Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations



Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl

    #1: See: Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being: (A Study of the History of an Idea.) (The William James Lectures Delivered at Harvard University, 1933.) Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1942.

    A. P.35, line 6 from bottom: "...and it is from his writings, [Plato, Platonism] it is to be added, that the belief that the highest good for man lies in somehow translocating himself into such a world has been perennially nourished" ("such a world" refers to what Lovejoy calls "otherworldliness" (p. 25 ff.), i.e. transcendentalism and the Subtle World in contemporary terms). This establishes transcendentalism as a Western, and more particularly Greek and European, theme of preoccupation on the daily round: the origin of the standardized imaginings and stylized dramatizations catalogued by the topic domain of Spiritual Seekings.

    B. Lovejoy's theses, outlined in A., and its significance for ethnosemantics and transactional engineering, is that it proposes to be an actual description of the genesis of an idea. One implication of this is that current topics on the daily round, both in inter- and intra-personal discourse, derive their dialectic or moving force from Plato or Platonism. This proposition is equivalent to a theory about setting features that relates standard topics functionally to standardized imaginings, i.e. a theory of how individual behavior (here, topicalization work in his discourse productions) is a function of the social context that here operates as an "idea" (e.g. Platonistic Transcendentalism) culturally transmitted over generations and centuries and operating on the discourse productions of enculturated individuals now alive and well. Thus Lovejoy's thesis that contemporary transcendentalistic enactments derive from Plato or Platonism amounts to, in ethnosemantics, a cataloguing proposal for ethnicity or the categories of enculturated imaginings. This is no less than a functional theory of discourse (see: TOPICALIZATION DYNAMICS, NES, James and Nahl, 1975; 1976).

    C. "My first reaction to this was, That Can't Be True' Surely I'm not being triggered by Plato when I make my transcendentalistic enactments' My second reaction was, Well, why not, actually? Upon which I had the agreeable realization that I had just come into contact for the very first time with Lovejoy's idea of The Great Chain of Being, and, I added, with the elaborated versions available for the enactment of It' The Performative Paradox attained: Lovejoy's topicalization it-self driven by the very ideas or forces he is relentlessly un-masking. A magnificent accomplishment"' (from The Conspiracy of the Gurus, p. 1261)

D. Platonic Transcendentalism: (as expressed in German by Ritter, 1931, and quoted in English by Lovejoy on p.36)

"the Platonic Idea is the expression of the simple thought that every rightly formed conception has its solid basis in objective reality"

The notion of trans-cending refers to the individual's real capacity (at any time and in any place) to cognize objective knowledge about the world without directly experiencing. Since experiencing implies a time-bound process, the transcendental contact is outside its scope, hence the image of trans-cending or going beyond the here/now to the timeless eternal or Platonic Absolutes. (1)

[Note: 1: Note that Ritter's "objective reality" and the conventional reference to "Platonic Absolutes" echo in many contemporary versions: e.g., in the Physical Sciences as Universal Laws or Elemental Particles or Absolute Constants; in the Social and Behavioral Sciences they are tagged "Principles" and "Laws" of Psychology or of Social Institutions and of Historical Forces and Economic Pressures. All of these notions, that are dynamic to topicalization (as evidenced by what we talk about on our daily rounds, and think...) designate a common ethnodynamic, i.e. a socio-cultural enactment: countless numbers of individuals over the centuries have in all sorts of places displayed this transaction of reciting the Platonic Transcendentalistic Lines, each in their own species of style of personal dramatizations. We might say that the thoughts of the people are so many particular renditions of one generic idea, see the discussion on VERSIONS in The Secret Code, James and Nahl, TEC, 1974; see also, "The Open Cube" and "Navigational Phenomena" in NES, 1975).]

