to the movies with her or if I meet Jackie when it's Jennifer I want to play with. These considerations lead us to what I call `the three-fold formula for eliciting a particular experience'.

Let's take a look at this formula.

The first condition set by the formula is that the being seeking an experience must carry the potentiality to have that kind of experience. Consider that I am human being with normal hearing. As such, I have the potentiality to experience the sound of a spoon tapping a glass. I cannot, however, hear the high pitched sounds audible to dogs and certain other animals. I do not carry the potentiality to do so.

The second condition for eliciting a particular experience is that the being seeking the experience must have access to, and actually interact with, the other beings or entities necessary to generate the experience. If I want to hear a spoon tapping a glass, it will not do if I interact with a trumpet and piano, a bat and ball, or a sock and a shoe.

The third condition for eliciting a particular experience is that the being seeking the experience, and the other beings or entities involved, must engage in the particular interactions which will generate the experience. It will not do if I stir liquid in the glass with the spoon, or stick the spoon in my mouth while turning the glass upside down. To elicit the `spoon-tapping-glass' sound, I must tap the glass with the spoon.

The `three-fold formula' states, then, that to elicit a particular experience I must: 1. Carry the potentiality for that experience. 2. Interact with the particular other beings or entities who can elicit that experience. 3. Interact with those other beings or entities in the particular way that will elicit that experience.


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CHAPTER 8. EXPERIENCE AS ENCOUNTER WITH THE WORLD

In this chapter I want to emphasize that experience is my encounter or interaction with the world. Experience is not a `subjective' realm. It does not exist cut off from the `actual' or `objective' world. It is true that a being exists in its own phenomenal world and does not directly share its experiences with other beings. But the experience of a being is not separate from other beings in that it has nothing to do with those other beings.

On the contrary, a being's experience is its direct interaction with the other beings of its world as seen from its side of the interaction. In its experience a being knows the beings of its world in the most direct way possible - through direct encounter. I never know a glass more than when I directly encounter or hold it. I never know you more than when I directly encounter or interact with you. And I never know the tree in my backyard more than when I directly see it, touch it, or climb it.

My experience, then, is my encounter with the world as seen from my side of the encounter. This means that experience always involves at least two beings. There must, that is, be a being which has the experience and at least one other being which is experienced. Nothing in the human, natural, or divine worlds can be experienced unless there is a being there to receive the experience and another being there to be received. "It takes," as they say, "two to tango."

But what about my experiences of my own mental or physical states? Does the `two-sided' character of experience apply to these `inner experiences' as well? The answer is `yes'. My inner experiences involve encounters between my self, on the one hand, and my mind and body on the other. Thoughts and feelings arise in my experience as a result of my encounters or interactions with my body and mind. These inner experiences, and the interactions responsible for them, will be discussed in the section on the human `Body-Mind-I' system.

Finally, experience or interaction is a revelation of being. Through my interactions with the other human, natural, and divine beings of my world those beings successively reveal their beings or potentialities to me. As I get to know my friend Jennifer, for example, I may successively see her play the oboe for the first time, comment on a film we have seen, or choose what to order in a restaurant. Each of these interactions or experiences with Jennifer tells me something more about her character or potentialities. It is through their interactions, and the experiences generated by those interactions, that beings successively reveal themselves and their potentialities to one another.


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CHAPTER 9. THE UBIQUITY OF INTERACTION

My essential thrust in the previous two chapters was that all experience, and all manifestations of being, are generated by interaction. My thrust in this chapter is simply to stress the pervasivness of interaction itself. Consider such categories as development and diminution, evolution and devolution, creation and destruction, and growth and decay. All of these categories refer to particular forms or aspects of interaction. So too do the four forces identified by contemporary science as the primary factors in the physical universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces in the atomic or subatomic realm.

In addition, the communities of organisms that make up the various bio-regions of our planet also exist as individual and collective interaction systems. Forests, oceans, and desert areas alike are collections of interacting beings.

Finally, the building blocks of the human cultural realm also consist of interactions and interaction patterns. Human labour, human artistic endeavor, human nurturing and caring, human kinship and social systems, human war and human peace, human religion, and all other human cultural activities constitute particular forms of interaction.

Whether we look at the physical universe, the bio-spheric world of life, or the human cultural realm, our world is a world of interaction.


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CHAPTER 10: THE `INDIVIDUAL' AND THE `SOCIAL' ASPECTS OF REALITY.

In this chapter I want to clarify an important relationship. It is the relationship between the `individual' and the `interactive' or `social' aspects of reality. This world view attempts to give due weight to both of these aspects. It emphasizes on the one hand that the universe is made up of individual beings, each with its own particular character or potentialities. It emphasizes on the other hand the pervasiveness, and the fundamental status, of interactions or `social relationships' between beings.

Consider a human beings such as my friend Jennifer, a natural being such as a skunk, and a divine being such as god. Each is an individual being, dwelling in its own world of experience, possessing its own character, carrying its own potentialities.

Thinking in this way helps us to see the particularity, and the irreducible reality and importance, of individual human beings such as my friend Jennifer, of individual natural beings such as skunks, and of individual divine beings such as god. But, as pointed out earlier, the particularities or potentialities of individual beings can only be actualized through the interactions between them. In this respect the world view also emphasizes the interconnected or `social' character of beings.

A human being, for example, may have the potentiality to enjoy the shade of a tree. But he or she cannot experience that shade except by interacting with a tree. A skunk may have the potentiality to walk on a blade of grass. But the skunk cannot experience walking on the grass, nor can the grass experience the skunk's tread, except through the interactions between them. Or consider that God, if God exists, may have the potentiality to experience the clouds which encircle the earth. This experience cannot be actualized, however, unless God interacts in some way or another with those clouds.

These two aspects - the `individual' and the `interactive' or `social' - are mutually dependent on one another. Reality as we know it requires them both. On the one hand, there can be no interactions, and therefore no actualization of experience or being, except through the existence of individual beings. Without particular beings bringing their particular characters or potentialities to their interactions, there would be nothing to interact and therefore no interactions and no experiences. On the other hand, without interaction individual beings would remain mere bundles of potentialities; they would be unable to manifest their being or realize their potentialities for experience. This interdependence of the `individual' and the `social' aspects of reality has been captured by my friend Stuart Piddocke in an aphorism: "Being is being in relationship, but there is no relationship between non-entities."


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CHAPTER 11. INTERACTION AS COGNITION AND CONNATION

In this chapter I want to deepen my exploration of interaction. Before going further, however, I want to provide you with a formal definition. By `interaction', I mean any interplay or encounter between two or more beings. Now in any such interplay or encounter there are three primary aspects. These three aspects are `cognition', `connation', and `processing'. By `cognition', I mean the act of going out to the world to learn about or receive it.

Suppose you make a statement and I `take it in'. I am cognizing - i.e., allowing myself to receive or be reshaped by - that statement. Or suppose the branch of a tree is bent or broken by the weight of a bear. The branch is cognizing - i.e., receiving or being reshaped by - the bear's weight.

Or suppose a worker hammers a piece of metal into a round shape. The metal is cognizing - i.e., receiving or being reshaped by - the worker's hammer strokes.

In cognition, then, we receive the `impress' of the world - and of its forms and shapes - into our own being. Cognition may be thought of as `receiving the world', `feeling the world', or `learning of the world'. But whether we speak of `receiving', `feeling', or `learning', all of these words point to the same thing: they point to the fact that in cognition we are not effecting other beings but are rather receiving their effects into ourselves.

Suppose I hear a door slam. My cognition of this sound is an act of `learning', of `feeling', of `receiving'. It is an act of receiving into my own being the `impress' of a loud grating `sound-form'. This door-slamming cognition may be contrasted with happier ones such as receiving into my being the joyous `sound-form' of a mozart symphony.

Cognition is complemented by `connation'.

In `connation' we are not being shaped or influenced by the world but are shaping or influencing it. By `connation', I mean the act of going out to the world to shape or influence it. In connation we modify the world to conform to our own desires or character.

Consider a human being who turns on a computer, kneads dough to form a loaf of bread, or makes a request of another person. These acts are all examples of connation. In all of them the individual is going out to the world to modify or shape it.

Or consider what happens when I enter a room and you look up and see me. My body is, in effect, connating or going out to modify or shape your perception. Or think of a bird building a nest, beating its wings against the air to fly, singing a song, or standing on a tree. In all these cases the bird is engaged in connation, in going out to the world to modify or shape it according to its character or desires.

Connation, then, is the act of shaping or influencing the world. Together, connation and cognition form two sides of every interaction. When I reshape or connate the world, there is necessarily something else which receives or cognizes my action. When I receive or cognize the world, there is necessarily something else which is connating or reshaping me.

Suppose I use my hands to form raw dough into the shape of a dough of bread. I am performing an executive action or connation. I am going out to the world to shape it. The molecules of the bread, in receiving my connation, in taking on the shape I convey, are performing an act of cognition. They are receiving the world.

Or suppose a rock falls into a pool of water. The rock's impact on the water is a connation effecting or reshaping the water. The ripples of the water resulting from the rocks impact are the cognition's of the rock by the water.

Or suppose my friend Jackie says, "could you hand me the glass?" in making that request she is performing an executive action or connation. She is going out to the world to shape it. In taking in her request I am performing an act of cognition. I am going out to the world to learn about or receive it.

Every interaction, then, involves these two sides. One side is a being going out to shape the world or connation. The other side is a being going out to receive the world or cognition.

In the next chapter, we'll look at the role of processing in interaction.


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CHAPTER 12. PROCESSING IN INTERACTION

In the previous chapter we saw that interaction involves connation and cognition. In connation I go out to effect the world, as when I stick my fork into a piece of carrot. In cognition I go out to receive the world, as when I chew-up the piece of carrot and swallow it.

In this chapter I want to introduce you to a third important aspect of all interaction. This aspect is `processing'. By `processing', I mean the action of beings in modifying the cognition's they receive to fit their own characters. In receiving cognition's beings necessarily modify them, in one way or another, in keeping with their own characters.

Suppose I touch a friend's arm, or a rock, or a tree. In each of these cases the beings in question will receive or `process' my touch in different ways in keeping with their own characters.

Or suppose some grass is eaten by an insect, a cow, or a human. In each of these cases the beings in question will receive or `process' the grass in different ways in keeping with their own characters.

Or suppose I rattle off a set of numbers to a friend, or record them on a sheet of paper, or input them to a `spread-sheet' program designed to manipulate them on my computer. In each of these cases the beings in question will receive or `process' my figures in different ways in keeping with their own characters.

Finally, I want to connect my discussion of processing with the language of `input and output'.

Strictly speaking, processing is part of input or cognition. Processing means that in receiving something a being necessarily changes that something in keeping with its own character. However, we can distinguish for analytical purposes between the bare fact that a being receives or cognizes something and the further modifications which it makes in that something. This distinction allows us to treat the action of mediators as a three-stage sequence. This sequence is that of input or cognition, processing or modification, and output or connation. This may more simply be written as cognition-processing- connation. From this perspective, a being acting as a mediator cognizes the world, processes what it has cognized, and outputs the result back to the world.


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CHAPTER 13. INTRODUCTION TO FORM

In the previous two chapters we saw that interaction involves cognition, connation, and processing. Now I want to examine these three aspects of interaction as involving the transmission of `form'.

In laying the groundwork for this discussion my first order of business is to define `form' and discuss its general character.

The word `form' comes from the Latin `forma' which probably was derived from `ferire' meaning `to strike' or `to hew' and thereby to make a recognizable thing. By `form', then, I mean any distinct or recognizable element or set of elements in experience.

Geometric Forms

The most commonly cited forms are the geometric ones which appear in our visual fields. These geometric forms are, to begin with, the various kinds of lines which I see when I look out on my visual world. These lines are wavy, straight, jagged or crooked as the case may be. Joined together, these lines make up such forms as rectangles, triangles, polygons, circles, ellipses, and the many other `irregular' shapes of my visual world. If I look at a chair, for example, I see various straight and curved lines, and these connect together to make the shapes of the back, the seat. And the legs of the chair.

Colour And Other Sense Forms

In addition to geometric forms, my visual field includes the forms, or forms of experience, called `colours'. There is, for example, the `form of redness'. This is the element of experience which recurs whenever I see the colour red in my visual field. If I look at a red chair I see, in addition to its geometric forms, this form of redness. All distinguishable colours and shades are forms of my visual experience.

Geometric forms and colour forms are only the beginning of the forms encountered by a human being.

There are, in addition, all the forms which come to us through the other sense channels. Each of the sounds I hear, for example, has a distinct form. There is the loud, grating form of a slamming door; the kindly, happy form of a friend talking to a friend; and the joyful, upbeat form of a mozart symphony.

Or consider the sense of touch. The touch of sandpaper communicates one kind of form to me; shaking hands with someone communicates another kind of form to me; and stroking a dog conveys still another kind of form to me. The senses of smell and taste serve as additional channels through which many other distinct forms of experience are received by human beings.

Mental Forms

In addition to forms received through the sense channels, there are also the `forms of mental life'. These `mental forms' include all of the thoughts, feelings, subtle energies, and so forth which we encounter in the mental realm.

