Creation and Evolution: A Biosemiotic Approach

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Creation and Evolution: A Biosemiotic Approach

M i! Friedrich Creation S. and Originally published by Bouvier Publishing Company, Herbert Grundmann, Bonn (West

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Originally published by Bouvier Publishing Company, Herbert Grundmann, Bonn (West Germany), 1986. English Translation by Jozef Ph. Hes



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Copyright © 2000 by Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Published in 1994 by Friedrich S. Rothschild. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. All inquiries should be addressed to Transaction Publishers, Rutgers—The State University, 35 Berrue Circle, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8042. This book is printed on acid-free paper that meets the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. Library of Congress Catalog Number: 99-047533 ISBN: 0-7658-0686-X Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Rothschild, Friedrich S. (Friedrich Salomon), 1899[Evolution als innere Anpassung an Gott. English] Creation and evolution: a biosemiotic approach / Friedrich S. Rothschild; English translation by Jozef Ph. Hes. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index, (p.). Contents: v. 1. The British, the Arabs, and Zionism, ISBN 0-7658-0686-X (paper) 1. Evolution—Religious aspects. 2. Semiotics, I. Title. BL263 .R6713 1999 2I3


To Maggot



I w o u l d like to express m y gratitude to D r . Guenter A m m o n , president of t h e World Organization for D y n a m i c Psychiatry, w h o p r o v i d e d a f o r u m at his congress for t h e presentation of the t h e m e s contained in this w o r k . M a n y t h a n k s g o t o D r . H e i n z B e r e n d t w h o a s s i s t e d m e in p a r a p s y c h o l o g y experiments, a n d to t h e late D r . Janos Schossberger for his h e l p in p r e p a r i n g t h e final draft of t h e G e r m a n text. I a m also v e r y grateful t o all w h o h e l p e d w i t h t h e G e r m a n edition a n d to m y p u b l i s h e r of t h e G e r m a n edition, Mr. T h o m a s G r u n d m a n n . For this, t h e English edition, I a m i n d e b t e d t o t h e Rockefeller F o u n d a t i o n w h i c h enabled the translator to w o r k at t h e Bellagio Study a n d Conference Center w h e r e a considerable p a r t of t h e w o r k w a s done.


as Inner


On the symbolic of the structure and the philosophy



interpretation of the








Part One 1. Foundation of the Method in the Search for Meaning


2. The Present Situation of Mankind


3. The Influence of the Phenomenology of Ludwig Klages on Biosemiotics


4. The Mediated Directness of Communication and its Evolution within the Sign Systems


5. The Cycle of Understanding in Communication


6. The Antagonistic and Complementary Dynamics in the Origin of Communication »»»—»• « 7. God as the Origin of Communication 8. Analogies of Reflection in the Superposition of Sign Systems

»J...29 34 43

9. Diploidity of Cells and the Development of Dialogue


,10. Potential and Real Aspects of Communication for the Mediation of Inner and Outer Systems


11. The Neural System as Mediator of the Soul



12. The Noetic System and the Freedom of Intellectual Acts


13. The Relation of Mental Acts to the Dominant Hemisphere


14. Thinking and Speaking



15. Parallels to Biosemiotics in Viktor von Weizsaecker's Writings


16. The Philosophical Biology and Anthropology of Helmuth Plessner ...:...99

Creation and Evolution Part Two 17. Inner Adaptation in the Analogies of Cybernetics


18. A Biosemiotic View of French Structuralism


19. Transcendental Function and the Symbolic Structure of the Nervous System 114 20. Symbolic Aspects of Form and Arrangement of Ganglion Cells and remarks on the Cerebellum 21. Inner Adaptation and Wakefulness, Sleep, Dreaming, Hypnosis, Trance: Inner Unity in the State of Wakefulness


