If we now proceed farther, we enter environments in which very effective phenomena appear, visible, however, only to the subject. These phenomena
are not bound to experience, or, at most, to a singular experience. We call such environments magical...Such experiences are frequently encountered by
traveling researchers in the case of primitive peoples. It is said of primitives that they live in a magical world in which fantastic phenomena blend
with the sensually given things of their world. Whoever looks closer, however, will find the same magical formations in the environment of
- Jakob von
Uexkull, A Foray into the Worlds of Man and Animal
In the University of Minnesota edition of this book, Geoffrey Winthrop-Young investigates the possible meaning of von Uexkull's surname, Uexkull, and
considers the Estonian uex "one", and "kulla", "village". But after determining that Kula means "village", and "kulla" means 'into the
village', he lands upon the most plausible meaning of all: uex means "one", while Kull, without an extra "a", means "enough". Uexkull thus
translates as "one is enough".
Winthrop-Young analyzes this quality of Uexkull's name with regard to the many qualities of Uexkulls philosophical focus. While being, as
Winthrop-Young notes and lauds, a capacity to move into another creatures lifeworld, and even correctly noting the "musical" quality of the way and
manner organisms "fit" into one anothers lifeworld like a point-counterpoint in musical notation, there still nevertheless existed the taint of
Uexkulls political writings promoting a "purer" Germany in the immediate post world war one period (1921), and the obvious role that played in the
formation of national socialism a decade later. Uexkull, despite being fascinated with Nazism, and an early supporter, grew disenchanted when he
realized (or fail to realize) that his own personal care for science and "being a gentlemen" didn't jibe with plan, purpose or philosophy of the
Nazis, who had no interest in any of the rigor that von Uexkull may have recommended.
In any case, von Uexkull, despite regaining the esteem of many modern thinkers, was still a person with beliefs about reality that were racist -
although he seemed, or didn't leave any evidence, to claim that he was a Nazi, or had any particular interest in their manner of ruling, he was
still, nevertheless, a person who wouldn't morally comment on what they did, insomuch as the world he subscribed to, like all gnostics, is what Ken
Wilber calls "aperspecitval madness".
The problem with this view is that it dements the very mechanism you need - your consciousness - by undermining the coherency of what your body feels,
because what we feel is largely a function of the symmetry configurations that occur between human bodies, which appear and are partly controlled by
the emergent conscious experience that we subjectively live.
Emotions are law based, and emerge as probabilities induced by the environmental situation: both the environment you are currently in, and the history
that precedes your present moment (your 'neurological environment'), with the immediate past being a primary force; and deeper history a secondary
Experimental psychology has ruthlessly exposed how much human beings confabulate - how we take from one domain, say, something we saw and didn't
quite pay attention to consciously, but was nevertheless influenced by. The issue is 'not paying attention to', so that by definition, no matter how
developed your mind, if you are in an 'affective flow', you are liable to not paying attention to an influence, and therefore, increasingly the
likelihood that you may confabulate later on.
Such confabulation, in other words, is inevitable: it is a funny quirk of being human. I hear something here, and I mention it in a conversation
without knowing I had been affected. This habit can become downright hilarious when you realize how your motivations work; sometimes, it a mere
aesthetic piece, something sensual, and distracting, that entrains us into certain interactions, even though we 'cover it over' in our mental
narrative with a different story, there is nevertheless an awareness of what we were actually focusing on, and therefore, what was the primary motive:
something tangential to what the official 'content' of the conversation was about.
I like how Uexkull, a 'von', which means a nobleman, or aristocrat, and therefore someone he would regard as a 'cultivated european', couldn't
help but slide in a reference to his own chosen group, if only because it was logically consistent with his present subject matter, of magic, to
acknowledge that it is still as much a part of contemporary psychosocial facts as it is in primitive communities. Except, however, it may be regarded
more as a "tool", which, it seems, reflects the cognitive hubris of a mind that believes its more apart than it is.
But the context, however, in which he explores his subject matter, didn't necessarily require him to make such mention; but he makes it,
nevertheless, because he wanted to be true to his subject matter - and to be completely true was to state the truth: to those "who look deeper" i.e.
beneath the falsity of appearances, "will see the same magical formations in the environment of cultivated Europeans" - will see the occultism, and
the accompanying mysticism, that seems to be a part of what it means to be "cultivated".
This is a surprising admission, but its made easier, I imagine, when you carry the 'status' of being a "von". As someone with a specific interest
in how the human being evolved on Earth, I want to know the 'rhythms', the biosymmetries, that extend into the environment, and into other humans
who are wired and structured the same as we are. I want people to logically reflect on what this means at an ethical level: that if people are
genetically biased by the developmental timelines of evolutionary history, 'adumbrated' in those genes which undergo successive transformations from
the zygote onward, multiplying cells, knowing which way to go to become what each of us are a presently manifesting: a very complex, extraordinarily
ordered transformation of energy, which we are able to interact with at a higher psychological level, but with profound complexities that need to be
untangled - to be known - if we are ever to 'differentiate' and 'integrate' ourselves in a more coherent form.
At the biosemiotic level we call 'psychology', the human mind emerges as a 'summation' of neurological events that process upward the relevant
teleological dynamics of your unconscious structuring - both dynamical, as to the physics of being an organism, and the social-dynamics, which pertain
to bringing about experiences of pride (a sense of effective agency), or any state which your body determines as 'good', but always as a function of
the contexts-we-enter (and know something about) as well as the expected responses our system has learned, and has determined a useful and effective
response to maintaining self-esteem (i.e. a positively valenced experience of self).