Among our emotions, for example, are anger, fear, sadness, love, and joy, each of which has its own distinct forms. Manfred Clynes has made a start in charting these distinct emotional forms in his book `Sentic Forms'. In addition to emotional forms, human mental life also includes various kinds of `thought-forms'. I cannot even begin to categorize these thought- forms here. I will instead simply point out that the thought-forms we `see' in our minds may be visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or olfactory in nature. There also seems to be a category of thoughts composed of pure concept-forms not draped in sensory clothing.

I have, I trust, given you at least a general sense of form. To be an experience is to be a `something' which I encounter. To be a `something' is to have a distinguishable form. All experiences have such forms and may be said to consist of forms.


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CHAPTER 14. INTERACTION AS TRANSMISSION OF FORM

In the previous chapter I proposed that all experience is made up of specific forms. I also defined these forms as "any distinct or recognizable element or set of elements in experience". In this chapter I want to explore the transmission of these forms by means of interaction.

In their interactions with one another beings transmit forms - or forms of experience - to one another. In connating its world a being sends out its forms to other beings. In cognizing its world a being receives forms from other beings. And in processing its world a being fits the forms it has received from other beings to its own character.

Suppose my friend Jackie and I interact by shaking hands. This interaction will consist of both sending forms to one another and receiving forms from one another. In my phenomenal world I will receive or encounter Jackie shaking my hand as a set of pressure-forms or pressure-feelings appearing in my hand as she grasps it; as a set of hand shapes appearing in my visual field; and as a set of warm, friendly feeling forms which appear in my mental sphere. In Jackie's phenomenal world she will receive or encounter me as another set of geometric forms, colour-forms, sound-forms, touch-forms, emotional-forms, and so forth.

All Interaction Involves The Transmission of Form

All interaction, then, involves this process of beings transmitting forms to one another. Prior to this transmission these forms reside as potentailities for form in the characters of the beings involved.

A chair, for example, carries in its character a set of potentialities to produce particular kinds of forms in my phenomenal world. These potentialities for form manifest themselves as a set of geometric and colour forms when I look at the chair; as a set of kinesthetic and touch forms when I touch the chair; and as a set of pressure and feeling forms when I sit on the chair.

All beings, as we saw in a previous chapter, have individual characters. These characters consist of the particular potentialities for experience carried by the beings. I can now add that these potentilaities for experience carried by beings are their potentialities to produce forms in one another's phenomenal worlds through their interactions with one another. The character of a chair, for example, includes the potentiality to produce a `chair-form' in my visual field when I look at it. All beings contain potentialities for form in their characters and manifest those potentialities through their interactions with other beings.

Now a word to prevent misunderstanding. In claiming that all beings carry particular potentialities for form I risk trespassing on a time-honored doctrine. This is the prohibition found in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the other western monotheistic faths against making or worshipping forms or graven images of God.

In prohibiting the `making' of forms or images of God, however, I do not think that the western monotheistic faiths are ruling out the possibility that God has forms. On the contrary, it is by virtue of God's forms, if God in fact exists, that he or she would be able to enter into and effect the phenomenal worlds of other beings. If God truly had no forms, he or she would not exist and could not appear to other beings or influence other beings in any way whatsoever.

All interactions between beings involve, then, the transmission or generation of forms. The nature of these forms is determined by the potentialities for form carried by the beings involved, and by the particular ways in which these potentialities come together in the interactions between the beings.

Consider a lump of potter's clay. Its character includes the potentiality to take on the form of a tea cup. If I simply mash it beneath my foot, however, the clay will not produce anything useful. If, on the other hand, I interact in an appropriate way with the clay, it will receive from my hands the form of a tea cup. But no matter how I interact with it, a lump of potters clay will not receive from my mind or speech a complex mental form such as a request to "please form yourself into a tea cup". The clay simply does not have the character to receive this kind of mental form.

Beings `Stamp' Their Forms Upon One Another

As beings interact, they progressivly shape and reshape, form and reform, one another's characters. They `stamp', as it were, their forms upon one another. They do not, however, shape one anothers characters just as they please. They rather shape them in ways determined by their potentialities to shape and to be shaped, and by the particular ways in which these potentialities to shape and to be shapped come together in their interactions.


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CHAPTER 15. INTERACTION AS MEDIATION

Until now I have discussed interaction only as taking place directly between beings. So long as only two beings are interacting, all of their interactions will in fact be direct. But as soon as three beings are involved, `mediated interaction' or `indirect interaction' becomes possible. By `mediated interaction' or `indirect interaction', I mean any process in which an interaction between beings is communicated through one or more other beings.

Suppose I am talking on the phone to my friends Jackie and Jennifer. The phone system serves as a `mediator' through which our conversational interaction is transmitted.
Or suppose I am trying to send a message to Jackie and Jennifer through a friend who keeps misconstruing my message. My friend is a `mediator' of a different kind.
Or suppose I am working in the garden with a shovel. The shovel serves as still another kind of `mediator' through which my interaction with the ground is transmitted.
Most Interactions Use Mediators

Most interactions, then, involve mediators of one sort or another. These mediators are `instruments', `media', or `means of interaction' when they promote or facilitate the interaction, and `barriers' or `obstructions' or `noise' when they interfere with or hinder the interaction. But regardless of whether they assist or obstruct the interaction, the mediating beings have their own characters which determine the contributions they make to the interaction. These characters fit these mediating beings to serve as particular kinds of instruments or obstructions, and makes the interaction possible. Put differently, interactions which pass through mediators are processed through the characters of those particular mediators.

Suppose I am working in the garden with a shovel. My digging motions will be quite different when they reach the ground then when I first make them. They will be different because they are processed through the shovel's character with its long handle and sharp-edged scoop before they reach the ground.

Or suppose Jackie tells Jennifer a story and Jennifer tells the story to me. This story will be at least slightly different when I hear it then when Jackie first told it. It will be different because it has been `processed' through Jennifer's character before being passed along to me.

Or finally, suppose a tree receives sunlight and binds it with carbon dioxide, nutrients and water to make an apple. If I eat the apple I am receiving the sunlight received by the tree. But I am receiving it in a different form then when it was first received by the tree. It will be different because it has been processed through the tree's character with its leaves, roots, and general ability to engage in photosynthesis.

Means of Cognition and Means of Connation

Broadly speaking, the means or mediators of interaction can be divided into two kinds. These two kinds parallel the two aspects of every interaction - cognition and connation - which we encountered earlier.

First, then, there are the `means of cognition'. These are means by which we receive the world and learn about it. An eye, a mind, a library, a telephone, a microscope, a telescope, and a computer are, generally speaking, examples of means of cognition.

Secondly, there are the means of connation. These are means by which we go out to shape or influence the world. An animal paw or a human hand, a handtool, a machine, or a house are, generally speaking, means of conation.

Now I would like to explore the concept of mediation in more depth.

In providing examples of means of cognition and means of connation I have spoken as if an entity can serve exclusively as one or the other. An eye or microscope, for example, was said to be a means of cognition. A hand or a machine was said to be a means of connation.

All Mediators Engage in both Cognition and Connation Strictly speaking, however, any entity serving as a mediator is involved to some extent in both cognition and connation.

In `transmitting' an interaction from one being to another a mediator must in the first place receive an `impress' or `input'. This impress or input comes from the source of the interaction. The act of receiving or taking in this impress or input on the part of the mediator is cognition.

But this is only half the story.

In order to complete its `transmission', the mediator must then shape or influence the `recipient' of the transmission. It must, as it were, stamp an impress or convey an input to the `recipient' of the transmission. This is connation.

Both cognition and connation are, then, involved in every act of mediation.

In receiving light a lens engages in cognition. In conveying or impressing this light upon my eye the lens is engaged in connation. In receiving the movements or forces from my hands and arms a shovel is engaged in cognition. In conveying or impressing those movements or forces to the ground, the shovel is engaged in connation. In receiving information from Jackie, Jennifer engages in cognition. In conveying or impressing this information to me, Jennifer engages in connation.

The Ubiquity of Mediators

Mediators, or means of interaction, are a pervasive feature of our world. Their ubiquety is reflected in the wide range of terms which refer to them. We speak of `media' - as in `communications media' or `chemical media'. We speak of `tools' or `instruments'- as in `manual tools' or `musical instruments'. We speak of `vehicles' - as in `transportation vehicles' or, as we will see in a subsequent chapter, `the body and mind as vehicles of the `I' or self'. All of these terms - media, tool, instrument, and vehicle - refer to beings serving as mediators or facilitators of interactions between other beings.

Taken together, the means of cognition and means of connation make up the linkages - the means of interaction - through which beings relate when they are not in direct one-to-one communication. These linkages may also be thought of as extending the `power' of beings. By `power', I mean the ability to interact with the world and generate experiences or states of being which one desires. By extending the `outreach' of a being, its means of cognition and means of connation extend also its ability to receive the world and to shape the world in ways which it desires.


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CHAPTER 16. MEDIATED COGNITION AND MEDIATED CONNATION

In this chapter I want to briefly clarify the meaning of `mediated cognition' and `mediated connation'. By `mediated cognition', I mean receiving an impress or effect which is not communicated directly but rather through a mediator.

Suppose I tell Harry a story and Harry repeats, as best he can, the story to you. In listening to Harry's account of my story you are cognizing or being effected by me. But your cognition of me is a mediated one. It is based not on direct interaction between us but on Harry's role as an intermediary.

Or suppose I hit the `q-ball' in a game of billiards and it in turn hits a second ball. This second ball has received an impress or effect from my action. But its cognition or receipt of my action is a mediated one. It is based not on direct interaction with me but on the role of the `q-ball' as an intermediary.

Finally, suppose you go out to buy a liter of milk at your local supermarket. The milk is, as it were, mediated to you by the supermarket. The source of the milk, however, is not the supermarket but a series of other beings including cows, dairy farmers, and milk truck drivers. In purchasing the milk you are receiving not only the supermarket's effects but the mediated effects of the other beings which provided the milk to the supermarket.

Mediated Connation

The complement of mediated cognition is `mediated connation'. By `mediated connation', I mean shaping or effecting a being by interacting with a mediator which `passes the effect along' to it.

Suppose I speak to you in a way which enlivens or brings a degree of joy into your life. Your positive mood may then result in your speaking in a somewhat kinder or happier way to a third person. My treatment of you has then effected that third person. But my connation is a mediated one, it is `passed along' to that third person through you.

Or suppose I am a dairy farmer selling my milk to a supermarket which in turn sells it to the public. Through my milk sales I connate or effect the public. But the connation is a mediated one, it is `passed along' to the public by the supermarket.


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CHAPTER 17.THE THREE BASIC POWERS

You have now been exposed to the three basic aspects of every interaction. These aspects are cognition, connation, and processing or memory. These three aspects of all interaction are also present as `three basic powers' in all beings.

To exist and manifest itself at all, a being whether human, natural, or divine must have:

1. The power to connate or effect at lease some other beings;

2. The power to cognize or be effected by at least some other beings;

3. The power to process what it receives from other beings through its own particular character.

These `three basic powers' are the minimum necessary ones for a being to exist and manifest itself.

Dust particles, giraffes, shovels, and people all exist inasmuch as they possess the three basic powers. Each of them possess the ability to transmit effects to at least some other beings; to receive effects from at least some other beings; and to process the effects which they receive from at least some other beings. All beings whether human, natural, or divine must have the three basic powers in order to exist.

The Three Basic Powers And Character

Now I want to connect the three basic powers with the concept of character.

The character of a being, as we saw in a previous chapter, is made up of its potentialities for experience. These potentialities for experience are also its powers to cognize, connate, and process its world in particular ways.

My character, for example, includes the power to receive or hear sounds, the power to effect other people by talking to them, and the power to process the food I eat by digesting it. Taken together, the sum total of my powers of cognition, connation, and processing make up my character. Similarly, the three basic powers possessed by other beings - whether dust particles or giraffes - make up their particular characters.

How Beings Differ

Now I want to briefly discuss the differences we encounter in the characters of beings.

These differences are differences in their powers of cognition, connation, and processing. Human beings, squirrels, and stones, for example, differ in their abilities to cognize or receive other beings. Eyesight, to cite only one example, differs greatly as between humans, squirrels, and stones. In addition to their cognitive differences, human beings, squirrels, and stones differ in their connative abilities. Squirrels are much more adept at running up and down trees than are humans, while humans are much more adept than squirrels at shaping the environment with their hands. As for stones their connative powers are of a more rudimentary kind such as their stony ability to impact or resist other beings. Finally, human beings, squirrels, and stones differ in their processing powers. Human stomachs, for example, are adapted to processing human foods, while squirrels thrive on the consumption of acorns, and stones eat very little

Human beings, squirrels, and stones are very different species of beings. Their powers of cognition, connation, and processing are correspondingly quite different. Even within the same species, however, the characters or powers of beings can vary significantly.

Human cognitive abilities, for example, typically include the five senses, perhaps some potentiality to use `subtle senses', to eat and digest different foods, to understand different ideas, to listen to other people, and so forth. There are broad similarities in these areas for most humans. But the five senses, the `subtle senses', as well as the ability to eat different foods, to understand different ideas, to listen to other people, and so forth will also vary from one human being to the next.


