C-139. Of Course (and other “Look both ways!”)

Suppose that you had been raised as child on a strict media diet of movies only (or a diet of music, stories or dance only). Suppose that you were removed from that movie diet … then to be exposed just to still photographs. The change would be dramatic. You would miss something: Course. The coursing (aka streaming).

You could still make use of the photographs for identification. You could also make choices among them for one or another purpose. You might collect and collate photos in a manner that gives them a course of sorts (e.g., museum displays). But you would miss the Coursing of this very popular medium (or of another medium like music, stories or dance).

This too is a message from the medium. What is the cost of not getting that message? We too have Course. See our histories. See our very lives! They have Course. And yet we seem not to get this message.

But wait! “We too have Course”? What are we saying here? In our mind(ing)-bound way we illustrate here the trouble with this statement. We, as behavioral entities (bE, C-114) are said to possess the quality of Course. We have done the sort of cognitive-linguistic thing we all too often do, that of assigning an attribute to an object, combining them with the inside-outside cognitive relation (X) to get a focus of attention (VII) and one of its features (e.g., part, behavior, place, quality) … as for purposes of identification or choice (e.g., attractive vs. unattractive).

We can objectify anything. All we have to do is focus our attention on the “object” (aka “it” “that thing”). Even Everything (i.e., that “it” which comprises every thing). “Universe,” for example, which might be said to include all behavioral entities, which, in turn, may be said to include all sorts of things – depending partially on how behavioral they are.

So, when we come, say, to cross a city street, at least somewhat apprehensive of collisions, we look both ways (even if it’s a one-way street, probably). We may also look down (where we are stepping) and/or up (to see what the weather is). We might also look forward (to where we are going) and/or back (from where we’ve been, if only by memory – or perhaps to see if we are being followed).

In all these cases, our attention tends to focus on significant others … i.e., entities that may be parties to a potential collision … to these (more or less) behavioral entities whose features can figure in a collision and its consequences. Our sense of what’s going on and what we are doing is pretty much a matter of these particulars objects and their particular attributes).

Not that much attention to Course. Well … we may notice that we are getting tired – but that’s a body state. Or we may be “running late” and in hurrying up we may injure ourselves – another body state. Or we may walk in style – that too seen as an entity feature. All sorts of “actions” might be taken as we “progress” – i.e., particular fragments of Course, many learned and serving as a repertoire from which we make decisions about behavior.

But when it comes to solving the problems yet unsolved (0:P), or solved badly (0:Sp,S-P,Ps),for which available actions fall short or fail … then we must ask ourselves: Are we asking enough, and the most productive, questions about Course?
For example: We have seen in recent human history the problem-solving contribution that has been and is increasingly being made in materials science and by materials scientists … a contribution made via the materiality of composed entities (e.g., alloys, plastics). More and better questions about Course focused on the materiality of steps would add a contribution to what we can Realize (App. XIX; C-111).

Collisions, we might say, embody consequentiality. Significant others deserve our attention. But command it? Not to the exclusion of our attending to matters, to the materiality (C-78) of Course’s steps made and taken. Not to giving less attention to the molecularity of the step than to the molecularity of the body.

In CEM-history (App. XI-XII,XVI), once past the one-step-entity domains of physics and chemistry observers, into the observer domains of biology and beyond (C-105), steps become increasingly multi-step (even to multi-tasking – dealing with several situational problems in addition to the continuing behavioral problem [I]) … and the molecularity of the step is expanded (indeed multiplied!) by and to the step structures composed to arrange “soft” collisions and to arrange to avoid “hard” collisions (App. XIX). Yet we stay mired in the muddle (yes: muddle!) of the incomplete, inaccurate “bE” view we have adopted.