22. On Sleep


23. Manifestation of Inner Adaptation in Play


24. Feelings and Their Expression.



25. Laughing


26. The Smile


27. Crying


Part Three


28. Values as Objectives in the Inner Adaptation of the Noetic System 29. Truth

177 ...181

30. Holiness: Phenomenological Description and Biosemiotic Interpretation.....


31. The Experience of Holiness in Ecstasy 32. The Search for Redemption and the Conflicts of Inner Adaptation

206 210

,33. Different Ways of Inner Adaptation


34. Inner Adaptation and the Greeks,


35. Inner Adaptation and the People of East Asia


36. Yoga....,



37. Buddhism and Zen


38. Christianity


39. Inner Adaptation in the Cultural History of Europe >: 40. The Beginning of Modern Times and the Reflection of Gastrular Mediated Experiences :

.....256 260

41. Descartes and the Development of Scientific Thought


42. The Perfection of the Development of the Noetic System


43. Possibilities of Change of Consciousness, Asymmetry Between Left and Right Side...;....: :. ., .,


44. The Asymmetries of the Body



Table of Contents 45. The Psychophysical Relationship and Parapsychology


46. The Asymmetry of the Cerebral Hemispheres


47. The Significance of Reflection (Self-Consciousness) for the Generation of a New Phase of Communication


48. Change of Mind Based on Reflection of Mankind Being the Child of God


49. Inner Adaptation and the Phenomena of Parapsychology


50. Comparison of Erich Jantsch's Theory of Evolution with the Theory of Biosemiotics 51. The Paradoxical Nature of Mankind and iis Relationship to the. Decussation of the Fibres in the CNS


52.'Inner Adaptation as Dialogue



Appendices Abbreviations









stead of the present confusion and suffering of this terrestrial uncertainty. It is likely, that also those parts of mankind, which cannot reach themselves the spirit of the light, nevertheless will become aware of its possibility and will turn to it." This picture of the future evolution of man recalls no doubt the Jewish^ idea of the coming of the Messiah and the foundation of a new order of human life and nature. What is specific for Aurobindo and the Indian roots of his theory of evolution is, however, that this supermental transformation of man will be obtained by Yoga. We mentioned already how through Yoga a direct communication is established, which neutralizes the limitations of individuation's actual genesis similar to what intuition does in ecstasy. "Consciousness of the superspirit is a cosmic consciousness and in this absolute self of universal consciousness, the individual lives. The individual, self is closely connected to the consciousness of the super spirit, which becomes an object for knowledge...All the time the basic feeling of unity with theobject (consciousness ofthe superspirit) is present, because without it, there would not be supermental knowledge." It is clear from these words that the mental act appears here already in the fusion phase, where a separation of subject and object of the experience, did not yet take place. For example:" All thought in the superspirit has the quality of intuition , inspiration or revelation and all inadequate knowledge will be elevated by an increased development of these forces." The supermental transformation liberates in man also parapsychological facilities, which we will discuss in a subsequent chapter. "The new power of consciousness... manifests and transforms...also those rare facilities and that all-encompassing power and knowledge, appropriate to our subliminal self and which seem to us now occult, mental curiosities, even abnormal." Yoga is a methodical training of IA under the auspices of the Eros principle and the mediation of inner systems. It demonstrates the dominance of the noetic over the neural and all previous systems however, it neglects the Thanatos requirement for separation and differentiation and the transmission of corporeality through the outer systems. "According to its nature all Yoga is a rebirth." writes Aurobindo. "It is the birth out of the ordinary, the intellectual]zed, material life of man, into a higher spiritual consciousness and a bigger and divine existence." The comparison with birth is justified, because one aspires-for a new course of actual geneses and henceforth a new constitution of the personality. Every actual genesis is an analogy of ontogenesis and new courses of actual genesis will therefore restructure the personality. How this new form of actual genesis creates a new personality, one can learn from Gopi Krishna who reports about his peculiar experiences with Yoga. These descriptions of a detailed nature cany the impressions as if one reads a scientific report.


