Many great thinkers in contemporary neurology such as Michael Gazzaniga, author of Who’s in Charge, play to a middle ground in recognizing mind-body perspectives that propose an interface between animate and inanimate domains of being. He does this by expanding the parameters of “emergence theory” that has traditionally been quite nebulous and somewhat adversarial to recognizing dimensions outside the physical and quantum. His evident strategy is to give the reader much empirical evidence about the nature of the brain and human decision making within scientific parameters explained through interactive systems theory and offering a blurry olive branch; some semblance of a separate ‘mind’ sustained in whole greater than the sum of its parts. Though he may vaguely signal this is metaphysical or spiritual there is no clear cut alliance with this position.
Gazzaniga appeals to a sustained quantum complexity – akin to recognizing two separate properties in mind-body distinction, but not acknowledging two distinct domains (material and spiritual). This is known as property dualism rather than substance dualism as traditionally defined by Cartesian theorists. Cartesian dualism states that man has a body and a soul and each of is composed of a separate substance. Those with this orientation weigh the value of a neurological theory by the level of accommodation.
Property dualism is a half-mast sail for those who do not want to alienate either side of the Cartesian dualism debate. Now having made this point, the limitations and problems with Cartesian dualism are addressed in this book – but the remedies do not migrate in the direction of monism or property dualism. More broadly, coexistence or functional alignment between the animate and inanimate components of being are at the heart of the Three Essence Paradigm (or Theory), a perspective that is developed in this publication. The nature of this relationship is something that will require many people many years to further explore, expand and clarify. What can be established from the onset is that the notion of substance, more than the constructs it was meant to cover in Cartesian Dualism must be reexamined for efficacy given certain issues in Western Philosophy and Christian Theology.
Unfamiliar with the approach of this book, Gazzaniga, primarily a property dualist, explains that the “whole” is greater (and of different status and quality) than the sum of its parts, substitutes the mind for the whole and the parts for components of physiology. To cap it off, he vaguely alludes to ‘possibly more’ while at the same time elusively allowing room from the scientific community to retain long held, insular, materialist assumptions that some believe should be stripped out to make room for more valid and holistic interdisciplinary models. At the same time, Gazzaniga avoids explicitly diminishing the merit of orientations of those who see how quantum mechanics opens the door to a more holistic view that may in some manner be construed to incorporate the metaphysical and spiritual essence of humans integrated with their physical nature or body.
In some ways, The Being Becoming Series goes beyond the work of Gazzaniga and others (many more accustomed to even more reductionist models) to explore cohesive interpretations that interface the physical, quantum, morphic, metaphysical and spiritual when addressing the physiology and overall functioning of humans. Chapter one of the first publication is thus aptly titled Physiology Reframed.
Because our world continues to increase in both complexity and wholesale automation that invades individual autonomy and decision making, the basic structures, systems and processes that once enabled individuals and organizations to get from point A to point B to point C, may paradoxically be overly effective and frighteningly inadequate at the same time. This is especially true if certain core understandings and principles are missing from goals and objectives. The runaway train stays on track and has brakes, but is also very dangerous and out of control. The same may be said of certain kinds of scientific research.
Many more gaps and much dissonance may appear when relying on old strategies combined with new technologies to advance to points D, E and F. Again, lack of knowledge and false (or reductionistic) assumptions about the nature of being and potential as well as underestimating the extent of erosion and moral change that we are called upon to embrace, can and will affect the relative thresholds of success and failure of work environments.
The goals of an organization can be well formulated in terms of service and outcome, but without a cultural shift to support ongoing openness to new and better modes of being, the mindful practice of high receptivity to other kinds of information and flexibility for change may in and of itself be insufficient to bring the group through the jungle one year and the desert the next. Principles founded upon improved interpretations of humans and the human condition are required to filter knowledge and assemble the best model for mission, goals, objectives and outcomes.
Just because we are now understanding the brain to be far more plastic than hard wired, does not mean we properly understand what constitutes the person who uses the brain. In fact, such advanced understanding in isolation can easily yield to strategies that involve unprecedented abuse and unethical manipulation. This is especially true for those committed to incorporating a materialist view of being and existence.
Nimble capacity when one’s understanding of “the meaning” and content for “the mission” is inadequate creates barriers to discovering and acting upon the best vision, navigation and criteria for success. Those scrambling to be ’orchestrators’ instead of ‘orchestrees’ need to possess the character and vision necessary to avoid nihilistic “group think” processes that may offer hollow confirmation to “the boss”. They need to understand what constitutes their own being as well as variables that signal deficits in process and formation.
An inferior or deficient mission grabs for external alliance and loyalty and mechanistically creates sparks simulating but not equaling the holistic success and honor many of us seek. In the words of Sinclair Lewis in Rebel From Main Street, we may cynically reach to accomplish without adequate assessment of goals or authentic internal validation. “What is success, but the paper helmet of a clown, more nimble than his fellows, scrambling for a peanut in the dust of an ignoble circus” (p. 490).
