Can you hear that whirring, rattling sound?
That's the gerbils running frantically in their wheels.
We are the giants who've entered the room, they both fear us and want our attention, since we feed them. So they run, as fast as they can, desperate to get our attention, and to get away at the same time. The infernal binary opposition.
Maybe all they really want is to get out of their cages.
The wheel turns and turns and they run and run, staying in one place -- a dead heat in a ferris wheel.
We don't need them, they need us. We can go our way, pay no heed. The rattling is not so loud as to disrupt.
All they leave us are their droppings in the tray under the cage. That's the genius of the wire boxes, the droppings fall through.
Still, I never liked cleaning up after them. That's why I never wanted one for a pet.
The problem for the spinning gerbil gets to be something like this:
Inside his little six sided binary opposition cage he's spinning that wheel with the circumference of the irrational number pi, and he's running and spinning so much he gets to thinking he's running things.
And then what do you get?
You get an a narcissistic, self absorbed authoritarian gerbil.
And the more you ignore him, the more he runs, thinking all the while he's running things.
Nature is gray scaled, Life can’t be reduced to deterministic numerical pattern and true knowledge is available only at death. Max's search can be seen as the saga of the 20th century that is doomed to fail since it uses the wrong tools. Other tools are available, they mustn’t necessarily be non-scientific, other logic systems, set of axioms and interpretive methods are possible. The story of movie Pi unfolds when we reveal the underlying binary oppositions that are woven through it...
But, aren't binary oppositions just the same as a dialectic?
A dialectic, when I think of it, is more of a spiral, a process. A binary opposition is essentially the two parts that may begin the dialectical process. So a dialectic would be a series of binary oppositions. A series of "thats" and a "not thats" beginning with a single "that." Computers use that simple binary component to compute with as well. It's really the fundamental basis for Western rational thinking. And it goes back at least as far as the Greeks. Understanding it can open many doors, or perhaps open the tops of boxes, the kinds of boxes dogma can create.
In observing how thought occurs in the mind, recognizing a binary opposition may merely be seen as an identification of the first steps in a rational thought process where one can identify, with concepts, a particular rational set: "that, not that."
Mathematically speaking, binary opposition is itself a concept that attempts to describe a raw, cognitive process that precedes culturally loaded values. "Views" are only one of the many possible concepts that can be included in a set of two -- that is, the conceptually recognized "that, not that" separated from a whole field of perceptions and distinguished. Noticing this is noticing our cognitive rational process at work in us.
Another set of concepts that can be used as cognitive tools for observing our inner process has been offered as "subliminal," "liminal," and "supraliminal." These are offered as an attempt to identify levels and types of consciousness. Supraliminal would be associated with processes that have more of an emphasis on abstract, rational thinking. This can be very complicated to describe, and a whole set of rational concepts have been developed to describe it.
What is meant by "liminal" consciousness, and then, "supraliminal" consciousness?
What makes them different? How does that difference effect a consciousness of environment, the moment, and an interactivity amongst humans in their cultural enclaves.
"Liminal state" is a rational effort to describe an awareness that is not "distorted" by the duality that rationality itself presents. With that as an understanding, then, liminality cannot be accessed directly through rational descriptions, only pointed to with it; the rational then is the supraliminal. A split that creates a seperation, a duality. Those who quest a vision are said to be questing to re-enter the liminal state, to be in a sense, non-dual. What that means conceptually is difficult to describe with words, but in essence, one lets go the rational supraliminal translation of perception and "enters" a state of consciousness where perception is "allowed" without judgement of what is, the mind will take care of that, consciousness does not have to be active to allow perceptions to occur. In that sense the assumptions that often precede behavior are not enacted. Let the people who do vision quests try to explain it:
Anthropologist E. Richard Sorenson has made a study of liminal consciousness integral to his life's work. Liminal consciousness may not be easy for us to imagine, since we are enculturated from birth in a supraliminal cognitive environment. Nevertheless, here's one of Sorenson's efforts to describe it:
Sorenson also attempts to give a contrasting view of how a Westernized supraliminal consiousness transforms from a liminal consciousness, which is one way of saying what it is to be supraliminal:
Imagine you have been walking and you come to an ocean for the first time. You are standing at the edge of the water, watching the waves roll in. You see and feel the water, it looks like a blue plain stretching off forever to the horizon, but you cannot walk on it. You have the beginnings of a perceptual "that, not that" right there.
That process can happen with no necessary hierarchical value, that is, no "one is better than the other" value; that value would come with another operation of thought in the cognitive phase once the "that, not that" has been conceptualized and separated out (or perhaps better put, as focused upon) from the whole of perceptual awareness.
Try another angle on this: Imagine that you live next to the ocean in a village and you have canoes and you fish, your village has names for all these things you live with every day, then one day you see something far out to sea, gradually, as it comes closer, it becomes clearer, but it resembles nothing familiar to you. You have no "idea" what it is, you just see a new form (some folks have even asked if the first natives to see a ship even "saw" anything at all), but you have no actual correlative words for the forms you see, because nothing in your environment has those characteristics.
After awhile this curious object that has your attention is near enough that you can see humans moving around, and something drops from the bow with a big splash with something attached that you recognize, a line (because you do make rope-like things to do all sorts of things to make your life possible, so you understand that concept), and then the as yet unidentified, unnamed thing stops moving. Perhaps it is changing shape and poles and sticks are being revealed as the large, whitish floppy things are shrunk up to the cross poles at the tops of the vertical poles. How would you make sense of that with your language and experience? Rationally, the process is identified, at least in Western Cultures, as a process of "that, not thats" working together.
Humans are born into a world with a language that already has much historical residue of meanings in place, where conceptual identifications of "that, not thats" are are shared in the organic process of environmental perceptual recognition and language development from birth, and I would correlate that with your notion of "ethnic programming."