Hidden Internal Relations: The Unknown Ingredient of Relationships
Hidden Internal Relations: The Unknown Ingredient of Relationships By Norm Hirst
Definition: Living relationship is a coupling of at least one living entity with some other.
I have just received a “Report on the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy. The Congress began with the question, “What have we learned from philosophy in the 20th century?” The answer turned out to be “nothing”. To quote from the report,
“The failure of philosophy in this century has not been the lack of fecundity – witness the great diversity among forty-some branches represented at this Congress, but its inability to link Knowledge, Action and Valuation”.
I am not surprised because the dominant metaphysics only allows for inert material and ideals. It excludes process where life-itself becomes visible.
Values function only in living contexts. As recent work in biophysics shows, we have virtually no understanding of the living contexts. The old metaphysics believes our bodies are material entities functioning in machine like ways, being like solid objects to move around and control by force.
However, we are each living societies of cells formed to be the focus of coherent acts. There is a lot of space between the atoms. We are far more energy flows than material solids. All this is constituted in us as many internal relations where knowledge, action and valuation are linked.
I invite you to explore with me these hidden internal relations and the value laws.
Values are operative and real in our daily life. Values work by internal relationships within us and we experience them as a "felt sense." From this "felt sense" we relate to one another. The felt sense supplies us information to act on. The acts we choose depend on our awareness of the "felt sense" and the value laws.
There are two kinds of relations, external and internal. "External" relations are what we normally think of. For example, John is taller than Mary. In this external relationship, neither John nor Mary need know this fact and they may have never met.
The relations I wish to focus on here are "internal" relations. An example of internal relations is John loves Mary. Such internal relations will change John and the change in John may change Mary. This explains why internal relations are so important and a fundamental condition. Internal relations can only occur within living entities. At least one side of the coupling must be alive, i.e. Mary loves a book. The book can change Mary's internal relations, but Mary cannot change the internal relations of the book.
Since we don’t know about internal relations, they can occur without our awareness. All we may know is that we have an intense focus on some other. Usually the some other is alive. It could be another person, pet or a whole group of people such as a society. The relation can be positive, as in love, or negative as in hate. A surprising result in value theory is that it is easier to make a friend of someone who hates you than someone who is indifferent. We might well look upon enemies as an opportunity for friendship.
Consider what Lincoln had in mind when asked why he did not annihilate his enemies. In reply he asked, “Don’t I annihilate my enemies when I make them friends?” Not knowing about how internal relations work, one has no way to know that enemies can be turned into friends. With nothing but external relations, threatening enemies require material force. The belief (metaphysics) is they can only be physically or forcefully controlled or physically annihilated. The shame and tragedy of human history is that physical force and external relations is all that we have known.
George W. Bush would have us believe that he is protecting us by fighting a war on terror. There are many that believe, to the contrary, his policies are creating terrorism. Given the logic of internal relations I believe the contrary is correct. Love begets love and hate begets hate. I have read that at the time of 911 over 70% of the Arab Muslim people had favorable opinions of the United States. Today the favorable percentage is single digits. Surveying the damage to a city in Iraq one of our marines remarked that if someone did that in his front yard he would be “pissed”! Of course anyone would.
What evidence do we have of the possibility of such internal relations? All we need is evidence of the psychic transfer of knowledge.
I remember the 70’s as a time when many paradigm-smashing experiments were being done. An experiment done in 1970 by two physicists, Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff of the Stanford Research Institute gave evidence of a transference of knowledge in ways we've never understood. It is known that exposure to flashing lights cause certain characteristic brain waves. The experiment was done with two subjects, one as receiver and the other as sender. The receiver was placed in a sealed, opaque and electrically shielded chamber. The sender was placed in another room and was subjected to bright flashes of light at regular intervals. The sender’s brain waves would exhibit the flashing light characteristics, and then so would the receiver’s.
In another experiment, investigators in California were working on remote viewing. In remote viewing the sender is sent to some location from which they try to send, by mental telepathy, what they see. Then the receiver describers it and may even draw a picture of it. A suspicious and hostile sheriff visited. He wanted to know what kind of nonsense they were up to and whether or not there was anything illegal about it. They explained what they were doing. Then they had him sit down as the receiver. He turned out to be absolutely their best receiver. As you can see, there is a mental telepathy going on between people, a deep communication of "inner" relations that most are not aware of.
Evidence for laws of value are indicated by The Hartman Value Profile (HVP). Robert Hartman was a world renowned value philosopher. I met him when he was a visiting professor at MIT. He became my friend and mentor for many years. The HVP is a test of value perception. It doesn’t reveal what one values. It is a test of perception. Analogous to vision, one's focus can be tested without, in any way, disclosing what you see. Focus is simply a test of how well one's eyes are working. The HVP is simply a test of how well one’s value sense is working.
In Hartman’s axiology (value theory) values are not external ideals to strive for. Values are internal and are creating our experience. They are embedded in and shape experience. Ideals are systemic values, the lowest form of values. The highest form of value is intrinsic values, they involve all forms of love and aesthetics. A middle range is extrinsic values. These are values of classification and conceptual fulfillment.
If people lacked an internal value sense, the test would produce random scores, i.e., the test scores would not be meaningful. The scores are not meaningless except, sometimes, in a person known to be mentally ill. Otherwise, in various societies and cultures around the world the test produces meaningful results. Each one of us will have a different and unique profile. There are no comparisons with averages, though different societies/cultures show different characteristics.
On this basis I say values are real and operative in our lives whether we know it or not. Also there are natural laws of value just as there are natural laws in the physical world.
In the physical world there is the law of gravity. In values there is a law of hierarchy. In value conflicts, intrinsic takes precedence. Next comes extrinsic. Lastly comes systemic. However in today's dominant social practice, the hierarchy is inverted. In the name of justice, a systemic value, there is the death penalty, an intrinsic dis-value.
A difference between physical laws and value laws is their characteristic times. If you drive around a curve too fast you will know it immediately. The consequence of value decisions may not show up for years and when they do you will have long since forgotten the decision.
Internal relations are largely value relations. They inform our value senses of how to relate to others. They inform others as to how to relate to us. This communication is constantly going on.. If the related parties are sufficiently enlightened they may use their value sense to elevate the relation to higher levels
Hartman told me that he had once met a woman to whom he was instantly powerfully attracted as in love at first sight. Wondering what happened he looked at the woman’s value profile. It was almost identical to his own. In our experience we see a great deal of evidence that the dynamic of social relations depends on the embedded value profiles.
Given our internal relations and how values work, we can each now choose to act from the higher values of loving, knowing that indeed, feeling loving (internal relations) can make the world a better place, immediately.
Value laws are part of the laws of life itself.
In the words of Sufi Mystic, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in Light of Oneness ". When we transgress these laws, we create an imbalance. It is not that we are punished by a judgmental God, but that we go against the natural way, what the Chinese sages called the Tao"