Creation and Evolution

The title of the book is: Kundalini: The Evolution Energy in Man. It has an introduction by Frederich Spiegelberg, professor of comparative religion and Indology. Likewise there are comments by Dr. James Hillman, director of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, facts which make Gopi Krishna's book seem authentic also for professionals and scholars of Indian mystique. No doubt, man who experiences ecstasy through meditation, is very fortunate. Man disembarks from the confinement of his ego, his consciousness enlarges into the universality of TS, because the ego does not separate itself anymore. Gopi Krishna's report presents such an 'inner change. But this report also proves that this ecstatic experience is not due to "normal" actual genesis. It intrudes in the experience towards its end. When Gopi Krishna focused his attention to it, it disappeared. That is a very important hint. The way these ecstatic experiences appear, reminds one of psychopathology, attacks of psychomotor epilepsy and the changed experiences of a catatonic schizophrenic. That does not mean that ecstasies of mystics, shamans and holy men, of Yogi's and Zen-Buddhists, are psychopathological phenomena as some psychiatrists believed. Not only a minus but also a plus of meaningful information may hamper the normal course of actual genesis. The sexual experience with its increased stimulations leading to orgasm, is an illustrative example. Kundalini is the name for a kind of vitality, which in this Indian approach, comparable to latent electrical energy, is located at the bottom of the vertebral column between anus and sex organs. It is imagined as a curled-up snake, which when awakened - arises and sends its energy through certain canals along the medullary cord in the direction of the brain. Details are not so important, but more so the phenomenon of the revival (Erweckung) as described by Gopi. Krishna. The location of the snake points at the relation between energy and sexual power of man. The power of the not-spent sperm will be sublimated to some extent in this energy and ascend with it to the brain. Krishna's description is very similar to the sexual experience with its acme in orgasm, but maybe this acme is more ecstasy than orgasm. In 1950, I compared orgasm and ecstasy as to the course of actual genesis as well as in their neurological aspects. Biosemiotically, there are important concurrences with the old Indian" teachings of Kundalini although, at the time of writing; I did not know anything about Indian mystique. Orgasm and ecstasy have in common that both interfere with normal individuation of actual genesis. The ego looses its ability for active inner self-assertion, for reification at a distance it is flooded by the stimulating, fascinating and captivating power of the experience. As to the relation to the body, orgasm and ecstasy differ. According to the Greeks, spirit and soul are liberated from the body; orgasm in contrast is an increased fulfillment of body experience. We saw already before, how individuation is based on the innervation transmitted by the gastrular systenrand the regulation of body statics. In ecstasy neural functions are dissolved from their ties to the gastrular system. The primary completions of the stimulation of the fusion phase passes easily through the polarization



of the second phase into the secondary completions of the third phase of actual genesis. The sexual experience reaches fulfillment in the ejaculation reflex and orgasm without the necessity to develop its actual genesis beyond the fusion phase. It is the nature of the sexual drive to increase, through sexual stimuli, the primary completion of the communication process to such an extent,, that the gratification of intentions takes place in the fusion phase without polarization and individuation of the experience. Actually, the disposition for polarization and individuation are built-in in the structure of the CNS by means of the differentiation between ventral and dorsal, ipsilateral and crossed centers, where thefifst (ventral, ipsilateral) represents the own pole, the latter the opposite pole. The parasympathetic centers represent the own pole and the sy mpathicus the opposite pole. But all these structures of the central,and peripheral nerve systems are not used in the sexual experience for the purpose of actual genetic development of individuation, but function on the level of the picture phase. This communication in the style of the picture phase is the basis of the fusion phase of all experiences, out of which they develop normally to an individualized form. In the sexual excitement this development fails to appear as a result of the strong primary completion. Orgasm leads to gratification (fulfillment) already in the fusion phase, without actualization of the ego as individualized subject. That is the reason the ego cannot master this experience in the regular way. That is very significant because in the procreation a new individual comes into existence, where man and woman return, as individual subjects, their function and to the original creative TS. Though sexual excitement and orgasm belorig to the experience of the individual, the individualized form of orgasm is not outspoken. In that, orgasm is similar to ecstasy. Thus we understand, that people after an ecstasy state, feel as if they were reborn. The creative power of TS manifests itself in the orgasm of procreation as well as in the outburst of ecstasy. Therefore Sri Aurobindo and Gopi Krishna are right,, when they postulate rebirth as the goal of their Yoga method. In our previous detailed analysis of the psychophysiology of orgasm, I stated that what can enhance the ecstatic experience, are the components of sexual libido arising from the structure of the opposite pole and the sympathetic components of the vegetative nervous system, in spite of the fact that orgasm and ecstasy are different. This theoretically-assumed connection becomes manifest in the phenomenon of revival of Kundalini (Erweckung). This proves to what extent the Indians succeeded in developing the possibilities of experience to a special height. After thebookJCimda/mi, Gopi Krishna published another book: Biological Basis of Religious Experience. Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker, physicist and philosopher, wrote the introduction in which he tried to approximate the