E. According to Ritter, as quoted by Lovejoy who labels it as "essentially wrong", Plato's Platonism asserts only that: "A general concept is the result of an act of classification; and a classification is correct if 'it is not purely subjective, but has a basis in the objective relations of the things classified,' if it presents together a complex of properties which actually occur together in nature, in that particular collection of existing things to which we give a single name, and 'is not a combination put together merely by our fancy out of elements which experience, indeed, furnishes separately, but not in such association'." (Lovejoy, p. 36; single quotation marks enclose Lovejoy's references to Ritter.) This characterization by Ritter-Lovejoy, as it may be called, amounts to a proposal on how to objectify cataloguing practices in a scientific inquiry of topicalization dynamics in human discourse as evidenced by literary history. This issue comes up in ethnosemantics in such methodological concerns as we have in transcripts and reports as genuine representations of something else (viz. TOPICALITY) or as performative enactments having a primary function in their transactional significance (viz. RITUAL); (for a discussion on the duality of TOPIC vs. RITUAL, see James/Nahl: The Secret Code, TEC, 1974). Briefly, if the evidenced text is to be understood literally, the reader or interpreter must supply the stage directions or transactional climate that sufficiently and pragmatically reconstructs the natural events they relate. This process is usually designated as "objective description", which is contrasted with "subjectivity" or the dramatized personal interpretations that are given as a performative enactment to an audience. Hence, objective cataloguing practices (as in the preparation of ethnosemantic glossaries, see NES, 1976) depend on "acts of classification" that are "actual" rather than "fanciful", functional rather than imaginary, objectively representational rather than subjectively particular, etc. These oppositions of traits correspond to the duality of topic as reflection and claim (see TOPIC FUNCTION in NES, 1976). The function of topic as transactional claim offers a primary tool for the exploitation of controlled enactments as transactional engineering strategies.

F. A Hexagram of Platonic Affirmations based on Ritter-Lovejoy: (pp. 40-41):

(1) White: It is the most indubitable of all realities;

(2) Yellow: It is Good in It-self and all other things participate in It's Nature (changelessness as frame for Changes);

(3) Green: It is the polar opposite of this-here or that there (Contemplation of that which is.-- (see Buddha's Bible:"mere witnessing").

T H E   D O U B L E   L I N E

(4) Blue: Far from being identical with reality, It actually transcends that in dignity and potency.

(5) Brown: The Forms of It are the manifestations of the universal object of desire, that which draws all spiritual endeavors towards It-self.

(6) Black: The chief good of man is the more contemplation of nothing but It.

“The attributes of such a God (as It) were, in strictness, expressible only in negations of the attributes of this world. You could take, one after another, any quality or relation or kind of object presented in natural experience, and say, with the Sage of the Upanishad: 'The true reality is not like this, It is not like that' - adding only that It is far better" (Lovejoy, p. 42). (On this, cf. the Judaic Hassidic attitude towards the indescribability and unknowability of "The Holy One in Heaven" or of The Holy Name's Plan; see also: Notes on Raising Awareness, James/Nahl, 1975: indexical entries on: PRAYER; HAVING A GESTURE WITH ACTUALITY; RECITATION OF I AM THE ONE; LITERALNESS; SPIRITUAL Work); (see also: The Metaphysics of Nothingness and, The Performative Paradox, TEC Materials Series #5 and 11, respectively).

    G. "The essence of 'good', even in ordinary human experience, lay in self-containment, freedom from all dependence upon that which is external to the individual." Lovejoy, p. 42 summarizing the Greek schools of thought all of which originated in Plato's Socrates. Hence the element of "negativity" as Lovejoy sees it in "the temper of the ideal Cynic, the ataraxy [= drugged-like tranquility] of the Epicureans, in the apathy of the Stoics" (p. 42).

    "The Good differs in its nature from everything else in that the being who possesses it always and in all respects has the most perfect sufficiency and is never in need of any other thing" (Plato in the Philebus as quoted by Lovejoy, p. 42). (See the Prophets in the Old Testament for very nearly identical reasoning; cf. also, I Ching for congruent notions on It, the Good, Perfect Sufficiency.)