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CHAPTER 18: TO BE A BEING IS TO BE A POWER

Before leaving this discussion of beings and their interactions, I want to briefly discuss the relationship between being and power. To be a being is to be a power. Beings - whether human, natural, or divine - are powers able to effect and be effected by at least some other beings. When two people meet it is a meeting of two powers, each with its own particular character, and each able to effect and be effected by the other. When the natural beings in an eco-nich interact it is a meeting of many powers, each with its own particular character and each able to effect and be effected the others. And when the beings of the planetary interaction system as a whole interact it is a meeting of a tremendous number of powers, each with its own particular character and each able to effect and be effected by the others. The ability to enter into, and to effect, the experiences of other beings is an important part of what makes us beings! End of this part of document.


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CHAPTER 19. THE FOUR KINDS OF ENTITIES (Part one)

The content of this chapter is absolutely essential to understanding the revolutionary theory of knowledge which is presented in part two. It concerns a fundamental distinction which runs through the entire world view. This is the distinction between entities outside experience and entities inside experience.

All the beings in the universe can, from the perspective of a given being, be divided into those which are currently inside its experience and those which are currently outside its experience. I have until now explored this outside experience/inside experience distinction with the help of the concepts noumena and phenomena.

Noumena are powers outside my experience but able to enter into and effect my experience.

Phenomena are the manifestation of those noumenal powers within my experience.

In this chapter I introduce a series of concepts which parallel the noumena/phenomena distinction. Like noumena and phenomena, this series of concepts is built on the `inside experience/outside experience' distinction. But these additional concepts draw out different and exceedingly important aspects of the `inside experience/outside experience' relationship. They thereby add to our understanding of noumena and phenomena, and of experience in general.

Theoretical Entities and Phenomenal Entities

Now I come to my first additional pair of concepts. These are `theoretical entities' and `phenomenal entities'. By a `phenomenal entity', I mean an entity or being which is currently present in my experience. By a `theoretical entity', I mean an entity or being of whose existence I am aware but which is not currently present in my experience.

At the moment, for example, I am sitting in a restaurant. A man working as a waiter is serving me and is directly present in my experience. He is therefore from my perspective a phenomenal entity or being. I cannot, however, see the outside facade of the restaurant. I saw it on the way in but I cannot see it or otherwise experience it from where I am now sitting. For all I know labourers could have arrived and removed part of the facade while I have been sitting here. The outside facade is therefore from my present perspective a theoretical entity or being. That is to a say, I hold a theory that the facade is there although I cannot see it.

In distinguishing phenomenal from theoretical entities the crucial issue is whether they are currently in our experience.

A moment ago, for example, I saw the pen on my desk. At that point it was a phenomenal entity inside my experience. But I have now looked away from the pen and am no longer directly encountering it. It is now outside my experience and is therefore a theoretical entity.

Phenomenal entities, then, are entities which are present in my experience now. Theoretical entities are entities of whose existence I am aware but which are not present in my experience now.

The `Relativity' of Phenomenal And Theoretical Status

There is a related key point which you may already have noticed. It is the `relativity' of phenomenal and theoretical statuses. These statuses are not permanent but change according to our relationship to an entity.

While I sit in a restaurant, for example, the waiter serving me is phenomenal - and the outside facade of the restaurant is theoretical. As I leave the restaurant, however, the waiter becomes for me a theoretical entity as he passes out of my experience. The outside facade of the restaurant becomes at the same time phenomenal and remains so for the period of time that it remains in my direct experience.

To further refine your understanding of the phenomenal/theoretical distinction, consider also the wide range of objects which have at least two sides.

When I look at the front of a chair, its back side is out of sight and theoretical. If I walk around to its rear, however, the back of the chair becomes phenomenal and the front becomes theoretical.

We see, then, that an entity's phenomenal or theoretical status may change according to our physical position in relationship to it. An entity's status may, however, also be changed by its position in time.

A few seconds ago, for example, I glanced into my refrigerator. On the top shelf I saw a coke bottle. That bottle was directly present in my experience and was therefore phenomenal. Now, however, a few seconds have passed. I have closed the refrigerator and the coke bottle is out of my sight. The coke bottle is no longer present in my phenomenal world, my experience of it is in the past, and it is therefore now a theoretical entity for me.

A present event may be phenomenal or theoretical - it depends on whether it is directly present in my experience. But all past events, which are by definition outside my direct experience, are necessarily theoretical.

Finally, another significant consequence flows from the `relativity' of phenomenal and theoretical statuses. It is that an entity may be phenomenal in relationship to one being and theoretical in relationship to another.

Consider the status of thoughts. Suppose you have a thought currently present in your mind. That thought is, from your perspective, a phenomenal entity: it is directly present in your experience. But for me, no matter how much you tell me about the thought, it remains a theoretical entity which I do not directly encounter. Or suppose that Jackie and Jennifer pay me a visit. They are from my perspective phenomenal because they are directly present in my experience. But if you are not along for the visit, they are not in your phenomenal world and are therefore for you theoretical. This set of relationships can, of course, be reversed. If Jackie and Jennifer visit you, and I am not along for the trip, they will be phenomenal entities or beings for you and theoretical ones for me.

Now I want to tie this discussion of theoretical and phenomenal entities back to my previous discussion of noumena and phenomena.

`Theoretical entities' are also `noumena'.

Phenomenal entities are also phenomena.

Both pairs of concepts - noumena/phenomena and theoretical entity/phenomenal entity - point to the same `outside experience/inside experience' relationship.

There is, however, an important distinction in how the two sets of concepts construe this `outside experience/inside experience' relationship.

Noumena/phenomena construes it primarily as one between powers or potentialities standing outside experience and the actualization of those powers or potentialities within experience.

Theoretical/phenomenal, on the other hand, construes it primarily in terms of our knowledge. Being outside our direct experience, a noumena or theoretical entity is known to us indirectly by means of a theory. It may have been within our experience a moment ago. But at the moment it is not within our phenomenal world and our idea of it is therefore, from our standpoint, a theory.

A phenomena or phenomenal entity, on the other hand, stands directly before us. It is currently within our direct experience and is known to us directly. This distinction between entities known directly and entities known indirectly to us will turn out to be crucial when we come, later on, to the nature of knowledge.

`Technical' Theoretical Entities and `Absolute' Theoretical Entities

Now I want to introduce you to an important distinction. This is the distinction between `technical theoretical entities' and `absolute theoretical entities'. By a `technical theoretical entity', I mean an entity which I am not currently encountering in my phenomenal world but which could enter into my experience. By an `absolute theoretical entity', I mean an entity which is not currently in my phenomenal world and which cannot even in principle enter into my phenomenal world.

Lets clarify the distinction between `technical' and `absolute' theoretical entities with some examples.

Jackie and Jennifer are frequently outside my direct experience. At such times they are, from my perspective, theoretical entities. Their theoretical status at such times is, however, technical rather than absolute. It is technical because the barriers to encountering or experiencing them are `technical' rather than absolute. Given appropriate circumstances, such as a visit from them, they are able to enter or re-enter my direct experience.

Now consider the example of bacteria and other microscopic life forms. These are ordinarily outside our direct experience. They are at such times theoretical entities. By using a microscope, however, we can convert them, or at least aspects of them, into phenomenal entities present in our experience. Microbes outside our phenomenal world are therefore like Jackie and Jennifer when they are outside it. Since the possibility of directly encountering them exists, they are technical rather than absolute theoretical entities.

Now let's look at some examples of absolute theoretical entities. Any entity too small to ever be directly encountered or experienced, such as certain sub-atomic particles, is an absolute theoretical entity. So too is any entity too far away, such as perhaps certain distant objects in space. The motives, egos, thoughts, feelings, wills. And minds of beings other than ourselves cannot ordinarily be directly encountered or experienced. They are therefore, from our perspective, also absolute theoretical entities.

The Importance Of Theoretical Entities

"What," you may be wondering, "is the point of thinking about absolute theoretical entities? If they can never enter my experience, what connection do I have with them? And, if I can never directly encounter them, how can I even know if they exist?"

The full answer to this query will not emerge until I come to my discussion of knowledge. But I can make a provisional response at this point: The significance of absolute theoretical entities, and the means of verifying their existence, is in their consequences.

It is true that absolute theoretical entities never directly enter our experience. But their consequences do. The motives, egos, or wills of other beings can have definite consequences in our experience. So too can sub-atomic particles when they leave tracks in a cloud chamber in a scientific lab, or produce an atomic explosion. It is by such consequences that we also can test the existence of absolute theoretical entities. If we are able to encounter in our phenomenal worlds the consequences which should follow if an absolute theoretical entity exists, then we can tentatively assume that it does exist. If we do not encounter these consequences, then we have grounds for supposing that it might not exist.


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CHAPTER 20. THE FOUR KINDS OF ENTITIES (Part two)

Now I want to introduce two more concepts. These concepts refine the distinction between phenomenal and theoretical which we have already examined.

These two new concepts are those of `mixed entities' and `unknown entities' . By a `mixed entity', I mean an entity which is partly directly present in my experience and partly outside it. In other words, a mixed entity is partly phenomenal and partly theoretical. Most of the entities we encounter in everyday life are of the mixed type.

A Cat is A Mixed Entity

Suppose I see a cat. The cat shape - the shape of head, legs, and trunk - directly enters into my phenomenal world. The cat's colour is likewise directly present in my experience. But the vast majority of the cat remains theoretical. The colored material covering the cat appears to me to be fur. But unless I touch it, the furry quality remains for me a theoretical entity. I believe the cat has insides. But unless the cat is cut open those insides remain for me theoretical.

In addition, my concept of the cat includes the idea of its ability to run, to meow, to claw, to curl up, to eat fish, and so forth. But as I observe the cat, most of these `cat qualities' are at any given particular time outside my experience and hence theoretical. Cat's, like most of the beings or entities we encounter in everyday life, are thoroughly mixed entities.

The Role of Sense Channels

Before passing on from mixed entities to unknown entities, I want to briefly touch on the concept of `sense channels.'. By `sense channels', I mean sight, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. There may be other `subtle' or less frequently used sense channels. But the standard common ones will suffice for my brief discussion here. Now the significance of sense channels for our knowledge of phenomenal, theoretical, or mixed entities is simply this: An entity may be present in one sense channel (and to that extent phenomenal) but not present in another (and to that extent theoretical).

Let's consider the cat again. When I look at the cat, it is present - and to that extent phenomenal - in my visual channel. But unless I am touching it, it is purely theoretical in terms of my kinesthetic or touch channel. The presentation of a cat shape in my phenomenal world could, for all I know, result from a three- dimensional holographic projection of a cat. In that case, my hand would simply swish through empty air if I moved to pet the cat.

Or consider the `soft-looking' cat fur. That fur might, for all I know, contain briers. My expectation of its softness remains a theory until I touch it. Or consider a visit with my friends Jackie and Jennifer. When I hear their voices outside my door, they are present in only one sense channel. Their visual appearances and other sense qualities are theoretical. Those voices in the corridor might, for all I know, belong to two other people who sound like them. As they enter my room, however, I not only hear them but see them. Their entry into my visual channel, in addition to the auditory channel, increases their phenomenal presence and my certainty that they are in fact Jackie and Jennifer.

Unknown Entities

Now I come to unknown entities. By an `unknown entity', I mean an entity which exists but is unknown to us. The universe is, from the perspective of any given being, literally teeming with unknown entities. Any existing entity not currently present in my phenomenal world, and of which I have no theoretical conception, is for me an unknown entity.

Like phenomenal, theoretical, and mixed entities, unknown entities are relative to the phenomenal worlds of observers. An entity can, that is, be known to you but unknown to me.

Consider any thought, piece of knowledge, animal, person, or place which you encounter - or have encountered in the past - in your phenomenal world. All of these are known to you. But if I have not encountered them, and if no one tells me about them, they are for me unknown entities.

The Importance of Unknown Entities

Now there isn't a great deal more to be said about unknown entities. All that we know about them is, after all, that they are unknown. Except, and it is an important `except', that the concept of `unknown entities' can serve to remind us that the universe, with all its beings and potentialities, is greater than our knowledge of it.

The notion of unknown entities can help to keep us open to new possibilities; it can prompt us to explore beyond the entities, resources, or explanations we are familiar with; and it can remind us that in the words of Shakespeare "there are more things in heaven and earth then are dreamt of in your philosophy, Hereto."

I have now examined four types of entities. Each of these types derives its status, as we have seen, from its relationship to beings and their phenomenal worlds.

There are phenomenal entities (entities which are currently present within the phenomenal world of a being).

There are theoretical entities ( entities which are known to a given being but currently outside its phenomenal world). There are mixed entities ( entities which are partly currently present in the phenomenal world of a being and partly outside it). And there are unknown enitities ( entities which exist but which are unknown to a given being).

Go On To Part Two Of This Work

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CHAPTER 1: OVERVIEW OF THE STEWARDS PHILOSPHY - WHAT THIS PHILOSOPHY WILL DO FOR YOU.

