Boxed Off

Living in a mindful state may be likened to living in a transparent house. In the houses in which most of us now live, if we were in the living room and needed an object (idea) that was in the basement, we might not be aware of its presence. But in our transparent house, objects would be ever available. When in the living room, we could still see the object in the basement even if we chose not to think about it or use it at the moment.

If we were taught mindfully, conditionally, we could be in this ever-ready state of mind. Thus, while it is true that we cannot think of everything at once, everything can be kept available.

One reason mindfulness may seem effortful is because of the pain of negative thoughts. When thoughts are uncomfortable, people often struggle to erase them. The pain, however, does not come from a mindful awareness of these thoughts, but from a single-minded understanding of the painful event. A mindful new perspective would erase the pain more effectively.

[Ellen Langer]
Mindfulness, p.201, 202

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[...] men, that is to say, are now writing only with the male side of their brains [...] It is the power of suggestion that one most misses, I thought, taking Mr B the critic in my hand and reading, very carefully and very dutifully, his remarks upon the art of poetry.

Very able they were, acute and full of learning; but the trouble was that his feelings no longer communicated; his mind seemed separated into different chambers; not a sound carried from one to the other.

Thus, when one takes a sentence of Mr B into the mind it falls plump to the ground - dead; but when one takes a sentence of Coleridge into the mind, it explodes and gives birth to all kinds of other ideas, and that is the only sort of writing of which one can say that it has the secret of perpetual life.

[Virginia Woolf]
A Room of One's Own, p.117

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Deleuze and Guattari vigorously deny that philosophy is needed to help science think about its own presuppositions (“no one needs philosophy to reflect on anything”). Instead, they emphasize the complementary nature of the two.

First, they point out a number of similarities between philosophy and science: both are approaches to “chaos” that attempt to bring order to it, both are creative modes of thought, and both are complementary to each other, as well as to a third mode of creative thought, art.

Beyond these similarities, Deleuze and Guattari distinguish between philosophy as the creation of concepts on a plane of immanence and science as the creation of functions on a plane of reference. Both relate to the virtual, the differential field of potential transformations of material systems, but in different ways.

-- Philosophy gives consistency to the virtual, mapping the forces composing a system as pure potentials, what the system is capable of.

-- Meanwhile, science gives it reference, determining the conditions by which systems behave the way they actually do.

Philosophy is the “counter-effectuation of the event,” abstracting an event or change of pattern from bodies and states of affairs and thereby laying out the transformative potentials inherent in things, the roads not taken that coexist as compossibles or as inclusive disjunctions (differentiation, in the terms of Difference and Repetition), while science tracks the actualization of the virtual, explaining why this one road was chosen in a divergent series or exclusive disjunction (differenciation, according to Difference and Repetition).

Functions predict the behavior of constituted systems, laying out their patterns and predicting change based on causal chains, while concepts “speak the event”, mapping out the multiplicity structuring the possible patterns of behavior of a system—and the points at which the system can change its habits and develop new ones.

Roughly speaking, philosophy explores the plane of immanence composed of constellations of constitutive forces that can be abstracted from bodies and states of affairs. It thus maps the range of connections a thing is capable of, its “becomings” or “affects.”

Science, on the other hand, explores the concretization of these forces into bodies and states of affairs, tracking the behavior of things in relation to already constituted things in a certain delimited region of space and time (the “plane of reference”).

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Entry on Gilles Deleuze, section 4.1 'What is Philosophy?'


[What has happened (science) vs. What could happen (philosophy) ]

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All four pursuits – psychoanalysis, behaviorism, philosophical hermeneutics and Marxism – offer complementary, rather than contradictory, perspectives. It is possible for all to be correct and necessary for a complete account of human existence. Also, each by itself offers only a partial view of reality.

On his view, Wilber has integrated these four areas of knowledge through an acknowledgement of the four fundamental dimensions of existence. Further, according to Wilber, these four perspectives are equally valid at all levels of existence.

[...] The exceptional feature of Wilber's approach is that, under this methodology, all of these mental structures — subconscious, rational, mystical — are considered complementary and legitimate, rather than competing in a zero-sum conceptual space. And that is perhaps Wilber's greatest accomplishment — the opening up of a space wherein more ideas, theories, beliefs, and stories can be considered true, responsible, and acceptable.

[...] All four of these are valid forms of knowledge, because they are grounded in the realities of the nature of every holon. And therefore all four of these truth claims can be confirmed or rejected by a community of the adequate [those competent in that knowledge]. They each have a different validity claim which carefully guides us, through checks and balances, on our knowledge quest. They are all falsifiable within their own domains, which means false claims can be dislodged by further evidence

Wikipedia
Ken Wilber


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[...] both art and science, although very different types of human endeavour, are concerned with seeking order in complexity and unity in diversity; and the impulse to do this, which is biologically adaptive, could equally well be regarded as 'instinctive'.

[Anthony Storr]
Freud, p.75

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Einstein defined thinking as 'a free play with concepts' and specifically emphasized the need for creative thinking to be free of the constraints imposed by real objects.

He could never have conceived the special theory of relativity if he had not employed phantasy, although, of course, the theory later had to be checked by experiment.

[Anthony Storr]
Freud, p.82

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