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Monday, July 20, 2015

Original Thinking

I just read Glenn Aparicio Parry, Original Thinking: A Radical ReVisioning of Time, Humanity, and Nature. Bob Toth urged me to read it, as I urged him to read Metzinger, The Ego Tunnel. (See earlier reflection.)

It reminded me of a lot I've read before e.g. Fritjof Capra, Wendell Barry, and Paul Hawken; and in working with indigenous Hawaiian culture and working through Meister Eckhart with Sensei Tanoye in Hawaii. So it wasn't groundbreaking for me, but it did remind me of an aspect of thinking that I may have been neglecting lately in these blogs in my enthusiasm for neuroscience. I bet Bob felt the same way about The Ego Tunnel. We come at the same thought through different perspectives, emphases, foci. Bob is much more in tune with the style and message of Parry and I am with Metzinger. So that's why I look forward to our dialogue the next few days.

It is certainly not a matter of either-or, but both-and. I try to dialogue both these perspectives in discussing Original Thinking along with, what I am calling, Terrestrial Thinking. OT slips into aboriginal thought. TT slips towards extra-terrestrial thought. If human existence is a balance-in-tension (which I claim it is), OT stresses the balance side, TT the tension side. Transcendence for OT is going deep; for TT, it is going across. The goal of OT is to preserve ancient wisdom; TT is to develop new thought and new city--both hopefully in dialogue with nature. Each stresses different issues and are threatened by different illusions--which in the end are the same.

To help me think and think again, I put together this matrix which I know is inadequate, but hopefully suggests this yin and yang of thinking. See what you think.

I want to make clear that both of these styles of thinking are one. They both attempt a balance-in-tension between humanity and its environment, world, and nature. Both are attempting to transcend the modern rationalist, utilitarian, libertarian divide which is so divisive and destructive of our human condition, the earth which we share with all sentient beings. Both are trying to revise thinking and education and politics. We call upon different ancestors to help us, perhaps, but they are all wise.