The mind of the Steward is the mind which seeks the patterns of Stewardship.

One who possesses this mind seeks to develop the patterns of interaction which can best promote his/her being together with the being of all of those human, natural, and (if we believe in them) divine beings with which he or she interacts. This work is intended to activly assist people in those habits of mind, and of action, which lead to inquiringly discovering - and enacting - such `patterns of being'.

The work begins from the premise that our universe is, in the most general terms, a network or society of interacting beings.

The general character of this network of beings is described in the form of a scheme of general inter-related categories. These categories are of `metaphysical scope'. They are, that is, intended to apply to all aspects of this or any other reality. Taken together, these categories provide a `generalist' or comprehensive model of the universe or network of beings in which we live.

In this work you will find six sections:

1) Section one provides a set of basic or metaphysical philosophical categories. These describe the basic character of the universe, and will help you to achieve integration of both intellectual information and experiences of everyday life;

2) Section two uses the categories established in section one to develop a revolutionary theory of epistemology or knowledge. This theory will help you to keep an open - yet critical - awareness in relation to all ideas; and to use appropriate means to test the truth-value of your beliefs and those of others.

3) Section three provides a discussion of ethics or the law of being, or `Arta'. This discussion will help to open your eyes to the pervasive nature of moral and ethical concerns, and the revolutionary use of inquiry - rather than dogma - to address them.

4) Section four sets out a new theory of human nature called the `Body-Mind-I' model. Modeling human nature with the concepts in this section provides a uniquely powerful vantage point for developing an integrated understanding of the relationship between individuals and their world, as well as greatly enhanced ability to effectively inquire into the nature of the ordinary, as well as the spiritual and paranormal phenomena, which effect human beings.

5) Section five introduces the more `advanced' topics of synergy, organization, and structure. This section uses the preceeding development of the categories of being, experience, interaction, knowledge, ethics, and human nature to elaborate approaches of special interest to people concerned with modelling complex interaction systems.

6) Section six provides a basic discussion of Inquiry. The approach here is consistent with scientific method but provides an enlarged conception of inquiry which allows us to go far beyond the traditional domain in which that method has been applied. This new approach enables us to use inquiry as a tool in daily life to discover - and enact - optimal patterns of interaction in our relationships with one another and with our world, and to also use of inquiry as a means of resolving problems and exploring positive potentialities as an integral part of the process of `becoming increasingly able to work together to promote one another's being together with that of the world'.

Stewards Philosphy Underpins the Stewards House

The categories and approaches presented in this work are intended to provide the philosophical underpinnings and rigor necessary for people seeking to venture forth in the fundamentally new endeavor of building the Stewards Planetary House, the Stewards Corporations, and possibly a Stewards Party as vehicles whereby we as poor and semi-poor people can become Stewards or caretakers of one another and the planet.

I firmly believe - based on my own experience and that of others in using them - that the categories provided in this work can greatly assist us in building the patterns of mind which support us in the inquiry-based process of `becoming increasingly able to hear and see and know one another, and increasingly able to work together to promote one another's being together with that of the world'.

If you will attend closely to these categories, and above all try them out in your own life and experience, I can assure you that they will help you also to build the `mind of the Steward'.

How to Read This Work For Maximum Benefit

It should be noted that this work contains specialized philosophical terminology and concepts, and that it assigns extended or deepened meanings to some everyday words.

All technical terms and special word uses are systematically and carefully explained when they are introduced. So the work is relatively easy to understand when the chapters are read in sequence.

The material can, however, be very difficult to understand - due to unfamiliar words or usages - if read out of sequence.

It should also be noted that for certain readers some of the chapters in the first section may seem, at first, to concentrate excessive attention on common-sense features of everyday life and experience. But this careful `examination of the obvious' lays the foundations for the great advances in the theories of knowledge, ethics, and inquiry which appear in subsequent sections.

Finally, in keeping with the Stewardship principals of open-minded inquiry, of learning from everyone, and of working together to promote one another's being, your comments, criticisms, and suggestions are very welcome.


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CHAPTER 2. EXPERIENCE, BEINGS, AND PHENOMENAL WORLDS

Our universe, as previously mentioned, is a network or society of interacting beings. I want to begin my discussion of the categories of the universal network with the concept that our universe is made up of `individual beings'. By an `individual being' is meant any entity, living or non-living, which may be found in our universe. I am a being. You are a being. And the bugs, stars, light bulbs, people, fish, dogs, trees, atoms, and automobiles of the universe may also all be thought of as beings.

These beings which make up our universe can be categorized, with a certain degree of simplification, as either `human'', `natural', or `divine'. I will not attempt to define `human', `natural', or `divine' here. But I will provide a few examples.

You and I are presumably `human beings'.
Trees, bugs, stars, and atoms are `natural beings'.
And God or the sacred dimension is a `divine being'.
In addition to the categories `human', `natural', and `divine', beings may be categorized as to whether they are `simple' or `compound'. A `simple being' is one which cannot be further subdivided; it is therefore immortal and indestructible. Such immortal and indestructible simple beings are also called `monads'. As for `compound beings', they are made up of simple beings or monads; they are therefore not immortal or indestructible since they can be further subdivided into the simple beings which make them up.

The Nature of Experience

Now I want to introduce a feature shared by all beings whether human, natural, or divine. This shared feature is that each being exists in its own `world of experience'. By `experience', I mean everything undergone or encountered by a being. My experience is my direct encounter with the world as `seen' from my side of the encounter. My experience includes all the sense data -all of the sights, sounds, tastes, touches, and smells - I encounter. But it includes far more than that. It includes all of the thoughts, feelings, emotions, body sensations, energies, and any other phenomena whatsoever which I directly encounter. Everything which I am directly aware of or which I encounter, whether it is `internal' or `external' to my being, is part of my experience.

It should be emphasized that experience, as the concept is used here, is not synonymous with consciousness. For a human being, such as myself, a great deal of experience is `conscious experience'. But by defining experience as "everything undergone or encountered by a being", we are positing experience as a feature shared by all beings, whether conscious or non-conscious, whether living or non-living, whether human, natural, or divine. A rock too has its experiences, if only in terms of `undergoing or encountering' the knocks of other rocks

Phenomenal Worlds

One way of labeling or discussing our experiences is with the term phenomenon and its grammatical variants. A `phenomenon' is a single experience. `Phenomena' refers to two or more discreet experiences. And `phenomenal', which is an adjective, indicates that the term or expression to which it is applied refers to an entity which is in our experience.

These terms allow me to introduce the concept of a `phenomenal world' or `world of experience'. By a `phenomenal world', I mean the collection of all the phenomena or experiences encountered by a being.

Each individual being whether human, natural, or divine exists in its own phenomenal world. I exist in my phenomenal world. A raccoon exists in its phenomenal world. And god, if God exists, exists in his/her phenomenal world.

At this moment my phenomenal world includes my computer screen; thinking about the text that I am writing; noticing my chest rise and fall as I breath; and feeling sore from sitting in the same place for too long. The sum total of all my `internal' and `external' experiences make up my phenomenal world.

The Individuality of Experience

One point I want to make about phenomenal worlds is that they do not overlap. Beings do not directly share any of their experiences. Their experiences may be similar. But they are not the same experience. You and I may both be looking at the `same' tree. But my experience of the tree is my experience appearing in my phenomenal world. Your experience of the tree is your experience appearing in your phenomenal world. This separation of phenomenal worlds is highlighted by the case of colour blindness. A tree whose leaves are turning in the fall may appear multi- coloured and multi-hued to someone with colour vision. But it will not so appear to someone who is colour-blind. What I most want to emphasize, however, is this: whether our experiences are markedly different or relatively similar, they are our own experiences.

This separation of phenomenal worlds might be called the `individuality of experience'. Its significance, and the reasons for assuming that is in fact the case, will appear as we proceed.

There is one other point I want to make before I move on. It is that the `individuality of experience' does not necessarily prevent us from knowing what other beings are experiencing. I cannot directly experience your experiences. But your communications regarding your experiences, and your behavior in relationship to your experiences, can enter my phenomenal world. Suppose I want to know if you are experiencing a tree. I can scan your statements for indications, or outright reports, that you are experiencing the tree. I can also watch your behavior to see whether you direct your eyes towards the tree, stand in front of the tree, appear to touch the tree, and so on. Your reports about the tree, and your behavior towards it, are as much a part of my phenomenal world as the image of the tree itself when I am looking at it. While not a foolproof method, attending to the reports and `orienting behaviors' of other beings can generally tell us a good deal about their experiences.

Beings Have The Power To Effect One Another

Now I come to another important concept. This is the concept that beings have the ability to enter into, and produce effects in, one another's phenomenal worlds. When Jackie and Jennifer come to visit me, they enter into and produce effects in my world of experience. If Jackie sings a song she just learned, her performance appears in my phenomenal world. If I pour tea and hand it to Jackie, the tea appears in her phenomenal world. Jackie and Jennifer do not, as pointed out earlier, directly share any of my experiences. Nor do I share any of theirs. But we most certainly enter into and effect one another's experiences during our interactions.

In addition, Jackie and Jennifer appear when they visit me to pay attention to one another. They not only look at me; they look at each other. They not only talk to me; they talk to each other. It therefore appears to me very much as if Jackie and Jennifer are appearing in one another's worlds as well as my own.

Human beings, natural beings, and divine beings all have this power to enter into and produce effects in the phenomenal worlds or experience of other beings.

I have the ability to produce effects in the phenomenal worlds of other beings.

A raccoon has the ability to produce effects in the phenomenal worlds of other beings.

And god if god exists has the ability to produce effects in the phenomenal worlds of other beings.

One definition of a being is that of `a power with the ability to enter into and effect the phenomenal world or experience of at least one other being'.

The Reality of The World

Now I want to discuss, necessarily at some length, some of the evidence for this concept of `other beings'. You may, at this point, be wondering why I bother to provide such evidence. The notion that there are beings other than oneself is, after all, a self-evident proposition for most people. I have, however, two reasons for providing evidence for this notion. My first reason is that there is a viewpoint known as solipsism which contends that each of us alone is the author of all of our own experiences. My second reason is that my evidence for the existence of other beings will also serve me in essential ways in the development of other concepts later on.

How, then, do I know that there are in fact any beings other than myself? Since by definition I can never get outside my phenomenal world, how do I know that there is anything outside it? How do I know that I am not creating all my own experiences, and that the other beings I encounter are not simply my own projections?

My evidence comes from an examination of the character of experience itself. In examining my experiences I notice that some of them appear to be amenable to my will and some do not.

I am able, for example, to call up and dismiss certain experiences at will. Some, although not all, of the thoughts which appear in my mind are of this character. I may summon up or dismiss the idea or image of Jackie and Jennifer visiting me simply by willing it. I will to think of my last visit with them and I find myself thinking of it. I will to stop thinking of my last visit with them and I find myself not thinking of it. There is, in cases such as this, a direct correlation between my willing and my experiences. When such correlation's exist, they seem to point to `I', or my will, as a power or cause behind the phenomena which I am experiencing.

The case is quite different, however, with the majority of my experiences. The range of phenomena or experiences which are completely amenable to my will is in fact quite limited.

Other people, other living beings in general, inanimate objects around me, and particular aspects of my own mind and body frequently don't do as I like. They may resist what I want, or even do the opposite of what I want. They may also do things that I haven't willed or even thought of at all.

Such phenomena appear to have their own `character', a character independent of my willing, and of my likes and dislikes.

A piece of wood is characterized by its own particular grain. This grain conditions the ways in which I can work with the wood quite apart from the qualities `I' might prefer to find in the wood. My body continues to get tired when I don't sleep even though `I' would rather remain in a state of alert wakefulness. Jackie and Jennifer may decide not to visit me today even though I wanted them to come. Such phenomena, which appear to operate independently of my will, suggest to me that `I' am not the power or cause behind them. They lead me to posit the existence of `other beings'. I posit these `other beings' in order to explain those experiences in my phenomenal world which do not seem to be due to `I' or my will.

This impression that there are beings other than myself is reinforced by the existence of surprises. I go outside expecting a sunny day and it's raining. I run out of money and an old friend unexpectedly turns-up and gives me some. I think I see a silver shell on the beach but on closer examination it turns out to be a shiny piece of wood. Jackie and Jennifer say they aren't coming today and then they turn up. Such surprises again suggest the existence of beings or powers other than `I' or my will. These beings or powers are, I hypothesize, responsible for at least some of the experiences I encounter in my phenomenal world.

Conclusion

I began this discussion of `the evidence for other beings' by citing the `solipsist position'. This position, as you may recall, is that we each create our own experience. I think you can see now that the solipsist belief that `each of us is sole creator of our own experience' collapses in the face of the lessons of experience itself. For experience teaches that our world includes elements which resist our will, which don't do what we want them to do, and which offer us surprises. These elements of resistance and surprise in our experience point to the existence of other beings, beings with their own characters and wills who exist quite apart from us and our wills. It is our interaction or encounter with these other beings - and not ourselves alone - which produces our experiences. I can't think of a better way to pull all this together than to end this chapter with the definition of experience I introduced earlier: "My experience is my encounter with my world - and with the beings of my world - as seen from my side of the interaction."