Similarly, the need for deeper thinking along with self reflection in managers is explained well by Cecile Rozuel (2010):
As we work towards advancing the noble and quelling the ignoble in our sphere of influence, our vulnerabilities to demands from authority, even if discernibly irrational, are formidable. Consider the ramifications of being in automated compliance as demonstrated by the well circulated video known as The Waiting Room Experiment. In our technical age with sound and visual signals for various kinds of automated delivery and conformity, peer and supervisory pressure combined with advanced tools in many domains place us at an every increasing risk of losing our voice and collegial interface with co-workers and often more distanced leaders. The of course greatly integers with trust and investment in problem solving collaboration.
Being Becoming recognizes that a person or group’s state of being will definitely influence the capacity for steering the ship away from atrophy, entropy and apathy and towards sustaining cohesive progress towards worthy long term goals and objectives. While this volume of Being Becoming may not exist in the form of a throughly practical “how to” business manual, it provides a helpful framework for the reader to better conceptualize the “a-priori” “what is” before the “how to“.
Being Becoming was written to provide a backdrop of information for other theorists in various disciplines to more universally and ‘natively’ connect with their own being, ideas and their potential applications. With the right priorities, they will also be involved in producing a more complete synthesis for leadership to consider when appraising “what is”, both actual and potential. Identifying and explaining our core components on a metaphysical level – essence and potential in being as well as problems with optimal integration of self is certainly near the top of the list.
It has often been said that “the world is shrinking”. What we mean by this statement continues to evolve. At a minimum, it certainly entails the reality that an ever increasing constellation of “systems” will exist in closer and closer proximity to one another — quite possibly with collateral influence that is “felt” with greater regularity and intensity. Ultimately, some components will function in ways which will demand constructive coexistence.
When one focuses on new content suitable for inclusion in various systems theories and mainstream paradigms of science, technology, psychology, medicine, education, social work, human resources, and management, a “growth odyssey” of considerable magnitude at many different levels unfolds. In putting this Series together, applications for a much larger context of interdisciplinary studies aligned with Ontology the study of being emerges. I believe that a significant number of people are motivated towards interdisciplinary exchanges directed towards central conduit(s) containing built in filters and scaffolds to generate increasingly holistic paradigms for universal applications.
Being Becoming offers paradigms to unify great people, causes and modes of inquiry with both concrete and abstract references to the nature of reality. Though the challenges involved in bringing this synthesis to the “center of operations” are formidable, if they were any easier they would already be in place, it would not take great leaders to understand and facilitate them.
As we transition into a third 21st century decade, we can expect to see a flow dynamic partnerships, mergers, buyouts and other alliances, not just of corporate bodies, but of functional ideologies and metaphysical assumptions. If we head in the right direction, professions and disciplines will practice more effective collaboration because a shared epistemology and ontology will make it more possible to consciously formulate overlapping objectives with shared assumptions to foster constructive processes. It will often be through interdisciplinary channels governed by these modalities that accomplished minds will gather to formulate constructive innovations and platforms to accomplish them.
Who is going to be early (or late) for the “Ontology Gathering”? Who is not aware that while modern enterprise is becoming “smarter”, more technologically savvy and powerful, the possibility of nefarious assumptions and destructive ideologies taking root and molesting the service, product or peripheral realities increases? It takes a new additions to nomenclature and alliance with multiple disciplines oriented towards the higher good to sufficiently move frameworks, support and navigation in the best way for the good of all.
Near the open of a recent podcast, Being The Change: Episode 214, Lewis Howes (2015) asked, “Have you ever stopped to think what it means to be human? We have so much power yet haven’t quite mastered responsibility to ourselves, or our home, the earth, or her other inhabitants.” I believe Ontology and related venues are almost unavoidably going to be primary catalysts behind corporate and multidisciplinary developments in the future. These should foster greater trust for sustainability of missions over more narrow definitions of ‘performance’ within specific contexts that often possess very short life spans.
Since constant change and need to innovate and adjust will be accelerated, creative potential will become more valued in many settings. Advancing a compatible, epistemology, metaphysics and ontology is the key for innovators to focus on ’operationalization’ within the context of “mutuality in being”.
At this juncture it is fitting to revisit the introductory thoughts of Edith Stein in Finite and Eternal Being. Posthumously published within one of the most pivotal epochs in the history of Western Philosophy, we find the following declaration: “This is a book by a beginner for beginners.” I certainly wish to echo those same sentiments for the publications of this Series. A certain kind of simplicity and humility is required for gathering many to further process and prioritize their understanding of this less than fully definitive material.
By embracing her quest in the right spirit, in her humble acknowledgment, Stein was saying that her efforts do not equate to absolute truth, but will hopefully draw the reader to the right proximity of content relevant to the new frontier of constructing emerging and traditional fields of thought for mankind’s advancement in the greater good. This is my position as well. There is a market for modernized work of this nature and I feel privileged to participate in it.
END OF PREFACE PART 2 OF 2
Please note that this book contains a “working Glossary” for the reader to glance through before and during reading…