virus: Existence

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 18:27:02 -0400 (EDT)

The Self is "the director"; the creator and the created. In saying this,
we imply that is some sense Self is primal and independent of other
manifestations of conciousness; sufficient in itself.

Deriving from the creator/created strange loop are two subordinate (or,
perhaps a better word is emergent?) entities. These entities are not
contained within the Self, but arise from the interaction between multiple
Selves. From the perspective of the Self this relationship is:

Self <===> Others

The first of these is the "social self" which is derived from harmonious
intersubjectivity. One can think of the "social self" as the reinforcing
pattern of the Self-wave and the Others-wave The self fugues with the
other selves creating the reality which we commonly refer to as

However, there are components of the Self which cannot be
communicated/reproduced in the self. Whether this is due to intrinsic
alien-ness (inability to be part of the self) or lack of effective
translating agency is not apparent to the Self. From the perspective of
the Self there is a negative reinforcing pattern between these elements and
the Others-wave. As a result they are grouped in the "ego"; the entity
which creates and is created by this "violence" or disharmony.

The Self is an entity, it must be recognized which is inherently
inconsistent...a strange loop. This should be apparent from the creator
(an active entity: "the director") /created (the set of all elements: "the
universe of the Self") loop which is the simplest definiton of the Self.
This inconsistency, far from being a disadvantage, is in fact the core of
the Self's meaning.

Viewing the realationship from a Self-less (or overarching) perspective
(and the artificialness of this perspective should be obvious even as we
recognize it's utility) we recognize that the interaction between Selfs is
like a choir looking for harmony. The equilibrium is dynamic, each of the
individual Selfs being both inconsistent and varying in time with respect
to internal components and structure. Each Self projects elements into the
intersubjective environment. If an element is reinforced it becomes part
of the self; if it is not the Self can choose to eliminate the element
(thereby sacrificing a component of the Self) or submerge it into the ego.
Elements of the self should not be considered finite or persistent but are
at least statistically stable; a vague sort of accounting can be done by
the Self which I will refer to as the self/ego ratio.

We will begin with the extremes. If the Self is entirely biased in favor
of the self (an infinitely high self/ego) then Self ceases to exist in a
deterministic void, the Self is determined entirely by the current feedback
of the intersubjectivity and thus ceases to have an effect on it, except
possibly inertial.

On the other extreme, the Self is entirely ego-driven (an infinitely minute
self/ego). At such an extreme the Self also ceases to exist for lack of a
responsive context. Actually, neither of these extremes can exist,
obviously, for at either extreme an event horizon into oblivion (outward or
inward) is crossed.

To recap:

Deterministic Oblivion Self Entropic (Random) Oblivion

high self/ego <=====================> low self/ego

Or, as the complexity theorists like to say: everything happens on the
border between chaos and order.


There are a number of ways this system is potentially complexified:

The principle of Karma dictates that the Deterministic Oblivion and
Entropic Oblivion are identical, in essence that the edges of the line
turn in a circle. This realization can lead to either solipsism...the
belief that all is contained within the Self, or existential dissolusion...
the recognition that the Self is an illusion. Either way, the Self
disintegrates. One way of think about this is that the Self
can manage it's own self/ego ratio like a submarine balanacing it's
dive tanks to keep afloat. At the same time, however, the dynamic
nature of the Other-waves (in the metaphor, the literal waves)
perturb this attempted equilibrium. As a result, despite the Self-intent
to avoid oblivion, the Self tends to pass through the inconsistent
determinist/entropic event horizion unintentionally. These episodes
are usually repressed, or to be more accurate, cannot be remembered
as a limitation of the structure of the Self itself.

The conclusion is obvious, the Self will eventually cross the horizon
and dissolve. At the same time the Self will continue to exist. Thus
the elements of the self defined as "ego" and "self" are only temporary
and, in fact, the Self cannot sacrifice any of it's components nor is any
portion of the Self in fact separated from the whole Self or, in fact,
the Others. The Self exists and also does not, since it is an intrinsic and
inseperable component of the intersubjective reality.

But, this is simply a restatement of the first definition: The Self is
both creator and created.


Reed Konsler