CHAPTER 3. NOUMENA - THE POWERS BEHIND EXPERIENCE

I have now placed before you a case for the existance of other beings. These other beings are, as it were, powers `behind the scenes' of my experience. They, along with the power behind the scenes whch I call 'I', are responsible for my experiences.

I call these powers behind the scenes noumena. By `noumena', I mean any human, natural, or divine being currently outside my direct experience but possessing the power to enter into and effect my experience. When Jackie and Jenifer are not visiting me, they are from my perspective noumena. They are beings outside my phenomenal world but possessing the power to enter into and effect it, as is proven when they periodiclly arrive for visits.

Noumena may be contrasted with phenomena. Noumena are human, natural, or divine beings outside my experience. Phenomena are human, natural, or divine beings inside my experience. In addition, noumena may be regarded as the source of phenomena. As powers behind the scenes, noumena have the ability to enter into and effect my experience. Phenomena, entities inside my experience, may be thought of as the manifestation or actualization of the noumenal powers behind the scenes of my experience.

Let's look at an example. When my friends Jackie and Jenifer are not visiting me, they are, as we saw, noumena. They are powers or potentialities which are completely outside my phenomenal world. But suppose they call me on the phone. As I hear their voices their power to enter my experience and effect it is actualized. They cease to be purely noumenal and become to an extent phenomenal. At the same time a large part of them remains noumenal. I only hear their voices. The rest of them - their bodies, minds, inner selves - is outside my experience. But this noumenal portion of Jackie and Jenifer, though it is outside my experience, is not irrelevant to my experience. It is Jackie and Jenifer as noumena, as powers behind the scenes of my expereince, who are in fact responsbile for the voices on the phone.

Now let's consider a noumenal cold virus. Such a cold virus is outside our experience. It represents, however, a series of potentialities including the potentiality for illness. The actual experience of a cold - a runny nose, weakness, perhaps a mild fever - represents the conversion of this noumenal potentiality into phenomena. The cold has ceased to be purely noumenal and become to an extent phenomenal. It has, in other words, entered my experience. At the same time a large part of the cold remains noumenal or outside my experience. I don't, for example, ordinarily see the cold virus. It may also be that the cold virus is not the only cause for the cold. Perhaps my body has gotten into a weakened condition and therefore become unusually susceptible to colds. And perhaps I have abused or weakened my body in this way by the way I have treated it. In that case there would be at least three noumena, or powers, behind the cold. These would be the `I' which mistreated the body, the condition of the body itself, and the cold virus. In addition, a cold virus has the power to enter my experience in ways other than the production of illness. With the aid of a microscope, for example, a cold virus can manifest its shape and movements in my visual field.

This process of converting potentialties into actualities underlies all experience. As I open a can of diet pepsi and drink it, my experience consists of converting noumenal pepsi, pepsi as a potentiality or power to slack my thirst, into phenomenal pepsi, pepsi going down my throat and in fact slacking my thirst. Experience is the process of actualizing potentialities, of transforming noumena into phenomena.


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CHAPTER 4. NOUMENA AND PHENOMENA AS POTENTIALITIES AND ACTUALITIES

In this chapter I want to introduce an important pair of concepts. These are `potentiality' and `actuality'. These concepts parallel those of noumena and phenomena introduced in the last chapter.

Noumena, as I explained in the last chapter, are `powers behind the sciences'. Noumena may be human beings, natural beings, or divine beings. But they are in any event beings outside my direct experience but possessing the power to enter into and effect my experience.

Noumena may also be thought of as `potentialities' or `potentialities for experience'. By a `potentiality for experience', I mean any being or any portion of any being, which is currently outside my phenomenal world but is able to enter into and effect it. Such potentialities may be human, natural, or divine. A part of my city I have not yet visited, a cold virus I have not yet caught, or a part of god I am not currently encountering would all be potentialities for my experience.

Contrasting with `potentialities for experience.' is the concept of `actualities' or `actualities within experience'. By an `actuality within experience', I mean a potentiality for experience which has been actualized as an experience within one or more phenomenal worlds.

Suppose I visit a part of my city I have not previously visited. In bringing it into my phenomenal world I convert it from a potentiality for my experience into an actual experience. Or suppose I catch a cold virus which was previously present in the environment. In appearing in my phenomenal world, the cold's symptoms are converted from a potentiality for my experience into an actual experience.

Or suppose I encounter an aspect of god, assuming god exists, which I have not previously encountered. In appearing in my phenomenal world that aspect of god is converted from a potentiality for my experience into an actual experience.

I want to emphasize that all `potentialities' are `potentialities for experience'. To be a potentiality is to have the power to appear as an experience within the phenomenal world of some being. I want also to emphasize that all `actualities' are `actualities within experience'. To be an actuality is to appear or be actualized within the phenomenal world of some being.

Finally, I want to emphasize that the character of most everyday objects is such that each of them carries a great many potentialities for human experience.

Suppose an ordinary glass is in front of me on the kitchen table. I can look at the glass and elicit its potentiality to present a shiny semi-transparent appearance to my eye. I can pour water into the glass and elicit its potentiality to contain liquids. I can bring the glass to my lips and elicit its potentiality for me to conveniently drink liquid out of it. I can tap the glass with a spoon and elicit its potentiality to make a musical kind of sound. I can turn the glass upside down and use it to support another object. I can melt the glass down in a furnace and reshape it. And so forth.

A glass, like most everyday objects, is brimming over with potentialities which can be actualized within the phenomenal worlds of human beings.


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CHAPTER 5. CHARACTER

In the last two chapters we saw that noumena or potentialities are `powers behind the scenes'. They are beings, or portions of beings, outside my phenomenal world but able to enter into and effect it. Jackie and Jennifer, for example, when they are not visiting me. and are not in my direct experience, are noumena or potentialities for experience.

In this chapter I want to examine the concept that every noumena whether human, natural, or divine has its own particular `character'. By `character', I mean the specific characteristics or potentialities for experience carried by each being. I have a character. You have a character. A raccoon has a character. The large rock in my garden has a character. The tree outside my window has a character. The former Soviet Union and the United States, have character. And God if God exists has a character.

It is the character or potentialities carried by these beings which makes each of them just what it is - and not something else.

You can, for example, climb twenty feet off the ground by climbing up the tree in my back yard. You can do so because the character of the tree includes the potentialities to bear the weight of a 200 pound human being and to be climbed twenty feet into the air. You cannot, however, climb twenty feet into the air by climbing up my back. The character of my body does not include the potentiality to support a 200 pound human being, nor does it include the potentiality to be climbed twenty feet into the air.

Or consider my character and that of my friend Jennifer. If you query me about a particular point related to computer technology or religion, I may be able to answer you, as my manifest character includes a relative degree of familiarity with computer technology and religion. My friend Jennifer, on the other hand, can tell you far more about mathematics than I can but knows relatively little about computer technology or religion.

Every Being Has Its' Own Character

The point I have been making is that all of the beings we encounter have their own particular characters. These characters, together with our own, determine the kinds of experiences we can have with those beings.

I want to emphasize that the characters of other human, natural, or divine beings exist independently of our own. Their characters are what they are regardless of what we might like them to be.

I might wish that my friend Jennifer knew more computer technology or religion, or that the cherry tree in my backyard were really an apple tree. But my wish has no effect on the fact that at this time Jennifer does not know much about computer technology or religion or that the cherry tree is not an apple tree.

It is, then, not my will alone but the character or potentialities of other human, natural, or divine beings which determine the kinds of experiences I can have with them. As I put it in a previous chapter: "A piece of wood is characterized by its own particular grain. This grain conditions the ways in which I can work with the wood quite apart from the qualities `I' might prefer to find in the wood." in short, every being has a character which determines the kinds of experiences which are possible when it encounters another being.


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CHAPTER 6. MANIFEST AND LATENT CHARACTER

In this chapter I want to briefly discuss two important aspects of character. These two aspects are `manifest character' and `latent character'. By the `manifest character' of a being, I mean its overt character or potentialities. The manifest character of a being is, as it were, `on the surface'. It consists of those potentialities which have been developed such that little more than change of spatial relationships is necessary to bring them into actual experience.

Suppose a dinner is already laid out on the table. Little more than a change of spatial relationships - i.e., walking into the dinning area - is necessary to bring such a dinner into my phenomenal world. Such a dinner is part of the `manifest character' of my world.

Or suppose a building is already built. Little more than a change of spatial relationship is necessary for me to encounter the building. Such a building is part of the manifest character of my world.

Or suppose I have developed a skill such as bicycle riding or the ability to engage in compassionate dialogue. Little more than getting on a bicycle or encountering someone I can engage in compassionate dialogue with is necessary to actualize these skills. Such potentialities are part of my manifest character.

LATENT CHARACTER

But now suppose that the potentiality to experience a building consists of materials on a construction site which have not yet been assembled; or that the potentiality to eat my dinner consists of raw foods, kitchenware, and a stove; or that the potentiality to engage in compassionate dialogue or ride a bicycle consists of basic cognitive or motor abilities which have not as yet been developed into these particular skills.

In such cases the noumena or potentialities are part of the `latent characters' of the beings involved. Like the manifest character of a being, its latent character consists of potentialities for experience. But unlike its manifest character, the potentialities in its latent character require modifications well beyond a simple change of physical location to be accessed. This distinction between a being's manifest character and its latent character may also be thought of as a distinction between its `manifest being' and its `latent being'.

Finally, I want to sum up these two chapters on character.

The first message of these chapters is that every being whether human, natural, or divine has its own character. This character consists of the potentialities for experience which the being carries.

The second message of these two chapters is that the characters or potentialities of beings exist independently of our beliefs or desires about them. My character, a raccoon's character, and god's character if god exists are just what they are regardless of what we might believe or want them to be. The third message of these chapters is that it is fundamentally the character or potentialities of beings, and not our beliefs or desires, which determine the kinds of experiences we can have with them. And the fourth message of these chapters is that beings have a `manifest character' consisting of potentialities for experience which are readily available and a `latent character' consisting of potentialities for experience which are not readily available.


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CHAPTER 7. EXPERIENCE AS INTERACTION

In this chapter I want to introduce you to a crucial principle. It is the principle that all experience is generated by the interactions between beings. Suppose I encounter you on the street. If you wave a friendly greeting as we approach one another, my experience of that wave will be an interaction between the motion of your hand on the one side, and the ability of my eyes and mind to see and interpret such a greeting on the other.

Or suppose I am holding a glass of water and experiencing its cool, round shape. This experience will be an interaction. It will be an interaction between the character of the glass on the one side, and the character or abilities of my human hand and mind on the other. Since it is an interaction, my experience of feeling the cool, round shape of the glass will last as long as I continue to hold the glass. But, since it is an interaction, my experience of feeling the cool, round shape of the glass will also cease the moment I end the interaction by putting the glass back down on the table.

Now I want to expand on the principle that all experience is generated by the interactions between beings.

Each being, as we saw in the previous two chapters, has its own particular character. This character consists of the noumena or potentialities for experience or being which the being carries. These potentialities which make up the character of a being cannot, however, be actualized except through its interactions with other beings. When a being interacts with other beings, its potentialities rub, as it were, up against their characters or potentialities. In so `rubbing', some of the potentialities carried by the beings are elicited or activated; they are converted into actual experiences within the respective phenomenal worlds of the interacting beings.

This process of converting potentialities for experience into actual experiences through interaction can, I think, be best understood by contemplating a range of examples.

Suppose that Jackie, Jennifer, and I carry potentialities to experience stimulating conversations with one another. Those potentialities can be converted into experience only by the interaction of an actual conversation.
Or consider my body's potentiality to be squashed flat by a truck. That potentiality, one I would like to avoid actualizing, will be manifested only if I interact in a `flattening way' with a truck.
Or suppose I am allergic to bean sprouts. My potentiality to experience an allergic reaction will only be actualized if I actually eat bean sprouts.
Or consider my mind's potentiality to remember what I had at lunch. This potentiality will be actualized only if I interact with my mind in a way which elicits that memory.
Or consider my potentialities to enjoy and appreciate classical, rock, and jazz music. Those potentialities can be actualized only by actually hearing or interacting with these three kinds of music.
Or consider the potentiality for a seed to grow into a tree. That potentiality will be actualized only if the seed interacts with appropriate soil conditions, sunlight, and a generally appropriate eco-nich including the other flora and fauna in the area.
Or consider my potentiality to experience God or the sacred if it exists. That potentiality will be actualized as experience only if I interact through prayer, meditation, or another appropriate means with God or the sacred.
All experience, then, is produced by interaction.

My experience of a human being is generated by the interactions between that human being's character and my own. My experience of a natural being is generated by the interactions between that natural being's character and my own. And my experience of a divine or sacred being is generated by the interactions between that divine or sacred being's character and my own.

The Formula For Generating Specific Experiences

This dependence of experience on interaction - and on the characters of interacting beings - has an important consequence. This consequence is that to elicit a particular experience not just any interaction will do. It takes particular kinds of interactions between particular kinds of beings to elicit a particular kind of experience. Put differently, beings with the appropriate characters must come together in an appropriate way.