    "'The claims of both pleasure and mind to be the Good It-self' are, in the argument of the dialogue, 'alike set aside' on the ground that 'both of them lack self-sufficiency and adequacy and completeness'" (Lovejoy, pp. 42-43, quoting from Philebua).

H. According to Lovejoy, a Platonic-Aristotelian doctrine has dominated Western theologic thought (p. 43) in such a way as to create a personified Good transformed as God or Divine Object of Contemplation who doesn't need the world or people's deeds in it, who is indifferent, (or its opposites in Christianity--see the notion of REDEMPTION OF JESUS), and etc. Thus, the Judaeo-Moslem-Christian experience of the Western ethnicity dramatizations of individual "personal" bio-graphies as lived lives (e.g. the Jewish Princess and the All American Nice Boy and the Girl Next Door being American Contemporary Versions thereof) derive their topical (i.e. thematic) motivations from this Platonic origin of moral philosophy in the West.

    I. "This element in the Platonic tradition", writes Lovejoy (p. 44) about the tendency to detach God from this world "no doubt, has owed its persistence [in Western theology] to the fact that it corresponds to one of the natural varieties of religious experience." Note that Lovejoy here implies a pre-supposed order to things that is deemed "natural": BUT he uses it to qualify "religious experience" which raises the problem of Is Religious Experience a natural phenomenon? And what other natural phenomena are there? etc.

    J. The personification of a Deity who is removed from involvement in this world --except upon exceptions which He might be prevailed to make on a person's behalf, is (a) not necessarily an integral part of Plato himself; (pp. 42 and 48) (b) may have been added to Platonism as a natural drift characteristic of a universal ("natural") religious experience (p. 44), and (c) pertains to an unenlightened position characteristic of Captivity Registers (see Raising Awareness Handbook, James/Nahl, TEC 1975). This last point (c) can further be elaborated in terms of the life-themes of "Success", "Socio-Functional Dependencies", and the "Myths of Inadequacy" (see: The Register of Psychotherapy, TEC, 1975 and Raising Awareness Handbook, TEC, 1975). (for a characterization of life-themes see Centrality Hypothesis in The Secret Code, TEC, 1974)

    K. "The self-same God who was the Goal of all desire must also be the Source of the creatures that desire It." (Lovejoy, p. 45) This expresses the dual role that Plato has played in Western man's thought on himself: on the one hand, Plato's ideas on the otherworldliness, on the Absolute Perfection of the Good that needs nothing but It-self, and on the other hand, a kind of reversal, Plato's ideas on this worldliness, on the varieties of Imperfection, these being necessary counterparts in this world of the Perfection in the other (paraphrasing Lovejoy's thesis pp. 45-46). In this, Plato participates in and provides answers for Occidental man's perennial preoccupation that consists of trying to make this world into a rational world, i.e. formulating answers to Why are things the way they are? and Why is It adjoined by the temporal and the changing? (see such themes as Genesis, The Conspiracy of the Gurus, the "Big Bang Hypotheses", "Evolution Theory")

    L. Plato's dialectic of duality involving the Absolute Perfect Idea that is Sufficient unto It-self yet requires Its own multiplicity in the imperfection of individual "souls" and their world--as the Source of All Things, and their Image or Likeness, occupies, according to Lovejoy's thesis, the medieval and modern mind even more than the ancient (p. 50).(2)

[Note: 2: It is to be remarked concerning this tendency of creating an Anthropomorphic Artificer to whom are attributed all sorts of motives and intentions, that it is as common as it is rationally unnecessary and intellectually unsavory to those of us who see our own Self as the point de depart et lieu de destination of all forms of knowledge, consciousness, and experience.]

