Chiasma verses Integration LO161

Kent D. Palmer, Ph.D. (
Sat, 18 Feb 1995 14:07:25 -0800 (PST)


Thanks for the response. See below . . .


Kent D. Palmer, Ph.D. :Administrator of ThinkNet {aka DialogNet}
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On Sat, 18 Feb 1995 wrote:

> Kent, thanks for a stab at an answer, yet you make my head hurt!

Sorry. Think how my head must feel. I have found one gets used to the
pain eventually. Kinda like Sisyphus rolling that ball up the hill. Thing
is you can always just let go and let it slide back down again. In fact
we all do that. Human beings can only stand so much Reality as T.S.
Elliot says. The corollary is that they can only stand so much of their
own immaginary conceptual fantasies as well. That is why I am trying to
present these ideas to others. Trying to see if the bubble bursts.

> You continue to use the word 'chiasm' which I take as a form of 'chiasma'
> meaning 'a cross wise fusion.' Is this correct?

Yes. Sometimes people leave off the "a" at the end.

> Your answer seems to make sense, at least within the limits of my ignorance I
> guess. My thoughts were initially from a more pragmatic stance I think. I was
> trying to understand how our tendence to think in duality limits our ability
> to achieve because we consider the elments of the duality to be either / or
> attainables.

Either-or and both-and function only after the chiasmatic duals have
differentiated. The chiasm exists prior to that complete differentiation.

> American business firmly believed that lower cost and improved quality were
> an either / or duality. They could pursue lower cost or they could pursue
> improved quality. The Japanese proved American business to be wrong by
> aggressively pursuing "both" in a rather simultaneous fashion. Also,
> Csikszentmihalyi, in "The Evolving Self" descibed Complexity as the
> integration of differentiated and integrated.

Nice illustration. The chiasm is prior to the arising of the duality
which is considered either/or OR both/and

I have not seen the Evolving Self is that any good?

> >From these two examples my thought was rather a question as to whether we
> limit ourselves in many other areas because we believe the apparent duality
> can not be integrated.

Integration is also a possiblity but it does not refer to the chiasma. I
wonder if chasm and chiasm are really the same word. Just occured to me.

> >From a business perspective suppose there is a way to integrate the pursuit
> of short-term profits and long-term growth and development, or growth and
> stability, decentralize and centralize, desire for change and desire for
> continuity, etc.

I think we need that. Americans are so short term oriented they are
always shooting themselves in the foot. The japanese perhaps go to the
oppostie extreme.

> Robert Fritz, in "Corporate Tides," refers to these as structural conflicts
> with the resolve to be in deciding which is more important and manage the
> other accordingly. This I see as simply limiting the potential results for if
> I admit to it being an either / or situation then I will cease to search for
> an integration of the two.

This is precisely why we need to change our thinking. He is saying pick a
side of the duality and then optimize. I am saying look at what comes
before the duality arises. This is a standard ruse in modern philosophy.
For instance Heidegger defines Dasein as what occurs before subject and
object separate. Once you see what lies prior to the duality you can
change your way of action to make it non-dual. First you have to concieve
of the world without the duality, then on that basis you can sometimes
change your preception in order to see what the duality covers over, and
finally you can organize your intentions and actions based on the new
perception. This is a method for approaching non-dual
thought/perception/action by getting rid of one duality at a time. The
either/or and both/and postions do not challenge the duality itself.

> What I seek in not a chiasm of the duality, yet rather an aggessive pursuit
> of an integrated form of it.

Integration of the duality is not always possible because in the very act
of establishing the duality you have precluded its integration. But of
course that depends on the duality. There are probably some dualities
that can be integrated after their arising. I don't know about that. A
lot of systems theory is an attempt to pull off that kind of integration.
I think those solutions tend to be brittle. There is the difficulty of
wicked problems that prevent reconcilliation giving no good solution.

Have you figured out how to pull off integrations such as these? In
engineering which I am most familiar with this is the heart of the design
problem. How to attempt to integrate a system in the face of wicked
probelms in multiple dimensions.

Following the lead of Taoism one might instead attempt to change the
situation when the wicked arising problems are still young and mutable.
Or you might go back prior to their arising and attempt to change the
context so they will not arise in the first place. This latter strategy
is the one pointed at by the existence of the Chiasma prior to the
arising of the Chasm between dualistic opposites.

> Kent, please let me know how this one strikes you...

You are thinking. It always strikes me as wonderful when I see other
people thinking and wrestling with problems such as these.

> Gene Bellinger...