If I want to experience a baseball game with Jennifer, for example, I must meet her at the baseball court. It won't do if I go to the movies with her or if I meet Jackie when it's Jennifer I want to play with. These considerations lead us to what I call `the three-fold formula for eliciting a particular experience'.

Let's take a look at this formula.

The first condition set by the formula is that the being seeking an experience must carry the potentiality to have that kind of experience. Consider that I am human being with normal hearing. As such, I have the potentiality to experience the sound of a spoon tapping a glass. I cannot, however, hear the high pitched sounds audible to dogs and certain other animals. I do not carry the potentiality to do so.

The second condition for eliciting a particular experience is that the being seeking the experience must have access to, and actually interact with, the other beings or entities necessary to generate the experience. If I want to hear a spoon tapping a glass, it will not do if I interact with a trumpet and piano, a bat and ball, or a sock and a shoe.

The third condition for eliciting a particular experience is that the being seeking the experience, and the other beings or entities involved, must engage in the particular interactions which will generate the experience. It will not do if I stir liquid in the glass with the spoon, or stick the spoon in my mouth while turning the glass upside down. To elicit the `spoon-tapping-glass' sound, I must tap the glass with the spoon.

The `three-fold formula' states, then, that to elicit a particular experience I must: 1. Carry the potentiality for that experience. 2. Interact with the particular other beings or entities who can elicit that experience. 3. Interact with those other beings or entities in the particular way that will elicit that experience.


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CHAPTER 8. EXPERIENCE AS ENCOUNTER WITH THE WORLD

In this chapter I want to emphasize that experience is my encounter or interaction with the world. Experience is not a `subjective' realm. It does not exist cut off from the `actual' or `objective' world. It is true that a being exists in its own phenomenal world and does not directly share its experiences with other beings. But the experience of a being is not separate from other beings in that it has nothing to do with those other beings.

On the contrary, a being's experience is its direct interaction with the other beings of its world as seen from its side of the interaction. In its experience a being knows the beings of its world in the most direct way possible - through direct encounter. I never know a glass more than when I directly encounter or hold it. I never know you more than when I directly encounter or interact with you. And I never know the tree in my backyard more than when I directly see it, touch it, or climb it.

My experience, then, is my encounter with the world as seen from my side of the encounter. This means that experience always involves at least two beings. There must, that is, be a being which has the experience and at least one other being which is experienced. Nothing in the human, natural, or divine worlds can be experienced unless there is a being there to receive the experience and another being there to be received. "It takes," as they say, "two to tango."

But what about my experiences of my own mental or physical states? Does the `two-sided' character of experience apply to these `inner experiences' as well? The answer is `yes'. My inner experiences involve encounters between my self, on the one hand, and my mind and body on the other. Thoughts and feelings arise in my experience as a result of my encounters or interactions with my body and mind. These inner experiences, and the interactions responsible for them, will be discussed in the section on the human `Body-Mind-I' system.

Finally, experience or interaction is a revelation of being. Through my interactions with the other human, natural, and divine beings of my world those beings successively reveal their beings or potentialities to me. As I get to know my friend Jennifer, for example, I may successively see her play the oboe for the first time, comment on a film we have seen, or choose what to order in a restaurant. Each of these interactions or experiences with Jennifer tells me something more about her character or potentialities. It is through their interactions, and the experiences generated by those interactions, that beings successively reveal themselves and their potentialities to one another.


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CHAPTER 9. THE UBIQUITY OF INTERACTION

My essential thrust in the previous two chapters was that all experience, and all manifestations of being, are generated by interaction. My thrust in this chapter is simply to stress the pervasivness of interaction itself. Consider such categories as development and diminution, evolution and devolution, creation and destruction, and growth and decay. All of these categories refer to particular forms or aspects of interaction. So too do the four forces identified by contemporary science as the primary factors in the physical universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces in the atomic or subatomic realm.

In addition, the communities of organisms that make up the various bio-regions of our planet also exist as individual and collective interaction systems. Forests, oceans, and desert areas alike are collections of interacting beings.

Finally, the building blocks of the human cultural realm also consist of interactions and interaction patterns. Human labour, human artistic endeavor, human nurturing and caring, human kinship and social systems, human war and human peace, human religion, and all other human cultural activities constitute particular forms of interaction.

Whether we look at the physical universe, the bio-spheric world of life, or the human cultural realm, our world is a world of interaction.


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CHAPTER 10: THE `INDIVIDUAL' AND THE `SOCIAL' ASPECTS OF REALITY.

In this chapter I want to clarify an important relationship. It is the relationship between the `individual' and the `interactive' or `social' aspects of reality. This world view attempts to give due weight to both of these aspects. It emphasizes on the one hand that the universe is made up of individual beings, each with its own particular character or potentialities. It emphasizes on the other hand the pervasiveness, and the fundamental status, of interactions or `social relationships' between beings.

Consider a human beings such as my friend Jennifer, a natural being such as a skunk, and a divine being such as god. Each is an individual being, dwelling in its own world of experience, possessing its own character, carrying its own potentialities.

Thinking in this way helps us to see the particularity, and the irreducible reality and importance, of individual human beings such as my friend Jennifer, of individual natural beings such as skunks, and of individual divine beings such as god. But, as pointed out earlier, the particularities or potentialities of individual beings can only be actualized through the interactions between them. In this respect the world view also emphasizes the interconnected or `social' character of beings.

A human being, for example, may have the potentiality to enjoy the shade of a tree. But he or she cannot experience that shade except by interacting with a tree. A skunk may have the potentiality to walk on a blade of grass. But the skunk cannot experience walking on the grass, nor can the grass experience the skunk's tread, except through the interactions between them. Or consider that God, if God exists, may have the potentiality to experience the clouds which encircle the earth. This experience cannot be actualized, however, unless God interacts in some way or another with those clouds.

These two aspects - the `individual' and the `interactive' or `social' - are mutually dependent on one another. Reality as we know it requires them both. On the one hand, there can be no interactions, and therefore no actualization of experience or being, except through the existence of individual beings. Without particular beings bringing their particular characters or potentialities to their interactions, there would be nothing to interact and therefore no interactions and no experiences. On the other hand, without interaction individual beings would remain mere bundles of potentialities; they would be unable to manifest their being or realize their potentialities for experience. This interdependence of the `individual' and the `social' aspects of reality has been captured by my friend Stuart Piddocke in an aphorism: "Being is being in relationship, but there is no relationship between non-entities."


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CHAPTER 11. INTERACTION AS COGNITION AND CONNATION

In this chapter I want to deepen my exploration of interaction. Before going further, however, I want to provide you with a formal definition. By `interaction', I mean any interplay or encounter between two or more beings. Now in any such interplay or encounter there are three primary aspects. These three aspects are `cognition', `connation', and `processing'. By `cognition', I mean the act of going out to the world to learn about or receive it.

Suppose you make a statement and I `take it in'. I am cognizing - i.e., allowing myself to receive or be reshaped by - that statement. Or suppose the branch of a tree is bent or broken by the weight of a bear. The branch is cognizing - i.e., receiving or being reshaped by - the bear's weight.

Or suppose a worker hammers a piece of metal into a round shape. The metal is cognizing - i.e., receiving or being reshaped by - the worker's hammer strokes.

In cognition, then, we receive the `impress' of the world - and of its forms and shapes - into our own being. Cognition may be thought of as `receiving the world', `feeling the world', or `learning of the world'. But whether we speak of `receiving', `feeling', or `learning', all of these words point to the same thing: they point to the fact that in cognition we are not effecting other beings but are rather receiving their effects into ourselves.

Suppose I hear a door slam. My cognition of this sound is an act of `learning', of `feeling', of `receiving'. It is an act of receiving into my own being the `impress' of a loud grating `sound-form'. This door-slamming cognition may be contrasted with happier ones such as receiving into my being the joyous `sound-form' of a mozart symphony.

Cognition is complemented by `connation'.

In `connation' we are not being shaped or influenced by the world but are shaping or influencing it. By `connation', I mean the act of going out to the world to shape or influence it. In connation we modify the world to conform to our own desires or character.

Consider a human being who turns on a computer, kneads dough to form a loaf of bread, or makes a request of another person. These acts are all examples of connation. In all of them the individual is going out to the world to modify or shape it.

Or consider what happens when I enter a room and you look up and see me. My body is, in effect, connating or going out to modify or shape your perception. Or think of a bird building a nest, beating its wings against the air to fly, singing a song, or standing on a tree. In all these cases the bird is engaged in connation, in going out to the world to modify or shape it according to its character or desires.

Connation, then, is the act of shaping or influencing the world. Together, connation and cognition form two sides of every interaction. When I reshape or connate the world, there is necessarily something else which receives or cognizes my action. When I receive or cognize the world, there is necessarily something else which is connating or reshaping me.

Suppose I use my hands to form raw dough into the shape of a dough of bread. I am performing an executive action or connation. I am going out to the world to shape it. The molecules of the bread, in receiving my connation, in taking on the shape I convey, are performing an act of cognition. They are receiving the world.

Or suppose a rock falls into a pool of water. The rock's impact on the water is a connation effecting or reshaping the water. The ripples of the water resulting from the rocks impact are the cognition's of the rock by the water.

Or suppose my friend Jackie says, "could you hand me the glass?" in making that request she is performing an executive action or connation. She is going out to the world to shape it. In taking in her request I am performing an act of cognition. I am going out to the world to learn about or receive it.

Every interaction, then, involves these two sides. One side is a being going out to shape the world or connation. The other side is a being going out to receive the world or cognition.

In the next chapter, we'll look at the role of processing in interaction.


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CHAPTER 12. PROCESSING IN INTERACTION

In the previous chapter we saw that interaction involves connation and cognition. In connation I go out to effect the world, as when I stick my fork into a piece of carrot. In cognition I go out to receive the world, as when I chew-up the piece of carrot and swallow it.

In this chapter I want to introduce you to a third important aspect of all interaction. This aspect is `processing'. By `processing', I mean the action of beings in modifying the cognition's they receive to fit their own characters. In receiving cognition's beings necessarily modify them, in one way or another, in keeping with their own characters.

Suppose I touch a friend's arm, or a rock, or a tree. In each of these cases the beings in question will receive or `process' my touch in different ways in keeping with their own characters.

Or suppose some grass is eaten by an insect, a cow, or a human. In each of these cases the beings in question will receive or `process' the grass in different ways in keeping with their own characters.

Or suppose I rattle off a set of numbers to a friend, or record them on a sheet of paper, or input them to a `spread-sheet' program designed to manipulate them on my computer. In each of these cases the beings in question will receive or `process' my figures in different ways in keeping with their own characters.

Finally, I want to connect my discussion of processing with the language of `input and output'.

Strictly speaking, processing is part of input or cognition. Processing means that in receiving something a being necessarily changes that something in keeping with its own character. However, we can distinguish for analytical purposes between the bare fact that a being receives or cognizes something and the further modifications which it makes in that something. This distinction allows us to treat the action of mediators as a three-stage sequence. This sequence is that of input or cognition, processing or modification, and output or connation. This may more simply be written as cognition-processing- connation. From this perspective, a being acting as a mediator cognizes the world, processes what it has cognized, and outputs the result back to the world.


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CHAPTER 13. INTRODUCTION TO FORM

In the previous two chapters we saw that interaction involves cognition, connation, and processing. Now I want to examine these three aspects of interaction as involving the transmission of `form'.

In laying the groundwork for this discussion my first order of business is to define `form' and discuss its general character.

The word `form' comes from the Latin `forma' which probably was derived from `ferire' meaning `to strike' or `to hew' and thereby to make a recognizable thing. By `form', then, I mean any distinct or recognizable element or set of elements in experience.

Geometric Forms

The most commonly cited forms are the geometric ones which appear in our visual fields. These geometric forms are, to begin with, the various kinds of lines which I see when I look out on my visual world. These lines are wavy, straight, jagged or crooked as the case may be. Joined together, these lines make up such forms as rectangles, triangles, polygons, circles, ellipses, and the many other `irregular' shapes of my visual world. If I look at a chair, for example, I see various straight and curved lines, and these connect together to make the shapes of the back, the seat. And the legs of the chair.

Colour And Other Sense Forms

In addition to geometric forms, my visual field includes the forms, or forms of experience, called `colours'. There is, for example, the `form of redness'. This is the element of experience which recurs whenever I see the colour red in my visual field. If I look at a red chair I see, in addition to its geometric forms, this form of redness. All distinguishable colours and shades are forms of my visual experience.

Geometric forms and colour forms are only the beginning of the forms encountered by a human being.

There are, in addition, all the forms which come to us through the other sense channels. Each of the sounds I hear, for example, has a distinct form. There is the loud, grating form of a slamming door; the kindly, happy form of a friend talking to a friend; and the joyful, upbeat form of a mozart symphony.

Or consider the sense of touch. The touch of sandpaper communicates one kind of form to me; shaking hands with someone communicates another kind of form to me; and stroking a dog conveys still another kind of form to me. The senses of smell and taste serve as additional channels through which many other distinct forms of experience are received by human beings.