Creatbn and Evolution

naively formulated statements and conclusions of Gopi Krishna to the spirit of objectifying science. Gopi Krishna's book is short. But taken on the background of the previous book it is worth while. It is full of the-conviction that without insight in "the phenomenon of revival, one cannot understand neither the nature of man nor his relation to religion. "Nothing like a Kundalini immediately after his revival, can prove the existence of an all penetrating, omniscient intelligence behind the various phenomena of life. No other play, nor the unbelievably supernormal testimonies of mystics or media can do that. In the example of the Kundalini after his revival, we witness a man becoming aware the first time that this unimaginable cosmic intelligence is present at every site of the universe-and that our total personality, ego, consciousness, intellect etc. is only a small bubble in the ocean." Here we see presented on the basis of experience what we call in biosemiotics: transcendental subjectivity. Gopi Krishna emphasizes time and again: "that Kundalini in man is the energy and mechanics establishing evolution." "A law is operative here, whose nature and meaning is not yet disclosed by science." This ignorance rriay hamper the positive possibilities of further evolution of mankind and lead mankind even to the destruction of atomic war. This pessimism is nowadays popular, but nevertheless we have to listen carefully to Krishna's ideas. > Werepresent the same position though from is important to gain a new understanding of the law of evolution if man wants to stay alive in the present and in the future full of dangers. Certainly we do not endorse Gopi Krishna's explanation of the ascending sperm and its energy. Nevertheless, these ideas and concepts of olden times have to be regarded by us in addition to the parallels with Freud's theories of libido and sublimation. We mentioned already that the addition of sperm to the oocyte, the fertilization, and the resulting diploidy, are the paradigm for the representation of own pole and opposite pole in the superimposing layers of communication systems in evolution. An essential principle of ascending evolution is founded by sexuality. Actually, the idea of evolution fulfilling a purpose in the history of man does not emerge from Indian philosophy. Von Weizsaecker states correctly: "Indians such as Gopi Krishna adopted this idea of evolution as a piece of secularized Christian thought. He is very well aware, that with this concept of secular evolution, he is in conflict with Hindu traditions which strive to ascend towards the One and remain there. The philosophy of the open tirrie is a Hebrew-Christian philosophy." This Hebrew-Christian philosophy plays an essential role in the evolution of the noetic system. Before we discuss that, we have to take a position to Buddhism.







HE REBIRTH OF the personality through Yoga meditation is a way to redemption. Buddha saw and preached a more radical way. As aresult of Thanatos participation in all parts of creation, life is beset with deprivations, frustrations, pain and suffering. Buddha was not satisfied with weakening or eliminating this principle of finiteness and suffering by means of the gastrular system as was mentioned ,in the above described ways of redemption. He denied any form of creation, any expression of meaning in pictures or bodies, ariy fulfillment of intentions, directed at realization in the world. Because, with every step in the world, the Thanatos principle is participating and hence the necessary sources of suffering. It is important for Buddha to intensify the inwardness to such an extent, that no way of externalization (Veraeusserlichung) is possible anymore. That is nirvana, the return to the endless, formless emptiness preceding creation, the liquidation of those intentions of Eros and Thanatos which created the world and preserved it. But the salvation of this condition reveals already that we deal here with a form of ecstasy. This is obtained in this case by elimination of any sign system transmitting life, the ego looks for a direct and exclusive fusion with TS. It pursues its own super individual spiritual basis, beyond time and space. This kind of fulfillment is called by Buddha nirvana. This emptiness, called nirvana is the absolute reality behind the illusion of appearances it is also called an inexpressible state of consciousness. No doubt, Buddha's teachings qualified his students.and followers, to suppress all drives coririected with life and to take up a position of self-denial and love of fellow-creatures, as is taught in Christianity. Christian and Buddhist monks have many things in common, though their spiritual structure is different. But the basic direction of IA is rooted in the laws of evolution. Therefore, Christian and Buddhist monks experience similar

