C-177. Our Ways, Other Ways, The Way, This Way

The word “way” has an unusually large number of linguistic roots. It also has two distinct but related roots, behavioral and circumstantial, according to whether focus of attention is on the step(s) made and taken or on where they are taken. (For example: the course of the racer or the racecourse).

Behaviorally, our ways and other ways pertain to matters of particular steps made and taken … and to particular steps that might be made and taken. “The way” is ambiguous in this regard. It could conceivably be the best (attained, attainable or not) of our ways or of other ways. (And some fervently believe they know which it is: “This way!”)

Our ways comprise an aggregate of solutions to situational problems (I: Ssits re Psits), numerous and multivaried, individual and collective (“cultures”), now being seen after the fact and considered for reuse, often subject to decision making, AT and ON the Frontier (C-118)—i.e., on the local (“World’s”) edge of the Expansion (C-163,169).

Our ways address the behavioral problem (I:Pbeh) too. They offer some stability, a kind of behavioral equilibrium with which to confront the challenge of the behavioral problem (e.g., “composure”), and a framework from which to meet emerging situational problems (I:Psits), a framework within which to make accommodating changes to the steps of others and one’s own steps taken.

But questions arise. Are there other ways? Not just others’ ways which we might adopt or tolerate, but other ways we might come up with that are more successful? Needed functionality argues for a criterion of functional equivalence with respect to the behavioral problem. We should expect a variety of tries, with varying results (a matter for pragmatic equivalence).

And problems arise. Too much stability, perhaps, if persistence in our ways risks an “over the edge of the cliff” fate. Problems arise from our several solutions too, especially four “quality of life” (0), problems that arise as we go our ways, using and reusing our ways as solutions to problems: 1/ 0:Sp, such as needed distribution and instruction solutions to promulgate our ways; 2/ O:Ps, such as needed “law and order” and dictionary definition solutions in consequence of the laws and words we’ve coined; 3/ 0:S-P, such as needed paradigm changes to correct for the holes and biases in minding technology; 4/ 0:P, needed other ways for problems arising not from what we have done – i.e., our ways, but for what we might and should do re problems still without human solution (e.g., problems that cannot be solved with less than the strength of interdependent step making and taking [C-173], such as via Union [C-112]).

Problem type 1 deals with incomplete functionality, types 2 & 3 with dysfunctionality, type 4 with complete lack of functionality. All deal with needed functionality. We have not done that well in solving the problem of producing solutions. Control need and needed functionality exceed control capability.

Of these four problem types, 0:S-P seems critical in light of what “our ways,” “ways and means,” “taking steps,” and “solutions” (“behavior” too) are all talking about (WITA), or what there is to be talked about (WTITBTA) but we are not talking about: Functionality, IN consequence and OF consequence, given the Nature of Things. Functionality some of which is already there that we may find (C-73: Kf) and/or functionality not yet there that we can discover via compositional change by trying to make and take steps (Kt). But functionality that has fallen short (0:Sp, Ps and P) because of the 0:S-P dysfunction.

Circumstantially, “the way” can be particular (e.g., “freeway” and “fairway”) and/or general. (See II re particular and general circumstances pertinent to “All that it takes.”) We see the Expansion (C-163) as general circumstance. The Expansion is thus The Way. “You are here” should comprise both kinds of circumstance (II). Our Read of the Nature of Things’ and its general persisting conditions of partial order, consequentiality and [body] discontinuity [III], based on the ubiquitous phenomenon of collisions, suggests that we not neglect this general circumstance. It is the genesis of needed functionality (C-144), the human condition that our ways have not yet satisfied. Witness our limited problem solving ability (0).

(Of our ways, the I Ching’s throwing of sticks and the interpretation that follows, especially if discussed, is suggestive of needed functionality -- however helpful the interpretation.)

This Way is the Read (C-8) we make of The Way with respect to needed functionality. The Read we make in order to better inform the ways we go about finding and making our way … in designing our molecular steps, in contrast to reading about the ways that have been found or the ways that have been made.

