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DISCOVERING FUZZIOLOGY

Vlad Dimitrov

University of Western Sydney

E-mail: v.dimitrov@uws.edu.au

Home page: http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/dimitrov/

I know that I know not

Socrates (500 BC)

What are the Main Messages of Fuzziology?
First Message
Second Message
Third Message
Fourth Message
Fifth Message
What are the Sources and Dynamics of Fuzziness?
Two approaches to explore reality
Paradox of artificially created realities
Sources of Fuzziness
Dynamics of Fuzziness
References

Fuzziology [1] is a new branch of human inquiry, which explores the sources and dynamics of fuzziness - uncertainty, vagueness, indeterminacy - inherent in our existence, in what we experience, in what we learn and know through our lives.
 
 

What are the Main Messages of Fuzziology?
 
 

First Message

What we experience, learn and know can be considered as a mapping of the all-pervading non-fuzzy matter of the universe onto 'transcendental' space of human ideas.

The universe is a materialized expression of all-pervading dynamics - energies, forces, forms, substances; their interplay results in producing self-organizing forces of various nature and magnitude. These forces are responsible for the organization of the matter into a non-fuzzy material reality, which we try to perceive and study through our senses coordinated by our mind, while using instruments aimed to magnify the ability of our senses.

Although the inner space of our thoughts, emotions, feelings, beliefs, aspirations, dreams, etc. is a product of the same universal dynamics, it preserves its essentially dynamical character; the thoughts and emotions are in constant movement - they emerge, interact, disappear, and emerge again. They penetrate into one another, weave into complex concepts and feelings, habits and stories. Their 'boundaries' are not only fluid and permeable, they expand, shrink, combine, 'fractalize', 'bifurcate', etc. In this sense we consider them fuzzy emanations of our inner space. As far as the whole process of human knowing is based on these emanations, our knowledge is inherently fuzzy.

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Second Message

We - the human beings - are the mainsource of the fuzziness (uncertainty, vagueness, ambiguity, indeterminacy, unclearness, indistinctness, obscurity) that permeates our experience and being, our understanding and knowing, our 'languaging' and acting.

Being a product of the self-organizing and evolving dynamics of nature, and at the same time, a factor for their changes, it is difficult for us to grasp what is the engine of these dynamics, where it is located and how it works. We are trying to answer these questions by studying the world that surrounds us, and while doing this we separate ourselves from the world. The mind, which seeks to understand the world, remains here - centred in our brains and senses, the world which we observe and study spreads over there - in the universe.

We think that the world evolves in a way different from the way we evolve, that it has its own engine different from the engine supporting our lives. Following this kind of logic, our constantly analyzing, classifying and separating mind takes the next step: it accepts that the source of all the difficulties that emerge on the way to understand the world are in the world by itself, in the interplay of its chaotic dynamics, in its variety, complexity and vastness. What a relief is for the mind to accept that it is the world which is uncertain and fuzzy, difficult to predict and hard to understand; mind does its best to understand the world, but the fuzziness springing out of it creates all that meaningless mess, in which we live and die.

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Third Message

It has never been and it will never be a fuzziness located outside of the human nature - in a world separated from us. Such a separated-from-us world simply does not exist; the world and we are forever connected through the umbilical cord of the all-pervading common dynamics - energies, forces, substances and forms. They have created us in the process of their interactions. They support our existence and vitally affect our lives, but we also contribute in the ways they manifest through our evolving nature.

Nature does not select a special kind of dynamics to support our existence, and another kind - to support the existence of the rest of the world. The living cells of our finite bodies and the constellations of our infinite universe share one and the same energy field - a field that sustains the life and evolution of the animated nature and stimulates changes and transformations of the inanimate existential forms. The ways we experience and live in this field, the ways we interpret and explain its numberless manifestations, the ways we make sense of these manifestations appear fuzzy to our minds.

What we see and sense as existing outside of our bodies affect our inner experience and knowledge, and vice versa: our inner experience and knowledge crucially affect how we see the world; so the separation between inner and outer is artificial. Moreover, such a separation gives rise to delusion and feeds our ignorance.

The fuzziness of our experience, of our thoughts, feelings, words and actions does not inhibit our urge to understand the enigmas and paradoxes of existence; on the contrary, it is only because of this kind of fuzziness that our urge to know and our search for truth continue forever. If we were able to know everything, there would be no need to strive for knowledge and truth.