Mental Forms

In addition to forms received through the sense channels, there are also the `forms of mental life'. These `mental forms' include all of the thoughts, feelings, subtle energies, and so forth which we encounter in the mental realm.

Among our emotions, for example, are anger, fear, sadness, love, and joy, each of which has its own distinct forms. Manfred Clynes has made a start in charting these distinct emotional forms in his book `Sentic Forms'. In addition to emotional forms, human mental life also includes various kinds of `thought-forms'. I cannot even begin to categorize these thought- forms here. I will instead simply point out that the thought-forms we `see' in our minds may be visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or olfactory in nature. There also seems to be a category of thoughts composed of pure concept-forms not draped in sensory clothing.

I have, I trust, given you at least a general sense of form. To be an experience is to be a `something' which I encounter. To be a `something' is to have a distinguishable form. All experiences have such forms and may be said to consist of forms.


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CHAPTER 14. INTERACTION AS TRANSMISSION OF FORM

In the previous chapter I proposed that all experience is made up of specific forms. I also defined these forms as "any distinct or recognizable element or set of elements in experience". In this chapter I want to explore the transmission of these forms by means of interaction.

In their interactions with one another beings transmit forms - or forms of experience - to one another. In connating its world a being sends out its forms to other beings. In cognizing its world a being receives forms from other beings. And in processing its world a being fits the forms it has received from other beings to its own character.

Suppose my friend Jackie and I interact by shaking hands. This interaction will consist of both sending forms to one another and receiving forms from one another. In my phenomenal world I will receive or encounter Jackie shaking my hand as a set of pressure-forms or pressure-feelings appearing in my hand as she grasps it; as a set of hand shapes appearing in my visual field; and as a set of warm, friendly feeling forms which appear in my mental sphere. In Jackie's phenomenal world she will receive or encounter me as another set of geometric forms, colour-forms, sound-forms, touch-forms, emotional-forms, and so forth.

All Interaction Involves The Transmission of Form

All interaction, then, involves this process of beings transmitting forms to one another. Prior to this transmission these forms reside as potentailities for form in the characters of the beings involved.

A chair, for example, carries in its character a set of potentialities to produce particular kinds of forms in my phenomenal world. These potentialities for form manifest themselves as a set of geometric and colour forms when I look at the chair; as a set of kinesthetic and touch forms when I touch the chair; and as a set of pressure and feeling forms when I sit on the chair.

All beings, as we saw in a previous chapter, have individual characters. These characters consist of the particular potentialities for experience carried by the beings. I can now add that these potentilaities for experience carried by beings are their potentialities to produce forms in one another's phenomenal worlds through their interactions with one another. The character of a chair, for example, includes the potentiality to produce a `chair-form' in my visual field when I look at it. All beings contain potentialities for form in their characters and manifest those potentialities through their interactions with other beings.

Now a word to prevent misunderstanding. In claiming that all beings carry particular potentialities for form I risk trespassing on a time-honored doctrine. This is the prohibition found in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the other western monotheistic faths against making or worshipping forms or graven images of God.

In prohibiting the `making' of forms or images of God, however, I do not think that the western monotheistic faiths are ruling out the possibility that God has forms. On the contrary, it is by virtue of God's forms, if God in fact exists, that he or she would be able to enter into and effect the phenomenal worlds of other beings. If God truly had no forms, he or she would not exist and could not appear to other beings or influence other beings in any way whatsoever.

All interactions between beings involve, then, the transmission or generation of forms. The nature of these forms is determined by the potentialities for form carried by the beings involved, and by the particular ways in which these potentialities come together in the interactions between the beings.

Consider a lump of potter's clay. Its character includes the potentiality to take on the form of a tea cup. If I simply mash it beneath my foot, however, the clay will not produce anything useful. If, on the other hand, I interact in an appropriate way with the clay, it will receive from my hands the form of a tea cup. But no matter how I interact with it, a lump of potters clay will not receive from my mind or speech a complex mental form such as a request to "please form yourself into a tea cup". The clay simply does not have the character to receive this kind of mental form.

Beings `Stamp' Their Forms Upon One Another

As beings interact, they progressivly shape and reshape, form and reform, one another's characters. They `stamp', as it were, their forms upon one another. They do not, however, shape one anothers characters just as they please. They rather shape them in ways determined by their potentialities to shape and to be shaped, and by the particular ways in which these potentialities to shape and to be shapped come together in their interactions.


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CHAPTER 15. INTERACTION AS MEDIATION

Until now I have discussed interaction only as taking place directly between beings. So long as only two beings are interacting, all of their interactions will in fact be direct. But as soon as three beings are involved, `mediated interaction' or `indirect interaction' becomes possible. By `mediated interaction' or `indirect interaction', I mean any process in which an interaction between beings is communicated through one or more other beings.

Suppose I am talking on the phone to my friends Jackie and Jennifer. The phone system serves as a `mediator' through which our conversational interaction is transmitted.
Or suppose I am trying to send a message to Jackie and Jennifer through a friend who keeps misconstruing my message. My friend is a `mediator' of a different kind.
Or suppose I am working in the garden with a shovel. The shovel serves as still another kind of `mediator' through which my interaction with the ground is transmitted.
Most Interactions Use Mediators

Most interactions, then, involve mediators of one sort or another. These mediators are `instruments', `media', or `means of interaction' when they promote or facilitate the interaction, and `barriers' or `obstructions' or `noise' when they interfere with or hinder the interaction. But regardless of whether they assist or obstruct the interaction, the mediating beings have their own characters which determine the contributions they make to the interaction. These characters fit these mediating beings to serve as particular kinds of instruments or obstructions, and makes the interaction possible. Put differently, interactions which pass through mediators are processed through the characters of those particular mediators.

Suppose I am working in the garden with a shovel. My digging motions will be quite different when they reach the ground then when I first make them. They will be different because they are processed through the shovel's character with its long handle and sharp-edged scoop before they reach the ground.

Or suppose Jackie tells Jennifer a story and Jennifer tells the story to me. This story will be at least slightly different when I hear it then when Jackie first told it. It will be different because it has been `processed' through Jennifer's character before being passed along to me.

Or finally, suppose a tree receives sunlight and binds it with carbon dioxide, nutrients and water to make an apple. If I eat the apple I am receiving the sunlight received by the tree. But I am receiving it in a different form then when it was first received by the tree. It will be different because it has been processed through the tree's character with its leaves, roots, and general ability to engage in photosynthesis.

Means of Cognition and Means of Connation

Broadly speaking, the means or mediators of interaction can be divided into two kinds. These two kinds parallel the two aspects of every interaction - cognition and connation - which we encountered earlier.

First, then, there are the `means of cognition'. These are means by which we receive the world and learn about it. An eye, a mind, a library, a telephone, a microscope, a telescope, and a computer are, generally speaking, examples of means of cognition.

Secondly, there are the means of connation. These are means by which we go out to shape or influence the world. An animal paw or a human hand, a handtool, a machine, or a house are, generally speaking, means of conation.

Now I would like to explore the concept of mediation in more depth.

In providing examples of means of cognition and means of connation I have spoken as if an entity can serve exclusively as one or the other. An eye or microscope, for example, was said to be a means of cognition. A hand or a machine was said to be a means of connation.

All Mediators Engage in both Cognition and Connation Strictly speaking, however, any entity serving as a mediator is involved to some extent in both cognition and connation.

In `transmitting' an interaction from one being to another a mediator must in the first place receive an `impress' or `input'. This impress or input comes from the source of the interaction. The act of receiving or taking in this impress or input on the part of the mediator is cognition.

But this is only half the story.

In order to complete its `transmission', the mediator must then shape or influence the `recipient' of the transmission. It must, as it were, stamp an impress or convey an input to the `recipient' of the transmission. This is connation.

Both cognition and connation are, then, involved in every act of mediation.

In receiving light a lens engages in cognition. In conveying or impressing this light upon my eye the lens is engaged in connation. In receiving the movements or forces from my hands and arms a shovel is engaged in cognition. In conveying or impressing those movements or forces to the ground, the shovel is engaged in connation. In receiving information from Jackie, Jennifer engages in cognition. In conveying or impressing this information to me, Jennifer engages in connation.

The Ubiquity of Mediators

Mediators, or means of interaction, are a pervasive feature of our world. Their ubiquety is reflected in the wide range of terms which refer to them. We speak of `media' - as in `communications media' or `chemical media'. We speak of `tools' or `instruments'- as in `manual tools' or `musical instruments'. We speak of `vehicles' - as in `transportation vehicles' or, as we will see in a subsequent chapter, `the body and mind as vehicles of the `I' or self'. All of these terms - media, tool, instrument, and vehicle - refer to beings serving as mediators or facilitators of interactions between other beings.

Taken together, the means of cognition and means of connation make up the linkages - the means of interaction - through which beings relate when they are not in direct one-to-one communication. These linkages may also be thought of as extending the `power' of beings. By `power', I mean the ability to interact with the world and generate experiences or states of being which one desires. By extending the `outreach' of a being, its means of cognition and means of connation extend also its ability to receive the world and to shape the world in ways which it desires.


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CHAPTER 16. MEDIATED COGNITION AND MEDIATED CONNATION

In this chapter I want to briefly clarify the meaning of `mediated cognition' and `mediated connation'. By `mediated cognition', I mean receiving an impress or effect which is not communicated directly but rather through a mediator.

Suppose I tell Harry a story and Harry repeats, as best he can, the story to you. In listening to Harry's account of my story you are cognizing or being effected by me. But your cognition of me is a mediated one. It is based not on direct interaction between us but on Harry's role as an intermediary.

Or suppose I hit the `q-ball' in a game of billiards and it in turn hits a second ball. This second ball has received an impress or effect from my action. But its cognition or receipt of my action is a mediated one. It is based not on direct interaction with me but on the role of the `q-ball' as an intermediary.

Finally, suppose you go out to buy a liter of milk at your local supermarket. The milk is, as it were, mediated to you by the supermarket. The source of the milk, however, is not the supermarket but a series of other beings including cows, dairy farmers, and milk truck drivers. In purchasing the milk you are receiving not only the supermarket's effects but the mediated effects of the other beings which provided the milk to the supermarket.

Mediated Connation

The complement of mediated cognition is `mediated connation'. By `mediated connation', I mean shaping or effecting a being by interacting with a mediator which `passes the effect along' to it.

Suppose I speak to you in a way which enlivens or brings a degree of joy into your life. Your positive mood may then result in your speaking in a somewhat kinder or happier way to a third person. My treatment of you has then effected that third person. But my connation is a mediated one, it is `passed along' to that third person through you.

Or suppose I am a dairy farmer selling my milk to a supermarket which in turn sells it to the public. Through my milk sales I connate or effect the public. But the connation is a mediated one, it is `passed along' to the public by the supermarket.


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CHAPTER 17.THE THREE BASIC POWERS

You have now been exposed to the three basic aspects of every interaction. These aspects are cognition, connation, and processing or memory. These three aspects of all interaction are also present as `three basic powers' in all beings.

To exist and manifest itself at all, a being whether human, natural, or divine must have:

1. The power to connate or effect at lease some other beings;

2. The power to cognize or be effected by at least some other beings;

3. The power to process what it receives from other beings through its own particular character.

These `three basic powers' are the minimum necessary ones for a being to exist and manifest itself.

Dust particles, giraffes, shovels, and people all exist inasmuch as they possess the three basic powers. Each of them possess the ability to transmit effects to at least some other beings; to receive effects from at least some other beings; and to process the effects which they receive from at least some other beings. All beings whether human, natural, or divine must have the three basic powers in order to exist.

The Three Basic Powers And Character

Now I want to connect the three basic powers with the concept of character.

The character of a being, as we saw in a previous chapter, is made up of its potentialities for experience. These potentialities for experience are also its powers to cognize, connate, and process its world in particular ways.

My character, for example, includes the power to receive or hear sounds, the power to effect other people by talking to them, and the power to process the food I eat by digesting it. Taken together, the sum total of my powers of cognition, connation, and processing make up my character. Similarly, the three basic powers possessed by other beings - whether dust particles or giraffes - make up their particular characters.

How Beings Differ

Now I want to briefly discuss the differences we encounter in the characters of beings.

These differences are differences in their powers of cognition, connation, and processing. Human beings, squirrels, and stones, for example, differ in their abilities to cognize or receive other beings. Eyesight, to cite only one example, differs greatly as between humans, squirrels, and stones. In addition to their cognitive differences, human beings, squirrels, and stones differ in their connative abilities. Squirrels are much more adept at running up and down trees than are humans, while humans are much more adept than squirrels at shaping the environment with their hands. As for stones their connative powers are of a more rudimentary kind such as their stony ability to impact or resist other beings. Finally, human beings, squirrels, and stones differ in their processing powers. Human stomachs, for example, are adapted to processing human foods, while squirrels thrive on the consumption of acorns, and stones eat very little

Human beings, squirrels, and stones are very different species of beings. Their powers of cognition, connation, and processing are correspondingly quite different. Even within the same species, however, the characters or powers of beings can vary significantly.