For multi-step entities, Course is a fact of life … and an R-word (App. XX; C-107), two noun (N-1,2) and two verb usages (V-1,2) -- employed or neglected. Course is needed functionality (N-1) … then developed capabilities (V-1) … then composed exercised capabilities (V-2)… and then finally Realized functionality (N-2) – the last of which, to be sure, is rarely all the functionality needed (N-1), even for situational problems (and never for the behavioral problem: see C-1,115).


Looking both ways there is much to be seen. While we have previously used the forbidding prospect of an Escarpment to illustrate the mind(ing) impediments to our achieving a better Quality of Life (App. XII; C-56), it would also be instructive to re-view Plato’s Cave … to see ourselves not in a cave seeing entity shadows but at the bottom of a very deep hole, our view severely restricted … a hole which we have dug ourselves, bE-shovelful after bE-shovelful … a hole that we might however get ourselves out of because we can use that bE shovel to carve molecular steps up the side of the hole. All we have to do is focus attention on the step (i.e., objectify it), and then follow the path of Realization (C-111) from needed functionality onward – and upward. Out and away from the shadows and impaired vision. Where we can respect the structure of process as well as, independently of, and interdependently with the structure of product (III: “Life: the double crystal”).

Naturally this ascent presumes that we do not slip back down – sort of “one step up, two steps down,” regressing to bE shovel usage to raise questions not of Course but of Source … as of “responsible” significant others (to the neglect of the responsibility capability interdependence).

And now that we are out of that hole, let’s make further use of that bE linguistic protocol: Onward to composed molecule, where molecule is the objectified focus of attention. “Composed” tells us that the structure of the step, like that of the body, is a matter of Realization, of behaviorally (step) accomplished material change (II; App. XIX; C-78,138).

And onward then to minded composition, where composition is the objectified focus of attention. “Minded” tells us that composition (“compose” is an R-word) has its roots in the Functional requisites (VII) of exposure, focal attention, cognition, memory and questioning which are amplified by the contribution that the cognition communication interdependency (App. III)* makes to compositional capability (V).

And from there on to requisite minding, where minding (“mind” is an R-word) is the focus of attention. “Requisite” tells us, given the Nature of Things’ general persisting condition of partial order (III), that needed functionality exists and persists (C-115), that steps must be made and not just taken, and that the interdependency of minding and moving contributes strength to the human endeavor.


The inside-outside cognitive relation embodied in the “bE” (I-O,A-O) linguistic usage has been employed here to make the case for developing the before-after relation so that we can deal more effectively with Course – and with establishing and maintaining our own course (C-9). We have advanced from the decision-making, identificatory virtues of that bE protocol toward developing technology – i.e., protocols – for Realization and problem solving. (Note that R-words add history to what words can tell us about the before-after relationship. As did “all that it takes” in talking about composed [vs. circumstantial] change [II].)

Unbound at last (free!), we can Read and Tell about steps and bodies independently and then interdependently as we bring them together not in the stunted bE format but as R-entities (C-147), with step accorded the same attention as body … in acknowledgement of their respective and joint materiality. (Note that our use of “step” and “body” as theoretical constructs [C-85], replacing “behavioral entity,” provides a protocol for establishing and maintaining the needed Grasp [C-106] of what is being talked about – or should be. Let nothing of consequentiality, in general as well as in particular, go unappreciated [III; C-123]).

* To limit “cognition” to an identificatory role in behavior illustrates how much a concept can miss the point (C-124). As a theoretical construct – and R-word** -- cognition’s acts of relating to produce ideas empowers us. And the strength that its interdependency with communication (another R-word)** offers, nested as it is in the minding <=> moving interdependency and that in turn nested in the body step interdependency, gives us the leverage to find and make our way in this World of Possibility. (A “closed mind” is not just about exposure, focal attention and/or memory. It’s about aborted cognition, questioning and imagination too.)

** These “-ion” conceptual practices testify to the inadequacy of the “bE” linguistic protocol in making evident the Course nature, the history, of and in the human condition.

(c) 2016 R. F. Carter