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Fourth Message

The fuzziness is not in a steady state, it moves - expands and shrinks, bifurcates or 'explodes' into many streams. The broader and deeper the human inquiry, the more saturated with overlapping or interwoven streams of ever-moving and changing fuzzy ideas and stories, hypotheses and theories, emotions and feelings, beliefs and expectations, aspirations and dreams.

The dynamics of fuzziness never move in a straight-line - from the unknown to the known; one can imagine them in a vortex-like motion, like the dynamics of a whirlpool or tornado. What we assume as known today becomes fuzzy tomorrow only to appear clear after a while, and again fuzzy a moment later. The natural ebbs and tides of fuzziness continue forever.

In the similar way as the vorticity of a whirlpool or a tornado produces forces of significant magnitude, the 'vorticity' of the fuzziness produces and sustains the urge to know and reveal the true nature of reality. And this urge leads to emergence of insights, raptures of inspiration, enlightenment and wisdom.

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Fifth Message

The larger the 'vorticity' of the fuzziness of our experience and knowledge, that is, the richer and impregnated-with-dynamics their fields, the greater the chance of epiphany - a sudden intuitive sparkle in our thinking, a spontaneous perception of the essential nature of reality, an illuminating discovery of truth.

Fuzziology refers to such epiphany as an act of transcendence of the limitations which the fuzziness puts on our understanding and experiencing the wholeness of reality. We call such a transcendence harmonious resonance [2] - a resonance involving mind's capacity to think and understand, heart's capacity to feel and care, and soul's capacity to intuit and see the whole. When a harmonious resonance occurs, we feel inspired and full of determinacy never to give up our endeavor for truth and wisdom.

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What are the Sources and Dynamics of Fuzziness?
 
 

Two approaches to explore reality

We interact with natural environment with an endeavour to

WE interact with nature also to exercise our power over it, to make it obey our desires.

The fuzziness of our understanding of the dynamics of nature has its source not so much in these dynamics or in their material embodiments (they express simply how nature works - self-organizes and evolves in a rhythmic harmony), but in our positioning in relation to them. We can ether look at them as something which is outside us and study in the way as science does - through experiments and logical inference, or consider ourselves as their emanations, as a field where these dynamics act, and thus try to understand them by exploring our inner nature. The difference in the two approaches is essential.

With the first approach we tend to create artificial realities - systems and tools, theories and narratives, which model or explain partial aspects of the dynamics of nature; they can never grasp the wholeness of these dynamics, as the wholeness inevitably includes the work of these dynamics in and through us. Therefore, the first approach leads only to transitory and eventually distorted and illusive representations of the existential dynamics. We use the term delusive fuzziness to characterize the fuzziness related to our understanding of reality through its partial modelling and converting into artificial (or virtual) realities.

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Paradox of artificially created realities

The paradox is that the artificial representations and models we create often appear crisp - non-fuzzy, precise and logically grounded. Unfortunately, the largest part of them are distorted and illusive, as they have explored and explained the phenomena, which they represent, separated from their roots in the inner dynamical space of those who have created the models. The more we immerse into 'crisp' modeling of nature and life, the less our chance to grasp the essence of them. We are vitally connected with this essence, we are its offsprings and the beats of our hearts reflect its life-sustaining rhythm.

The fuzziness of our understanding of the dynamics of nature has its source not so much in our interactions with these dynamics, but in the way we make sense of them and their effects. Our existence is vitally rooted in and fully depends on interaction - interactions with nature and with one another, but these interactions does not make our existence fuzzy. The interactions support our bodies, and there is nothing fuzzy in the functioning of our bodies. The sickness, if it happens, is not a fuzziness - it simply announces that the harmony of the functioning of the bodies in relation to the dynamics of nature is disturbed. What appears fuzzy to our mind are the consequences of the interactions, our sensing and understanding of the hard-to-predict phenomena spontaneously emerging out of our interactions, rather than the interactions per se.

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Sources of fuzziness

As we already mentioned above, the main source of fuzziness of our understanding is in considering ourselves separated from the dynamics of nature. Any time, when we think about ourselves as separated from nature, as creatures endowed with ability to rule over it and therefore to utilize its resources until they exhaust, waves of fuzziness - uncertainty, vagueness, unclearness - arise in our understanding about the natural dynamics. And not only in our understanding, but also in our experience, in our knowledge and in our ability to self-realize in life.

