BEING BECOMING

PREFACE (PART I)

BEING BECOMING: PARADIGMS FOR DEVELOPMENTAL METAPHYSICS 

Richard Waguespack, Ph.D., LCSW

     Few argue against fuller explanations about what constitutes our being and purpose.  Being Becoming explores the conditions of our essence and potential and dynamics of existence influencing our self-concept, goals, mission, volition, and the way we participate in relationships.  These include marital, family, church, school, workplace and the extended physical, quantum, morphic, metaphysical and spiritual interfaces of our environment.

    Working assumptions in Philosophy, Medicine, Psychology, Social Work, Science, Technology, Business, Sociology and other disciplines are based on variables we think we understand and the meaning, relationships and value we assign to them.  The composition of our being reflects the contingencies between our essence and the potential that extends from it.   The conscious employment of will and volition emerges from our essence and potential which in turn are influenced by our values and the way we integrate perceptions, experiences, consequences and benefits. 

    One interdisciplinary vision of Being Becoming is to attempt to fathom what constitutes the fullness of being so that our approaches to serving others will correspond more holistically to the real conditions of their personhood.  In other words, we need to possess an adequate orientation to help facilitate human development in a way that does the most good and avoids doing harm.  If our criteria for personhood, good or harm are not sufficiently developed because we do not fathom the nature of being, essence, potential, existence and more, then how do we presume to posture ourselves as primary agencies, authorities, gatekeepers, facilitators, therapists, managers, executives and the like?   

    Our quest begins by examining key aspects of physiology with an eye towards integrating a wider range of interacting components than typically demonstrated in conventional scientific models.  Here we consider Ontological and Epistemological implications of being expanding outside a materialist framework to being in Being – a foundation for interpreting our actual makeup, modalities of function, life force, experiences, development, motivations and organization of perceptions.  

    One early goal of this work was to improve the depth, quality and comprehensiveness of working theory that orients the developmental consequences decision making.   I was motivated to introduce a series of paradigms with the power to draw practitioners, researchers, educators and managers to a place where they could no longer casually restrict ‘working assumptions and dialogs’ into materialist’s pet frameworks but would themselves be restricted if the refused recourse and reference to an interdisciplinary framework that respects metaphysics and well sourced spirituality.  The specific rules of logic, reasoning and reframing may depend on the context, but once a construct of knowledge enters a prescribed interdisciplinary conduit, it can no longer retain its protective cocoon or imply an exclusive leading role confined to positivistic presumptions. 

    Along with recognizing existence tethered to variables outside of three dimensions, it is also very important to fathom that such an expanded mindset must navigate with the help of Ontological frameworks grounded to the transcendent nature of humankind as well as a foundational ethos supporting well-being – including proper utilization of conscience and intellectual faculties.   We must also understand that broad pastoral explanations, insights and guidelines cannot be ignored and scuttled by the atheist and agnostic if he or she wishes to participate in collaborative work in a leading theaters.

   The Being Becoming Series is in designed to persuasively overcome conceptual impasses binding individual professionals to entrenched biases that are unhealthy, problematic intellectual frameworks that create various kinds of impasses and highly powerful and manipulative reward systems.  It is formulated to revive the potential and quality of emerging interdisciplinary theory as well as practice in the face of prevailing orientations that may at times be adverse to reasonable integrations within an improved paradigm. 

      With barriers to certain categories of improvement, both upstream and downstream, entrenched systems and wrongful political ideologies tend to create conditions fostering unnecessary double talk, submerged duplicity and other quagmires amongst a wide variety of paradigms in philosophy, science, medicine, education, social service, public health and much more.  Therefore, it is necessary to equip those who wish to improve conditions with high quality insights, approaches, questions and proposals for integrated knowledge that leads to more holistic and trustworthy conversation, mission and purpose.  

      If you have read this far, you are probably quite concerned about the consequences of scientists, health professionals, corporate leaders, technology experts, teachers and administrators remaining in the shallows.  At the same time, you may be looking for examples of historically relevant individuals who were accomplished in the sciences and at the same time were able to reframe their knowledge within quantum, morphic, metaphysical and spiritual domains.  

   A central figure to weigh is 1963 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine – Sir John Eccles (1903-1997).  If one examines his published works from 1932 (Reflex Activity of the Spinal Cord) to 1994 (How the Self Controls Its Brain), we see a gradual progression towards a view that expands from the strictly physiological to the metaphysical and spiritual dimensions of humankind – including a credible effort in resolving the so called mind – body problem that he interfaces with and extended beyond Cartesian Dualism.   In sum, in this last book, he offered the concept of “Psychons” as metaphysical mental units in interaction with  “Dendrons”, fundamental physical units reflecting bundled formations in the Cerebral Cortex.