    M. Lovejoy proposes a principle he dubs "the principle of plenitude" (p. 52) to title the idea that "no genuine potentiality of being can remain unfulfilled" and "that it is the nature of an Idea to manifest itself in concrete existences" (see the modernism theme of probability existence whereby anything that's possible is assumed to occur if sufficient time or sufficient cases are provided for)

Appendix to Notes on the Psychology of Knowledge

    In order to facilitate our task, we have gathered together about 1500 typed pages of our recent writings -- since 1971, and collected them in three bound volumes. These writings have not been published, are incomplete and need additional development at all levels. Nevertheless, our students have found them useful for study. Eventually, we hope to publish these materials and make them more generally available. A limited number of copies are available. Please refer to the identifying symbols following the title of each entry. The three volumes have been deposited in Sinclair and Hamilton Libraries at UHM under the following card entries:

    Jakobovits, L. A. and Nahl, D..

        Volume 1: Ethnosemantics: Theory

        Volume 2: Language Teaching Pedagogy: Theory & Applications

        Volume 3: Ethnosemantics: Applications

The following is a description of the materials to be found in these three volumes.

Volume 1 is a 600-page collection that contains the following notes dealing with the general field of ethnosemantics and psycholinguistics:

(1) Notes on Ethnosemantics (100 pages; #N005)

Incomplete but stimulating discussions on various basic topics in ethnosemantics written from 1973-1976. Part I: Overview; Part II: Notes on Display Repertoire; Part III: Further Notes on Display Repertoire; Part IV: Notes on Topic Focus; Part V: Notes on ES-Probes.

(2) Notes on Educational Psycholinguistics (25 pages; #N002)

Definition of the field; register; analysis of moves; conversational rhythm; linkage structure in topicalization.

(3) The Functional Analysis of Conversational Interaction (35 pages; A009)

A comprehensive presentation, in article form, of the functional analysis of verbal behavior in a conversational setting; includes several flow chart diagrams on mechanisms of talk and topicalization dynamics.

(4) The Secret Code: Investigating the Ritual of Talk (100 pages; B002)

A general presentation of the new view on the functional analysis of discourse and talk; written in a compact style of understanding called "the radicalist register."

(5) Introduction to Educational Psycholinguistics (150 pages;B004)

Sample chapters dealing with "The Transactional Model of Talk"; "The Function and Structure of Transactional Idioms"; "Discourse Thinking Accounts"; "The Empirical Investigation of Conversation: The Closing Problem"; presents an ethno-methodological framework.

(6) The Cataloguing-Practices of North American Groups (40 pages; B012)

Notes and outline for the organization of glossary entries in the empirical description of ethnicity.

(7) Color-Coding Routine Program (50 pages; B010)

A programmed text designed to give the student the ability to code words and concepts into one of six categories known as a hexagrammatic system; the six categories are color coded as a mnemonic device; once terms are assigned a colorcategory, they can be combined according to statable rules to yield meaningful phrases and assertions called "Pure Color Wisdom;" in ethnosemantics, all topic units and discourse argument units are derivable from this hexagrammatic system. See applications in (1) above.

(8) The Act of Composition: Some Elements in a Performance Model of Language: 1968 (47 pages; A007)

An unpublished paper prepared in 1968 for an NCTE Conference of Writers in Colorado Springs; deals with a proposal for the functional analysis of meaning seen as a situated communicative act; this writing ante-dates, foreshadows, and contrasts interestingly with the other works written since 1971.

(9) Frame-Up: Mission Impossible (A Review of Erving Goffman's "Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience") (17 pages; A003)

The beginnings of a promising review on the Goffmanesque Mystique; where Goffman succeeds and where he fails; what needs to be done.

(10) Miscellaneous Motes, Charts, Outlines in Ethnosemantic Investigations (50 pages; see ID references given)

(i) Ethnomethodological Psycholinguistics: The Third Revolution (8 pages; A001; "Conversation"; "Mechanisms and Categories of Topic"; "Discourse Structure").

(ii) Seminar Outline on Understanding Discourse Ethnosemantics to Transactional Engineering OUT003; "A systematic exploration in outline four movements of discourse and representing wholistic synthesis of the field; PSYCH 700, Fall 1974, UHM).