-lfes-i 242

Creatbn and Evolutbn

appearances in their lives and behaviors in spite of their different histories and preconditions; Buddhism is an instructive example of man's striving for redemption. But of course one cannot exclude the Thanatos principle as long as life goes on. One can try to diminish its impact,.when one tries, ascetically, to limit the requirements of life. But real ecstatic redemption experiences are only obtained by few. The search for new ways was continued by other people under the influence of Buddha. One of these new ways, represented particularly by Japan, is ZenBuddhism. Experts of Zen, e.g. Eugene Herrigel, emphasize that it is impossible to grasp Zen by means of concepts. Only the hard way of meditation leads to Satori, the illumination (enlightenment), and then one cannot express in words what it is. I am not a Zen student. Nevertheless, on the basis of biosemiotic analysis of ecstatic conditions, I feel I can explain why Zen differs from other ways of redemption and what happens, when one becomes a Zen-master. The Zen master does not deny life and the desire as a condition for rebirth like Buddha, but he refuses to participate in life as an individual, a self, an ego. That seems to be paradoxical, because it is impossible to be an adult without having experienced an individuation process in the actual genesis of experiencing and behavior, resulting in the formation of an ego. But we know from many discussions that there are two styles of communication not included in the individualized form of experience, namely the morphqgenetic style or picture phase of communication preceding the individuation of experience and themental acts, originally not determined by any individualized system,because they originate directly from TS and are therefore super individual. When analyzing Gopi Krishna's mystical experiences.we-found already that they elapsed from out of the habitual individuation of his experience, because conscious acts start already in the fusion phase. It simply did not reach the second phase of actual genesis, namely polarization, which is not only the basis for individuation but causes also the separation between subject and object. The TS intentions in the picture phase found a direct fulfillment in TS acts in the noetic phase and vice versa; mental acts were fulfilled in the picture phase of communication without the mediation of the individuation process. That is in any case how we understood Gopi Krishna's experiences and poetical works. In that way we also can understand Satori, the illumination of the school of Zen. Satori is the implosion of an ecstatic revelation, characterized by a special content (as a result of preparation) but essentially belonging to the mystical experiences typical for South-East Asia. Like other ways to redemption, Zen is an expression of man's strivings for I A, however East-Asian in its attitude towards personal salvation and original as to its non-consideration of Thanatos. Herrigel presents an outstanding description of the method: "The Buddhist's startingpoint is that life = suffering. But what would happen if the primary experience was the opposite? Life would be joyful, and the world would be perceived as happy harmony. Would not the illumination be different, i.e. also happy and joyful? It should be possible to perform concentration exercises without any preliminary theme, i.e. to enter a road without anything definite, objective.. .without ariy preliminary philosophy."

