Umberto Eco was one of those few minds who stood in relation to what exists - the social world we inhabit - from the vantage point of what is most
This contrast is the non-real against the real. With the non-real essentially a problem that arises from Human immorality
deriving from self-other relations. Social or interpersonal incoherence is the problem.
Eco is also willing to go deep into the world of his characters - which I truly do suspect is a sideways glance at the Milan society he himself formed
within. Everything is narrative - exaggerated and exciting, but to the point of total insanity. Not making explicit the "playful" nature essentially
keeps the implicit explicit; life is a game, fun, crazy, and his main characters always have this ironic semi-involved though "not really involved"
attitude to the matters they involve themselves in. Making assertions from excitable states of mind are common-place, indeed, the very ground from
which almost all of his characters move from is gnostic and alienated and removed. A traumatologist understands this state to be dialectically and
historically derived from an actual relational trauma in the past - from which the present day consciousness is being semiotically driven from - but
the world of Foucaults Pendulum, or The Prague Cemetery, appears to be already dominated by a conspiratorial and monstrously speculative philosophical
culture which is far more 'practical and pragmatic' in what it wants to do to society (via collusion with others) than "practical and pragmatic"
with regard to how the mind grows, functions and exists.
In other words, the alienated way of thinking about the human condition is no longer valid or possible in a relational ontology which expresses
qualities in terms of historical interactions with other structures in its development.
Is this not obvious? I am unequivocally opposed to any sadomasochistic "Gnosticism" that posits a priori the badness of physical reality or a
separation between the observing self and the world it grows and develops within.
To insist on this metaphysics is to ignore the significance of modern science - from quantum mechanics to neuroplasticity to mindfulness and the
healing power of human relationships for the psyche. The "alien" metaphysics is a diseased, traumatological attitude to take to the world which does
nothing but indulge in pleasure and ignore the self's own responsibility to the situation it exists within.
Since change is possible - i.e. through an attitudinal shift - human beings can actually create the utopia we all hope for; but this can only happen
by situating our awareness at a higher level i.e. at the commonality we all share as a singular being existing in a world of duality and multiple
complexity. Peirce conceptualized all first as raw and unordered feeling; but this 'feeling' is the satanic feeling which is literally 'without any
order', and so, fundamentally destructive to self and other. Rather, the feeling Peirce would refer to, and which I refer to, is a "triadic
function" which works from the following dynamic.
I have the human mind very worked out! And it pains me to resist revealing my research since I know how coherent it is, and therefore, how helpful it
will be to people who don't see the profound order within our human condition - and who need to be inspired to recognize how awesome it is to exist
and exist in such a way where we - and no one else - need to work together to negotiate intelligent solutions to our problems.
Every animal can be understood in terms of three categories: first, the world and organism 'split' into two, which forms the basis of human reality;
the organism becomes structured by its own autopoietic closure and internal formal and final mode of causality which seeks to attune again and again
to the external order. This is what I call the "species attractor" i.e. coherency. The system knows what it needs, which is basically to maintain
its internal coherency in terms of how it "structurally couples" to those parts of the environment which provide the resources for reconstruction.
But the environment selects; Darwin was very right about the significance of the environments determinative power. Every organisms is constrained by
something called an "environmental selection pressure" to which the system of the organism is entrained. von Uexkull, that German-Estonian noble,
described it perfectly as a near infinite series of point-counterpoint interactions - creating a grand universal harmony, or musical piece.
In between selection pressure and coherency there emerges solutions. In human beings, or according to the whole logic of how we self-organize, shame
and pride are those two qualia which operate as the "stop and go" of our phenomenological consciousness. This understanding is slowly dawning on us
- and it is a huge phase shift in itself for consciousness to properly recognize how something like a 'social context' - or a "higher order"
-might form the very parameters of our individual consciousness. Makes no sense whatsoever to orient to reality when your very orientation
semiotically refers back to those semiotic conditions which once tormented your own growth and development.
In anycase, this chart is not by itself; there are triads more basic than shame-pride-compassion which operate underneath these conditions. For
instance, shame is induced by outsiders, and so, derives from the fundamental condition of entropy, or chaos, or uncertainty. The environment induces
change, and change induces asymmetry between system and the environment it exists around. The order of the system - an order deriving from an "ideal
form" - is driven by symmetry. Yet the entropy of the outside world turns the ideal into an unreal thing, because the real i.e. the outside world -
constantly perturbs the systems idealism.
Pride is what our system wants; no one will deny that. Shame is what it is afraid of: it is the chief "control parameter" which shapes how the
personality grows and what it allows itself to think and feel. Shame and Pride are opposites, and so, phenomenologically and neurologically, are
mutually antagonistic i.e. referring and inhibiting one another's activity. It is only through compassion, or the application of the principle of
love, which originates in the early attachment with the mother, to ones own experiences of self and identity. Identity is emergent between human
beings in relation; and so if one wants a coherent identity, one must, in fact, rely upon the quality of compassion and love to learn the art of
bearing and tolerating that which perturbs.
In todays world, the idea of "bearing" or "tolerating" seems impossible, when distraction and
attraction are powerfully harnessed to a consumerist society which facilitates dissociation and idealization - so long as the resources keep
"flowing" - however long the planet, as it were, can tolerate it.
Can such a way of being occur, or are we destined - because the powers that be are too wanton and psychologically damaged to see otherwise - to
continue one fantasizing that an "amoral" - though decent - society can exist. Laws exist and are justified in their existence only when people have
an embodied understanding of the conditions which force laws into existence: when the relationship is superficial and seems to emanate from nothing
but raw authority, you get what Lacan...