(iii) Introductory Notes to Ethnosemantics - PSYCH 705R - Psycholinguistics Seminar, Spring 1976, UHM (9 pages; OUT004; handout summarizing the ethnosemantic perspective on glossaries, cataloguing-practices, and the empirical and experimental aspects of doing ethnosemantic investigations.).

(iv) A Topological Feature of Topic: Self-Analytic Reflexivity (5 pages; T/C002; outlines the Square of Certainty: what you know you know; what you know you don't know; what you don't know you know; what you don't know you don't know; a 2 x 2 teaser that yields surprising results)

(v) The Morphemic Hexagram in the language of Science (6 pages; T/C003; an outline of some of the entries in such a Chart).

(vi) The Scientific Bible (B008; miscellaneous and partial solutions to the ES-PROBE technique in the following academic disciplines: Management Science, Psychology, Raising Awareness, Sociology, Linguistics, Education, Physics, illustrates application of the technique to the exploration of topical organization in the scientific disciplines and their argument framework).

Volume 2 is a 300-page collection that contains the following dealing with applications in language teaching viewed as a process of controlled social engineering:

(1) The Third Force in Language Teaching (55 pages; B001)

A critique of psychodynamic approaches to language teaching and an elaboration of the transactional engineering approach.

(2) The Linguistic Approach: The Primary Assumptions (Based on (Gordon, 1962) (11 pages; N004)

Brief summarizing notes of the linguistic assumptions that are relevant to language teaching motivated by a desire to promote cognitive development in the classroom.

(3) Handout for TEC Worldshop--Transactional Engineering for Language Teachers (15 pages; OUT002)

From a workshop in October 1976, sponsored by the Modern Language Council of the Alberta Teachers Association, Alberta, Canada.

(4) Transactional Engineering for the Language Teacher (35 pages; A011)

Text of the Keynote Address, Alberta Teachers Association Annual Convention, Banff Springs, Alberta, 1976; traces three historical developments in language teaching, approaches; outlines the transactional engineering approach; presents a model of talk and shows how it can motivate particular pedagogic techniques.

(5) Learning is a Contextual Event (17 pages; A12)

Originally written as an Introduction to our The Context of Foreign Language Teaching (Newbury House, 1974) but not used; examines distinctions between learning, teaching, and training; addresses itself to the language teacher.

(6) A Simulated Interview with Leon Jakobovits (29 pages; A013)

A personal interview, Playboy-style, on the background history and evolution of his ideas in educational psycholinguistics, language teaching, and transactional engineering.

(7) Some Cautionary Remarks on the Use of Attitude Ouestionnaires in Foreign Language Teaching (19 pages; A006)

A negative experimental report on a two-year project in attempting to show the relationship between attitudinal factors and achievement in an experimental class in teaching French to high school students.

(8) Classroom Discussions with Professor Leon A. Jakobovits (20 pages; TR003)

Transcribed from class exchanges, 9/11/73, UHM only LAJ's voice is transcribed; of interest to ESL and FL teachers.

(9) Classroom Discussions in an ESL lecture given by Prof. L. A.. Jakobovits (62 pages; TR004) Transcribed, with both professor's and students' voices; 9/18/73, UHM

(10) BOTEC---Bulletin of the Transactional Engineering Corporation, August 1972 (65 pages; A005)

This is Vol. l, No. 1, of a proposed new publication; articles include brief discussions suitable for the language teacher: "Teaching: A Transactional Engineering Analysis"; "TEC, Workshops"; "DESOCS: Developmental Sequence of the Conceptual Statement"; "The Self-SAOROGAT: Self-Analytic Objective Reporting of On-Going Authentic Transactions"; "Students' Corner": and others.

(11) Transactional Engineering in the Classroom (16 Pages; A004)

A talk given at the Alberta Teachers Association Convention in 1973.

