Observer/Observed Relationship Concluded

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The New Model Of The Observer/Observed Relationship—A Difference That Makes A Difference– Concluded

Looking again at the highlighted quadrants in the diagram above, the reductionist/life bridge is clearly marked as #8. This bridge is positioned at the overlap of the brown and green quadrants. Upon completion of my bicycle trip, I will talk more about the events that contributed to the creation/discovery of this quadrant idea, but until then I have a few concluding words about the other bridge, the one that is positioned where the blue and green and the blue and brown lines cross. As marked, the #9 bridge both connects and separates the mind quadrant to– the life quadrant and reductionist quadrant. It is because of this bridge that I/you can read, write, and understand meanings. It is also because of this bridge that (to borrow a phrase from Clifford Geertz), I/you can “understand how it is we understand understandings not our own.”

It was not easy finding words to describe the #9 bridge, but, in the end, I chose the computer jargon words of uploading and downloading. Where the blue and green lines meet, at the front end of this bridge, a kind of uploading occurs, and where the blue and brown lines meet, at the other end of the bridge, a kind of downloading occurs. At the uploaded blue/green intersection, we confront/discover the fundamental problems of human existence—including the nature and meaning of life as well as the ways in which human identity is defined and maintained. It is also at this intersection where the universe, as an object of thought, takes on at least as much significance as does the more necessary effort of satisfying our own personalized needs. At the front end of the #9 bridge, discrimination, curiosity, inquiry, imaginative insight (which I might add is the source of this particular blog), creativity, skepticism, and analysis are uploaded.

At the off-ramp of the #9 bridge, where the mind quadrant is connected to and separated from the reductionist quadrant, where downloading occurs, we, once again, encounter the body/brain/mind event. At this intersection (the overlap of the blue and brown lines), we discover recorded history—and the many past, present, (and future) scientific events where, as a consequence of logical and mathematical based predictions, we observe, via scientific instruments, e.g. telescopes, cyclotrons, etc. (blue quadrant material engineered for the purpose of extending the range of our five senses), the truth or falsity of those predictions. All inquiry, at this intersection, is restricted to sensed events and, according to Harris, “relationships that are knowable by means of explicit, logico-empirical, inductive-deductive, quantifiable public procedures or ‘operations’ subject to replication by independent observers.” (James Lett, The Human Enterprise, p. 89).

Well, I hope this new model of the observer/observed relationship is clearer now, but if it isn’t, stay tuned because at the completion of my northwest bicycle trip I will be talking more about these ideas and the bridges that support them.

The self is a marvelous work of nature; its horizons are continuous with everything we know about life, mind, and universe. Leonard Cohen is absolutely ON when he sings in his Ten New Songs CD: “You live your life as if it’s real, A Thousand Kisses Deep.” I would only change one world, “A Universe Of Kisses Deep.”

Take care,



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