This Way says, “Forward!” in accord with the contingent emergent materiality of CEM-history (App. XI). It is not prescriptive of any particular way. It points to an open window on, and a door that opens to, the World of Possibility … which is to say, the Nature of Things.

This Way points to CEM-history’s “body < = > step” core, to the forwardness of step development together with body evolution (C-38,121), to the very apparent effect of step on body along with that of body on step … to the steps of human progress along with the bodies of human progression (i.e., the “ascent of man” from our forbearers).


On the view of the Expansion as The Way, there is no best (“this”) way among our ways and/or other ways – except as, competitively, one may surpass another in solving one of our situational problems or in contributing to a solution of the behavioral problem (I). Not to dismiss these ways … but our ways and new and/or improved other ways figure to fall short of and lag behind needed functionality (III; C-115).

We have knotted ourselves up, and weakened ourselves, by our mind-binding technology, by the ways we mind The Way. Other ways are impeded. This Way is not Grasped because of the Involve(s) we use to Grasp The Way: what the concept of “problem definition” reaches for.

Transforms and protocols are the ways we have used to Read The Way (or not!) and to find and/or make our ways. We have amply – if not completely – shown how the B(ody)-transform of The Way has biased our Read, by assigning particular behaviors (steps) to this or that body (Bs) or to this or that relationship between bodies (BsB).

A more complete Read of The Way, using the R(Realization)-transform (C-111), based on the Nature of Things, would add Sb and SbS to give functionality its due … and thereby not be limited to after-the-fact particulars of Bs and BsB.

Our ways of minding have obscured, via the B-transform of the Expansion, some of the consequentiality IN and OF the Expansion. (Our lives as Expansions, not just the Expansion.) On this B-ness view, we see the Expansion as but a behavioral property of “the universe” (a largely inconsequential concept except as a container for every [particular] thing). There is more to be said and more that needs saying about functionality … about materiality, about consequentiality, about history (CEM-history, that is).

Once we see the Expansion as The Way, we can begin to develop its functional relationship with our ways … to look into the possibility and promise of This Way, of progress in developing our ways in accord with the Nature of Things. This Way is very much a quest*, of finding and (especially) making our way forward. This Way is forward … our own expansions, our Becomings, via development using the R-transform and its protocols (e.g., R-words: C-107).

This Way for any step maker and taker AT and ON the Frontier – a Pioneer (C-119) -- i.e., has to be as much question as answer: balanced question and answer and preferably question and answer in the interdependent mode ([Q => A] < = > [A => Q]), a perspective as much historical as ahistorical (C-108), for step strength (172-3).

Quest says something to be found (C-93:Kf) and/or something to be found out (Kt). Both modes of knowing require productive questions (aka hypotheses), which HAS discipline can strengthen (App. XV). Each questioning mode has characteristic difficulties: Kf with the “puzzle” expectation of an order of things (“oots” bias [C-39]), Kt with the molecular weakness of our tries (for lack of string strength [C-173]).


Help (App. I) points to The Way and This Way. Needed functionality is always greater than functionality (NF/F>1), and typically for even the most accomplished Psit solvers that ratio is NF/F>1+ (C-148). Help is always in demand, noted or expressed. (The concept of “social animal” masks this. Wishes and prayers give it a B-projection. B-deities confer help capacities of omnipotence and even omniscience.)

Thus does Humanism begin and thrive by making and taking steps that help (C-175), enabling Realization (App. XIX; C-111,149; passim) for self, for others and for the collective behavior that is Union (C-112) … of every kind (e.g., partnership, community, nation).

* “Quest” makes a good R-word (C-107) … and the “-ion” in “question” should, by now, cue us to make that Read. So much of the very molecular step, its making and taking, is knotted up in our ad hoc, B-transform infested language protocols (C-171,180). Thus step strength and string strength (C-173) for problem solving are at risk.

(c) 2017 R. F. Carter