Volume 3 is a 500-page collection that contains various applications of ethnosemantic investigations in such fields as education, psychotherapy, hypnosis, historical biographies, the I Ching, and others.

(1) The Language and Register of Psychotherapy Today (30 pages; B006)

Notes, figures, charts, outlines on: I. The Enactment Model; II. The Progressivist Assumptions; III. Two Model Paradigms for a Clinical Theory of Everyday Behavior; IV. The Dialectics of a Practical Psychotherapy; V. Four Approaches: Freudian, Gestalt, Radical, Behavioral; VI. Continued Education for Practicing Psychologists.

(2) Raising Awareness Handbook (25 pages; B007)

A practical self-study approach introducing systematic techniques, exercises, tables, charts, for the awakening of the person out of the ordinary state of captivity and lack of understanding.

(3) Essays on Nothing and Everything---Contributions to a Radicalist Philosophy of the Human Condition (63 pages; B005)

Two sample chapters dealing with radicalist vs. progressivist logic; radicalism in psychotherapy and in education; and the "Metaphysics of Nothingness . "

(4) The Discovery of Sudden Memory (65 pages; B009)

Sub-titled: "Some Preliminary Observations About Natural Memory Scanning Operations in the Contemporary American Register"; contains some fundamental observations on the nature of human consciousness and memory; thinking as a standardized, setting-occasioned scanning operation; standardized imaginings and the reconstruction of records; discourse thinking operations and the mode of enactment in the radicalist register.

(5) The Conditions of Re-Enactment Within the Ritual Frame of Hypnosis (12 pages; N008)

A functional re-interpretation and re-formulation of the phenomenon of hypnosis in terms of the notion of "access rituals" in relationship dyads; explaining hypnosis as a contractual arrangement rather than an "altered state of consciousness . "

(6) The Performative Paradox, The Glass Bead Game, and the Planetary Register (11 pages; A002)

The paradox of talk is that though we can refer to things, situations, or experiences, the verbal expression or report is neither the thing, it refers to, nor does it allow it to be recaptured. Thus, social dealings are always abstracted in talk. The consequences of this are important in the ordinary lives of people.

(7) Notes on the Reconstruction of Biographical Record (100 pages; N001)

Annotations of readings dealing with text that discusses a writer's autobiographical involvement with knowledge, science, and creativity; focus on the history of psychology.

(8) Lecture Notes on the Psychology of Knowledge: Part I (55 pages; N010)

Authorized notes for Psychology 434, "Seminar in the Psychology of Knowledge," University of Hawaii, Manoa, Spring, 1977.

(9) Lecture-Discussion with Leon Jakobovits and Students (45 pages; TR006)

Transcribed classroom exchanges, Psychology 434, "Seminar in the Psychology of Knowledge," University of Hawaii, 9/17/73.

(10) Commentaries on Our Cultural Times---By Two Scribes    (70 pages; B011)

Fooling around with words and with truth. Presents the radicalist attitude through a personally objective view on everyday life in our times; poetic and inspirational.

(11) The Mobian Text (60 pages; B003 + P002)

Preface, Introductory Remarks, and Illustrations of the Mobius Strip Presentation of Text; this is a novel way of reading text non-sequentially and by programmed routes within the book's pages; includes a sample of 44 "IS-pages" in the radicalist register dealing? with textbook topics in the field of Social Psychology.

(12) Miscellaneous Applications

(i) Notes on the I Ching (6 pages; P001; table of contents and some elaborations).

(ii) Notes on "The Layman's Parallel Bible" (8 pages; N006; a brief demonstration of a technique of reading annotations applied to a contrastive analysis of a passage in four versions; showing how theologically-motivated editorial policy in translation affects the substance and argument of the text.

(iii) Newsmen's Logic Needs Improving Professors Say (10 pages; A010; a critical view of news-science reports; written in the form of a newspaper article; with illustrative analyses of newspaper reports on marijuana smoking research).


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