Re: virus: Existence

Brett Lane Robertson (
Sat, 13 Sep 1997 00:30:31 -0500


... followed your logic--i think :)--a few quick points: Seems that you are
saying that it would be nice if the Self had choice (wasn't deterministic)
AND it would be nice if "other" didn't overpower Self so that it didn't
become pre-conscious...but that the predominent "wave" disturbances cause
self to cease to exist as self. This is the weakest part of your argument.
Are you taking into account forward momentum? I "see" a *static*
mind-mapping of your thesis but do not see how time (as forward momentum)
figures into your logic. Because of this lack of what is--to me--obvious,
that self persists because there is an internal consistency to the idea of
self which makes self's progression through time as faithful as Big Ben...a
"persistence of being", and because you are weak on the points of why self
should not be deterministic and why the group has so much influence: I
conclude that there is some wishful thinking on your part that the self lean
in the direction of group and dissolution (a self fulfilling prophecy?).

Your "strange loop" also idea also implies that the existence of self only
becomes obvious when director and actor counter-act each other (denying a
persistence of self). I say that this presupposes that director and actor
are equally viable, that they are co-dependent, and that a thing cannot be
seen until it becomes two and each part destroys the other maintaining
"something"--which to me is simply self-evident (though admittedly affected
by the other manifestations). I wonder if you are--like KS--proposing that
things emerge dependently and cannot have an original form. If you are
suggesting a circular system then this presupposes your conclusion which is
that any "form" studied (in this case self) will dissappear. I do not think
that this adequately addresses the question as to what is sacrificed, the
social self, personal self, or the ego. (Though I see a "persistence" or
continuation of form, I am willing to concede that this persistence might
continue in the form of a social self rather than the form of a personal
self, even ego...but not that anything we look at will dissappear).

So, I'm not buying the conclusion--that " the Self will eventually cross the
horizon and dissolve". Other than that, I like several of your points: 1.
That neither an objective self nor a subjective self captures the essence of
self. 2. That ego is "noise" or a non-compatable wave interaction--and I
think you tied the idea of violence well into this part (but I'm not sure
that *any* part of ego can later become other than wave interference--can be
taken into self; though you seem to say that it may be). 3. I was awed by
your explanation of "the border between chaos and order"...thanks :) first, I assumed that you were using circular logic and I became
frustrated (at your attempts to get me to clarify my original post) not
because I felt personally confronted by you, but because circular logic is
so difficult to confront using the idea of linearity. Later I noticed your
humor and--even moreso--your attempts to NOT make personal confrontations.
I was not personally intimidated by your questions--thanks, actually--they
helped me to clarify my intent.


At 06:27 PM 9/12/97 -0400, you wrote:
>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.


Rabble Sonnet Retort
The first sign of a nervous breakdown is when you start
thinking your work is terribly important.

Milo Bloom