     Though Eccles’ work at all stages had a wide audience, it certainly shifted and expanded over time, some in scientific fields found reasons to break ranks after he published Facing Reality: Philosphical Adventures by a Brain Scientist (1970) and continued to pull away as he continued to produce books that pressed for a more comprehensive model of mind-brain.  One of his predecessors, German physicist Friedrich Beck (1927-2008), tended to walk the fence on Eccles’ models, especially after his death, offering neural transmission explanations from the nomenclature and models of quantum physics.  He was primarily known for his “quantum tunneling” interpretation, plausibly stretching outside of three dimensions, but not necessarily. 

     A sense of meaning and purpose cannot be divorced from how one perceives his or her development in the context of being in community.  Indeed, the models and language we use tend to be heavily influenced by our relationships and those who have influence on our lives.  “Validation” received from ‘carrot and stick management strategies’ in the science lab or business focus group, research funding sources and other controlling players with reductionistic assumptions may seriously undermine the potential for thorough self-examination, productive self-direction and growth.  They may also cause a given group of people to prostitute their faculties to accomplish research designed to reflect certain implied outcomes rather than coming to terms with a holistic understanding of the truth.  

    The Being Becoming Series offers an understanding of human potential and essence that keeps open the doors of metaphysical and related interfaces.  A developmental model like Waguespack’s Three Essence Theory can help establish working paradigms to help influential players realign baseline assumptions and conversational scope about what makes up the human person.

     Are you aware of certain psychological, medical, scientific, and philosophical modalities of assessing phenomenon, individuals and groups that may currently be considered “mainstream”, but believe the nomenclature and underpinnings shortsighted and reductionistic, often suppressing or perverting the potential for optimal growth and the fortification of potentialities, essence(s) and being? As a ’systemic thinker’ are you motivated to consider a presentation purposed to target key areas of philosophy, science, medicine and Theology relevant to becoming whole and helping others to be the best versions of themselves – and at times from harming themselves? 

     Perhaps you have considered integrating material from a wide variety of sources within an effective interdisciplinary synthesis, but have been discouraged by the effort required to credibly integrate the material in a way suitable for public consumption.  Keep in mind that most colleges and universities have opportunities for interdisciplinary studies at every level.  Many have interdisciplinary departments.  This approach has evolved significantly over the past 50 years and will continue to do so.  Welch (2011) explains in his abstract of “The Emergence of Interdisciplinarity From Epistemological Thought”: 

Interdisciplinary studies has positioned itself as an innovative approach to comprehending, navigating, and transforming knowledge. The emphasis in recent scholarship upon complex systems and integration of insights from disciplinary perspectives mark decisive progress toward the development of a cohesive theory of interdisciplinarity. Such a theory would entail establishing an epistemology of complexity through epistemological negotiation. I argue that the interdisciplinary approach to knowledge is a logical evolution of the history of Western thought…(p. 1)

      He suggests that “such an approach to knowledge requires a metacognitive awareness to the way truth itself is formed” (p. 2) and that complexity has become the cornerstone of interdisciplinary theory (p. 32).  This approach moves away from reducing knowledge to simple structures or idealized models and acknowledges its dependence on context, focusing on relationships between systemic elements (p. 32).  He points out Derrida who suggests that “différance enables complexity itself, and allows for the possibility of epistemological progress without ignoring the way in which it problematizes itself” (p. 33).  

      Developments in the neurosciences, chemistry, physics, math, technology, computer science, database management and engineering possess greater and greater magnitude in their social and environmental ramifications — for good or for ill.  The theoretical underpinnings and sometimes troubled dynamics within these venues as well as many areas of medicine, management and human resources often signal an increased need for interdisciplinary checks, balances and cooperation.  This work strives to offer a common nomenclature with the potential to increase unification across these diverse fields without diminishing the importance or quality of production of any given discipline.

     The interdisciplinary synthesis of this Series offers a very wide range of content relevant for linking and expanding standard paradigms to highly relevant dimensions of physiology as it may be interfaced with, quantum, morphic, metaphysical and spiritual realms. My hope is to draw our minds towards making room for notions that expand conventional physiology without giving undue weight to any sphere of influence.  The issues may often come down determining how much weight should be afforded a given concept, construct, theory or paradigm in the overall schema.  This is why modern epistemology cannot be totally divorced from consensus building and some level of negotiation, not for the sake of negotiation, but for the sake of better clarifying the limitations and merit of any given representation at any given interval in any given context.