Human cognitive abilities, for example, typically include the five senses, perhaps some potentiality to use `subtle senses', to eat and digest different foods, to understand different ideas, to listen to other people, and so forth. There are broad similarities in these areas for most humans. But the five senses, the `subtle senses', as well as the ability to eat different foods, to understand different ideas, to listen to other people, and so forth will also vary from one human being to the next.


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CHAPTER 18: TO BE A BEING IS TO BE A POWER

Before leaving this discussion of beings and their interactions, I want to briefly discuss the relationship between being and power. To be a being is to be a power. Beings - whether human, natural, or divine - are powers able to effect and be effected by at least some other beings. When two people meet it is a meeting of two powers, each with its own particular character, and each able to effect and be effected by the other. When the natural beings in an eco-nich interact it is a meeting of many powers, each with its own particular character and each able to effect and be effected the others. And when the beings of the planetary interaction system as a whole interact it is a meeting of a tremendous number of powers, each with its own particular character and each able to effect and be effected by the others. The ability to enter into, and to effect, the experiences of other beings is an important part of what makes us beings! End of this part of document.


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CHAPTER 19. THE FOUR KINDS OF ENTITIES (Part one)

The content of this chapter is absolutely essential to understanding the revolutionary theory of knowledge which is presented in part two. It concerns a fundamental distinction which runs through the entire world view. This is the distinction between entities outside experience and entities inside experience.

All the beings in the universe can, from the perspective of a given being, be divided into those which are currently inside its experience and those which are currently outside its experience. I have until now explored this outside experience/inside experience distinction with the help of the concepts noumena and phenomena.

Noumena are powers outside my experience but able to enter into and effect my experience.

Phenomena are the manifestation of those noumenal powers within my experience.

In this chapter I introduce a series of concepts which parallel the noumena/phenomena distinction. Like noumena and phenomena, this series of concepts is built on the `inside experience/outside experience' distinction. But these additional concepts draw out different and exceedingly important aspects of the `inside experience/outside experience' relationship. They thereby add to our understanding of noumena and phenomena, and of experience in general.

Theoretical Entities and Phenomenal Entities

Now I come to my first additional pair of concepts. These are `theoretical entities' and `phenomenal entities'. By a `phenomenal entity', I mean an entity or being which is currently present in my experience. By a `theoretical entity', I mean an entity or being of whose existence I am aware but which is not currently present in my experience.

At the moment, for example, I am sitting in a restaurant. A man working as a waiter is serving me and is directly present in my experience. He is therefore from my perspective a phenomenal entity or being. I cannot, however, see the outside facade of the restaurant. I saw it on the way in but I cannot see it or otherwise experience it from where I am now sitting. For all I know labourers could have arrived and removed part of the facade while I have been sitting here. The outside facade is therefore from my present perspective a theoretical entity or being. That is to a say, I hold a theory that the facade is there although I cannot see it.

In distinguishing phenomenal from theoretical entities the crucial issue is whether they are currently in our experience.

A moment ago, for example, I saw the pen on my desk. At that point it was a phenomenal entity inside my experience. But I have now looked away from the pen and am no longer directly encountering it. It is now outside my experience and is therefore a theoretical entity.

Phenomenal entities, then, are entities which are present in my experience now. Theoretical entities are entities of whose existence I am aware but which are not present in my experience now.

The `Relativity' of Phenomenal And Theoretical Status

There is a related key point which you may already have noticed. It is the `relativity' of phenomenal and theoretical statuses. These statuses are not permanent but change according to our relationship to an entity.

While I sit in a restaurant, for example, the waiter serving me is phenomenal - and the outside facade of the restaurant is theoretical. As I leave the restaurant, however, the waiter becomes for me a theoretical entity as he passes out of my experience. The outside facade of the restaurant becomes at the same time phenomenal and remains so for the period of time that it remains in my direct experience.

To further refine your understanding of the phenomenal/theoretical distinction, consider also the wide range of objects which have at least two sides.

When I look at the front of a chair, its back side is out of sight and theoretical. If I walk around to its rear, however, the back of the chair becomes phenomenal and the front becomes theoretical.

We see, then, that an entity's phenomenal or theoretical status may change according to our physical position in relationship to it. An entity's status may, however, also be changed by its position in time.

A few seconds ago, for example, I glanced into my refrigerator. On the top shelf I saw a coke bottle. That bottle was directly present in my experience and was therefore phenomenal. Now, however, a few seconds have passed. I have closed the refrigerator and the coke bottle is out of my sight. The coke bottle is no longer present in my phenomenal world, my experience of it is in the past, and it is therefore now a theoretical entity for me.

A present event may be phenomenal or theoretical - it depends on whether it is directly present in my experience. But all past events, which are by definition outside my direct experience, are necessarily theoretical.

Finally, another significant consequence flows from the `relativity' of phenomenal and theoretical statuses. It is that an entity may be phenomenal in relationship to one being and theoretical in relationship to another.

Consider the status of thoughts. Suppose you have a thought currently present in your mind. That thought is, from your perspective, a phenomenal entity: it is directly present in your experience. But for me, no matter how much you tell me about the thought, it remains a theoretical entity which I do not directly encounter. Or suppose that Jackie and Jennifer pay me a visit. They are from my perspective phenomenal because they are directly present in my experience. But if you are not along for the visit, they are not in your phenomenal world and are therefore for you theoretical. This set of relationships can, of course, be reversed. If Jackie and Jennifer visit you, and I am not along for the trip, they will be phenomenal entities or beings for you and theoretical ones for me.

Now I want to tie this discussion of theoretical and phenomenal entities back to my previous discussion of noumena and phenomena.

`Theoretical entities' are also `noumena'.

Phenomenal entities are also phenomena.

Both pairs of concepts - noumena/phenomena and theoretical entity/phenomenal entity - point to the same `outside experience/inside experience' relationship.

There is, however, an important distinction in how the two sets of concepts construe this `outside experience/inside experience' relationship.

Noumena/phenomena construes it primarily as one between powers or potentialities standing outside experience and the actualization of those powers or potentialities within experience.

Theoretical/phenomenal, on the other hand, construes it primarily in terms of our knowledge. Being outside our direct experience, a noumena or theoretical entity is known to us indirectly by means of a theory. It may have been within our experience a moment ago. But at the moment it is not within our phenomenal world and our idea of it is therefore, from our standpoint, a theory.

A phenomena or phenomenal entity, on the other hand, stands directly before us. It is currently within our direct experience and is known to us directly. This distinction between entities known directly and entities known indirectly to us will turn out to be crucial when we come, later on, to the nature of knowledge.

`Technical' Theoretical Entities and `Absolute' Theoretical Entities

Now I want to introduce you to an important distinction. This is the distinction between `technical theoretical entities' and `absolute theoretical entities'. By a `technical theoretical entity', I mean an entity which I am not currently encountering in my phenomenal world but which could enter into my experience. By an `absolute theoretical entity', I mean an entity which is not currently in my phenomenal world and which cannot even in principle enter into my phenomenal world.

Lets clarify the distinction between `technical' and `absolute' theoretical entities with some examples.

Jackie and Jennifer are frequently outside my direct experience. At such times they are, from my perspective, theoretical entities. Their theoretical status at such times is, however, technical rather than absolute. It is technical because the barriers to encountering or experiencing them are `technical' rather than absolute. Given appropriate circumstances, such as a visit from them, they are able to enter or re-enter my direct experience.

Now consider the example of bacteria and other microscopic life forms. These are ordinarily outside our direct experience. They are at such times theoretical entities. By using a microscope, however, we can convert them, or at least aspects of them, into phenomenal entities present in our experience. Microbes outside our phenomenal world are therefore like Jackie and Jennifer when they are outside it. Since the possibility of directly encountering them exists, they are technical rather than absolute theoretical entities.

Now let's look at some examples of absolute theoretical entities. Any entity too small to ever be directly encountered or experienced, such as certain sub-atomic particles, is an absolute theoretical entity. So too is any entity too far away, such as perhaps certain distant objects in space. The motives, egos, thoughts, feelings, wills. And minds of beings other than ourselves cannot ordinarily be directly encountered or experienced. They are therefore, from our perspective, also absolute theoretical entities.

The Importance Of Theoretical Entities

"What," you may be wondering, "is the point of thinking about absolute theoretical entities? If they can never enter my experience, what connection do I have with them? And, if I can never directly encounter them, how can I even know if they exist?"

The full answer to this query will not emerge until I come to my discussion of knowledge. But I can make a provisional response at this point: The significance of absolute theoretical entities, and the means of verifying their existence, is in their consequences.

It is true that absolute theoretical entities never directly enter our experience. But their consequences do. The motives, egos, or wills of other beings can have definite consequences in our experience. So too can sub-atomic particles when they leave tracks in a cloud chamber in a scientific lab, or produce an atomic explosion. It is by such consequences that we also can test the existence of absolute theoretical entities. If we are able to encounter in our phenomenal worlds the consequences which should follow if an absolute theoretical entity exists, then we can tentatively assume that it does exist. If we do not encounter these consequences, then we have grounds for supposing that it might not exist.


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CHAPTER 20. THE FOUR KINDS OF ENTITIES (Part two)

Now I want to introduce two more concepts. These concepts refine the distinction between phenomenal and theoretical which we have already examined.

These two new concepts are those of `mixed entities' and `unknown entities' . By a `mixed entity', I mean an entity which is partly directly present in my experience and partly outside it. In other words, a mixed entity is partly phenomenal and partly theoretical. Most of the entities we encounter in everyday life are of the mixed type.

A Cat is A Mixed Entity

Suppose I see a cat. The cat shape - the shape of head, legs, and trunk - directly enters into my phenomenal world. The cat's colour is likewise directly present in my experience. But the vast majority of the cat remains theoretical. The colored material covering the cat appears to me to be fur. But unless I touch it, the furry quality remains for me a theoretical entity. I believe the cat has insides. But unless the cat is cut open those insides remain for me theoretical.

In addition, my concept of the cat includes the idea of its ability to run, to meow, to claw, to curl up, to eat fish, and so forth. But as I observe the cat, most of these `cat qualities' are at any given particular time outside my experience and hence theoretical. Cat's, like most of the beings or entities we encounter in everyday life, are thoroughly mixed entities.

The Role of Sense Channels

Before passing on from mixed entities to unknown entities, I want to briefly touch on the concept of `sense channels.'. By `sense channels', I mean sight, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. There may be other `subtle' or less frequently used sense channels. But the standard common ones will suffice for my brief discussion here. Now the significance of sense channels for our knowledge of phenomenal, theoretical, or mixed entities is simply this: An entity may be present in one sense channel (and to that extent phenomenal) but not present in another (and to that extent theoretical).

Let's consider the cat again. When I look at the cat, it is present - and to that extent phenomenal - in my visual channel. But unless I am touching it, it is purely theoretical in terms of my kinesthetic or touch channel. The presentation of a cat shape in my phenomenal world could, for all I know, result from a three- dimensional holographic projection of a cat. In that case, my hand would simply swish through empty air if I moved to pet the cat.

Or consider the `soft-looking' cat fur. That fur might, for all I know, contain briers. My expectation of its softness remains a theory until I touch it. Or consider a visit with my friends Jackie and Jennifer. When I hear their voices outside my door, they are present in only one sense channel. Their visual appearances and other sense qualities are theoretical. Those voices in the corridor might, for all I know, belong to two other people who sound like them. As they enter my room, however, I not only hear them but see them. Their entry into my visual channel, in addition to the auditory channel, increases their phenomenal presence and my certainty that they are in fact Jackie and Jennifer.

Unknown Entities

Now I come to unknown entities. By an `unknown entity', I mean an entity which exists but is unknown to us. The universe is, from the perspective of any given being, literally teeming with unknown entities. Any existing entity not currently present in my phenomenal world, and of which I have no theoretical conception, is for me an unknown entity.

Like phenomenal, theoretical, and mixed entities, unknown entities are relative to the phenomenal worlds of observers. An entity can, that is, be known to you but unknown to me.

Consider any thought, piece of knowledge, animal, person, or place which you encounter - or have encountered in the past - in your phenomenal world. All of these are known to you. But if I have not encountered them, and if no one tells me about them, they are for me unknown entities.

The Importance of Unknown Entities

Now there isn't a great deal more to be said about unknown entities. All that we know about them is, after all, that they are unknown. Except, and it is an important `except', that the concept of `unknown entities' can serve to remind us that the universe, with all its beings and potentialities, is greater than our knowledge of it.

The notion of unknown entities can help to keep us open to new possibilities; it can prompt us to explore beyond the entities, resources, or explanations we are familiar with; and it can remind us that in the words of Shakespeare "there are more things in heaven and earth then are dreamt of in your philosophy, Hereto."

I have now examined four types of entities. Each of these types derives its status, as we have seen, from its relationship to beings and their phenomenal worlds.

There are phenomenal entities (entities which are currently present within the phenomenal world of a being).

There are theoretical entities ( entities which are known to a given being but currently outside its phenomenal world). There are mixed entities ( entities which are partly currently present in the phenomenal world of a being and partly outside it). And there are unknown enitities ( entities which exist but which are unknown to a given being).

Go On To Part Two Of This Work