Why this happens? Because the separation inevitably leads to distortion of one's perception of the wholeness and integrity of existence - sine qua non for any clear understanding. Because the separation strengthens our egos, make us intensively build artificial worlds, where we can satisfy our egoistic drives. Through the prism of an ego-centred individuality, everything appears not only fuzzy - unclear and vague - but also dangerously mutilated and distorted.

An ego-centred individuality becomes easily a victim of destructive feelings like lust, anger, greed, pride, arrogance, hatred, fear, anxiety, jealousy, grief. They cause confusion in one's brain and thicken the fuzziness of one's understanding.

Another source of fuzziness is one's blind attachment to various objects of desires; such an attachment prohibits the free motion of the thoughts and emotions, make them stuck and unable to reveal any broader and deeper picture of reality.

The third source of fuzziness is the phenomenal brainwash in society organized by those who have the greatest influential power on shaping its development; the most vulnerable to this brainwash are the children and the young people with short life experience. From the early age, an enormous dose of fuzziness is injected in their minds through TV, movies, school lessons, computer games, etc.

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Dynamics of Fuzziness

Our burning endeavour to understand

channels our urge to know into three major strands - towards understanding nature, ourselves and society.

Being constantly centred in our urge to know, the dynamics of fuzziness are simultaneously attracted to three 'strange' attractors - nature around us (the external world), nature in us (the inner world), and human society (social reality).

While exploring the dynamics caused by three bodies acting in parallel, the father today's chaos theory - the French mathematician Henri Poincare - discovered in 1870 the existence of chaos in the trajectory of any object exposed to their forces of attraction.

Can we imagine fuzziness of our knowledge as an object whose dynamics are exposed to three attractors? As we said before, fuzziness is an inherent characteristic of our thoughts constantly moving in a Kantian space of ideas. We refer to this 'transcendental' space as 'human experiential space' [3] filled not only with ideas - products of our mind, but also with emotions and feelings - products of our heart, with spiritual beliefs, inspired longings and aspirations - products of our soul. In the presence of the three attractors - outer world, inner world and society the dynamics of fuzziness become chaotic - unpredictable and sensitive to tiniest perturbations.

While moving - stretching and folding, expanding and shrinking, increasing and decreasing - in an unpredictable way, the fuzziness of our knowledge allows us to make meaning out of our experience. We can imagine the emergence of meaning as emergence of strange attarctors out of chaotic dynamics of fuzziness. We refer to these attractors as "strange attractors of meaning" [4].

The strange attractors of meaning make us reveal more about our inner nature, about our relationship to each other, about our unity with each other and with the natural environment, about the ways in which the rhythm of the universe pulsates not only through our bodies but also through our minds and souls, about the emergence of the ruptures of inspiration filling each of us with vitality and urge to create, about the omnipotent power of our intuition, about the immortality of the all=pervading spirit.

The fuzziness in our understanding of society has its roots in the self-referential nature of our awareness about the social dynamics. It is awareness of something as a living movement in which we are also included, without fixing it or standing apart from it. It is an awareness of life as it unfolds through each of us, through society and through the universe, a profound awareness of social dynamics working within us. Such kind of awareness is something fundamentally different from mere observing, fixing and comprehending social processes as if they move 'over there', that is, outside of the observer's mind. In becoming aware about the social dynamics, our experience of these dynamics remains one with us (who experience them) and TRANSFORMS us by taking hold of us. Therefore, to grasp the fuzziness of one's social experience, that is, one's knowing and understanding of society, means to grasp the fuzziness of one's own individual experience, the fuzziness of what one knows and understands about oneself - a fuzziness which changes (moves, transforms, evolves) together with the changes (movement, transformation and evolutiuon) of each of us.

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References

1. Dimitrov, V. 2000 Introduction to Fuzziology

http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/dimitrov/fuzzysoc.htm

2. Dimitrov, V. 2000 The Consciousness Resonance in Action

http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/dimitrov/consciousness.htm

3. Dimitrov, V. and Ebsary, R. 1998 Intrapersonal Autopoieis

http://www.pnc.com.au/~lfell/vlad2.html

4. Dimitrov,V 2000 Strange Attractors of Meaning

http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/dimitrov/SAM.htm

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©Vladimir Dimitrov, 2001

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