The Dr's Corner
Dr. Chris Daniels (Ph.D.) discusses the philosophy of Relations, Science, and Indigeneity in today's complex world.
What is a Relational Worldview and how is it relevant today?
“The fact that relativity and quantum together overturned the Newtonian physics shows the danger of complacency about worldview. It shows that we constantly must look at our worldviews as provisional, as exploratory, and to inquire. We must have a worldview, but we must not make it an absolute thing that leaves no room for inquiry and change. We must avoid dogmatism.” David Bohm - Post Modern Science
Since the advent of the "new physics" over a hundred years ago, physicists from Einstein to the current quantum physicists have increasingly shown that the structure of the universe, as well as ourselves, might be better understood as a relational organism rather than a mechanism. In a mechanism, such as an old clock, the parts organize the whole so once all the parts are individually understood you can completely know the whole. In an organism the whole organizes the parts so to understand the full nature of each part you must take into consideration the whole, and how all parts (which only exist in relation) relate to each other. So, to truly gain knowledge about the world,you must learn about the relationships that constitute it and yourself. In the current dominant worldview we have inherited from the early scientific thinkers like Descartes and Newton, reality is thought of as composed of substances that endure through time in objective 3D space, and can only physically interact and relate to each other, much like a mechanism. As much as this perspective contributed to incredible technological advance over the years, and has helped us to understand much of our everyday world, more contemporary physics has shown how inadequate that model is in describing the structure of reality itself, which is better understood as a dynamic process of momentary energetic events (quantum) that "come-to-be" only in relationship with all other events, both past and present. Our physical world, then, and how we relate to it, extrapolates from that inherent relationality. Presupposing the world as a whole, constituted by a process of dynamic internal relationships that must be understood, developed, and nurtured, as Indigenous peoples and all our ancient ancestors did before us, rather than individual "things" that only relate to each other through physical contact, changes EVERYTHING. This is what I plan to discuss here...
Most of the posts below are academic length presentations and the odd time repeat some thoughts, concepts, and stories because they were written for different audiences. Please excuse me as that usually means I feel they are VERY important and bear repeating in different contexts. Shorter, and easier highlights and quotes from the articles are also posted and more are coming soon.
“The notion of a separate organism is clearly an abstraction, as is also its boundary. Underlying all this is unbroken wholeness even though our civilization has developed in such a way as to strongly emphasize the separation into parts.”
― Physicist David Bohm, The Undivided Universe: An Ontological Interpretation of Quantum Theory
Indigeneity and Re-Indigenization
Highlights and Quotes
Short highlighted excerpts and quotes from the articles and presentations on this page
"[David Bohm’s] theory was not proposing the existence of a classical ‘rock-like’ particle, but rather a new kind of entity which is quite different from a classical particle. It is an entity that is a product of the interconnectivity of processes we see in nature. As we have remarked above, rather than thinking of interconnectivity as a product of the interaction of a priori given fundamental entities, it is the very interconnection that sustains the entities themselves, and defines their properties. Alter the background and the substructure of these interconnections and the entities themselves transform into new entities. His is not a world of immutable particles with well-defined properties interacting through mechanical forces. Something much more radical is involved." - Physicist Basil Hiley - Thirty Years with David Bohm
David Bohm On Wholeness
Excerpted from an interview with David Bohm at the Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, 1989.
Relational Reality and Indigeneity
Watch for posts coming on subjects like: From Indigenous to Quantum, Cultural Appropriation, Relationships and Reciprocity, as well as ongoing thoughts and opinions.
Indigenous WisdomToward an Ecological Civilization
In June of 2015 the Center for Process Studies and Dr. John Cobb Jr. organized a huge International conference "Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization" in Claremont California, which was attended by the world's leading scholars, professionals, activists (and anyone else interested) from all genres including science, religion, philosophy, economics, psychology, sociology, education medicine, and politics. The aim of the conference was to discuss ways to move toward a more ecological civilization by embracing an alternative perspective rather than expecting our environmental problems to be solved using the same approach that caused the issues in the first place. The posts below are Jaki and my contributions to the conference in the section on Indigenous Wisdom. In addition to speaking towards an ecological civilization the lectures say a lot about relational reality, Indigeneity, Indigenous Wisdom, and how all that makes sense in today's world.
Favourite Whitehead Quotes
Understanding Alternative Health Modalities, and Ceremonies
Watch for upcoming posts on how to understand alternative health practices in light of the wholistic relational worldview they typically presuppose, as well as the ceremonies and practices of Indigenous peoples and Jaki's community.