      Many are responding to invitations to reexamine what their professions are evidently conveying and not conveying to themselves and those they serve.  In some instances, critiquing what they do not recognize and fortify can be almost as important as examining what they do.  For example, if a group of social workers in a conference on domestic violence appear to give inordinate weight to the notion of “rights” and situational problem solving via dissolution of marriage within a radically feminist schema of service and gatekeeping, then society at large has a problem and there is probably no effective recourse in singling out one or two people for correction or disciplinary action.   How does society respond to subgroups of professionals who tend to grossly discount the relative value of marriage and family preservation and radically overweigh their angry sentiments against males with impoverish backgrounds or otherwise, trapped in cycles of abusive behavior towards spouses. 

   Blind spots, cognitive distortions, group think and problematic approaches found in disciplines administrated in relative isolation or in reference to wrongful collective assumptions can often be exposed and remedied through constructive interdisciplinary dialog fortified with concepts generated from “the outside”.  Ideally, such exchanges will help set the stage for improvements emerging from “the inside” as well.   Often the process and outcomes will not be formally established and explicitly rectified, but graduated in the context of mutually beneficial interdisciplinary and more constructive internal dialogs.

   Each venue of professional life presents a unique set of challenges that relates to needs, opportunities as well as various types of suppression.  The most general is human resources. It is rather basic to understand incentives for management to orchestrate work conditions that facilitate outcomes of reliable, effective and efficient productivity.  Many have demonstrably understood and responded to the need to encourage holistic lifestyles with sufficient private reflection, time with family and recreation.  These accommodations have certainly been instrumental in helping large numbers of employees function in accordance with the expectations of management. 

    What is especially critical to spot are sources that inform and perhaps rank higher but who are themselves questionable leaders alienating the wrong people and promoting the wrong people.  Of course, the “right” and “wrong” relates to the mission and values of the organization.   At times one must recognize where the most pivotal shortcomings are as well as their systemic effects.  Sometimes the remedies and corrections are not straight forward but must be implemented within a larger strategy for the good of the organization.  When might it be appropriate to change the vision and mission of an organization and when is it critical to hold onto it at almost any cost?  How does one go about examining and challenging a given set of assumptions, often part of the culture but difficult to identify and articulate in a way which would draw consensus and validation of finding(s)?

    Critical paradigm shifts are taking place, but progress is uneven and unpredictable, with much resistance. American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996), the man who coined the term “paradigm” in the 1960s did so in order to describe contexts and frameworks associated with scientific revolutions throughout history. In our time, the revolution pertains to the philosophical and scientific challenge of merging the best of each discipline towards a progressive interdisciplinary synthesis that goes beyond science per se. It is about science recognizing its place and proper role in the scheme of mankind’s development.  Similarly it may be about an organization coming to terms with its existence and criteria for optimal future development.

    We choose our scientific research and define the questions it is supposed to answer.  We establish mission statements for rehabilitating mental illness or corporate dysfunction, often with very specific goals in mind.  “What else” are we and those we interface with  attempting to establish and accomplish?  The “facts” are often going to be assembled within these paradigms and they may not necessarily reflect the most conscious awareness or objective reality –  remote configurations beyond our grasp.  How can we narrow the gap?

    At this point in the history and philosophy of science and other related venues, we are often offered perspectives that suggest reality often accommodates or even resembles the fabric of our individual and collective beliefs, motivations, plans and actions.  Through manifestations of being, we influence the pathways of particles, give life or death vibes to plants and even ice crystals.   The lasting impression most of us have is that the smartest and wisest among us are limited human beings who have made excellent cases for their impressions, perceptions, inferences and beliefs.  In virtually every case, the sands of time have worn down at least some of what they offered and often they have been found inadequate or have been quietly forgotten.

      How often do we look at the big picture on a philosophical level, really studying and thinking deeply?  How often do we ‘strategically modify’ our orientations to “adapt” to the expectations of individuals who themselves are not well invested in an optimal mission or purpose in their own leadership?  This book offers a number of windows, as remote as prime matter and as close to home as conscience to better understand and construct a model of ourselves and those we serve — what are we about anyway?  What are we made of and how do we best develop?  What should be our own “developmental agendas” and those we affirm in others? 

END OF PREFACE PART I OF 2

Please note that this book contains a “working Glossary” for the reader to glance through before and during reading…

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“Interdisciplinary studies has positioned itself as an innovative approach to comprehending, navigating, and transforming knowledge. The emphasis in recent scholarship upon complex systems and integration of insights from disciplinary perspectives mark decisive progress toward the development of a cohesive theory of interdisciplinarity. Such a theory would entail establishing an epistemology of complexity through epistemological negotiation. I argue that the interdisciplinary approach to knowledge is a logical evolution of the history of Western thought…(p. 1).”

Welch (2011).  The Emergence of Interdisciplinarity From Epistemological Thought.  Issues in Integrative Studies. No. 29, pp. 1-39.  

GO TO PREFACE PART 2 of 2

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