Buddhism and Zen


"Buddha promised that there will be illumination.- Maybe it will turn out differently without suggestions ifone only would exercise towards submersion, to become completely empty without any. program. That was the way of Zen. One cannot state, how long the nothingness was tried. But it succeeded, Zen in China and Japan proves it. What reason for de-attachment from existence would the Zenist have if he would confront it completely neutral. The explanation can only be historical: He knew that there was enlightenment and that there was a way. Afterwards, he could say that his experience was the big liberation. Liberation from what? In which way? Only the whole will answer that." We do not have to go into all the details. We only have to ask ourselves: What is the big liberation biosemiotically? "For the Zen Buddhist, whatever exists, exists outside of man; animals, plants, stones, earth, fire, water exist without any demands in the middle of existence, not being able to leave that origin." Man, however, lives ex-centric. He steps out of the middle of existence. The more he feels himself an ego/a self, the more he removes himself from the center. If man, confused and lost by his ex-centricity, strives for the. safety and; the innocence of existence, known to him from the goal-less examples of life, then the only possibility is: radical reversal (turnabout). In Zen reversal means" homecoming, repair of an original but lost condition." In order to live in the center like animal, plant and everything, man has to choose a way which denies everything ex-centric. We know this kind of proclamation. We mentioned already a modern form in Klages' metaphysics. Klages is of the opinion, that the ex-centricity of the spirit and the ego of man is equal to a sentence of death. He regards a turnabout and a homecoming as impossible. In Plessner's book: "The Phases of Organic Nature and Man " an opposite attitude is presented: Man's excentricity is something positive. We know the theme from the Bible story of man's expulsion from paradise. Following Eliade, we mentioned the constant innovation of life (based on the history of early man) and the idea of innovation by reversal, returning (Rueckkehr) is also one of the components of the Jewish faith in the Messiah. What is important, is that according to Zen, the salvation is feasible for the single individual and a matter of learning appropriate techniques. Zen is less prophetic because of its Buddhist origin and less future-oriented than the teachings of the Hind mystics such as Sri Aurobindo and Gopi Krishna. However, on the basis of hundreds of years of experience they established the training of their priests in such a realistic and controlled way, that, according to Herrigel, one can learn in a unique way very important human wisdom. One finds accurate data how one can suppress those actual genetic functions of the inner adaptation between systems, which emphasize man as an individual and how one, nevertheless, can reach a higher phase of humanity. I cannot discus in detail the treatment of the apprentices in the Zen-Buddhist monasteries but wish to single out a few traits of their education which seem important to our analysis. "The specific spiritual training starts with purification and cleaning of the power of contemplation. Afterwards the novice is trained to absorb reality even circumstances which are insulting and repulsive. All the time he has to immerse himself in new perceptive contents, until he knows them by heart and can recall them so vividly as to represent all the physical peculiarities" Then he is taught to single out the essential of the perception in a few lines.


Creation and Evolution

These instructions remind the beginnings of Hiisserl's phenomenological philosophy and his appeal: "Back to the Essentials" and the development of eidetic intuition. This relation can be seen in man's turning to and respect for reality. But a Zen-Buddhist is naturally not interested in phenomenology but in the encounter with the process behind reality. He needs an increased power of perception in order to accomplish the meditation. This starts with breathing exercises in the lotus-position. The breathing is the result of IA of the gastrular, neurular and noetic system to the cellular communication style. The air for breathing is not an alienable partner of communication as a body or an appearance; the body is fused with the air like a cell with fnolecules and ions absorbed from the environment. Though acts of the will control the breathing, the ego nevertheless can learn to adapt to the breathing as a reflectory impulse which does not'require individuation. "Every breath is established in a state of consciousness and concentration, even counted in the beginning. At the end, one = breathing; one is breathed. The respiration finally found its own rhythm unobserved by the breather." The relation to respiration is taken as an example for the attitude towards all inner- and outer stimuli, which could disturb the ego's concentration during meditation. One has to disregard'them as an uninterested observer. The object of meditation is the so-called Koan. It requires much effort and does not allow a comfortable dreaming gaze." (Vorsichhintraeumen). Herrigel adds many examples of Koan, one of which I will quote here: "Haku-in (one of the most famous Japanese Zen-masters, creator of the Koan meditation) used to lift one hand and to invite his students to say which tone it produced. Well, how are things?" I will not describe here the various stages of the exercises taking place during many weeks and the concentrated thinking efforts of the students while they try to solve this unsolvable task. It is obvious right from the beginning, that there is no solution to this problem, neither in the world of real perceptions nor in the world of thoughts. But if the master poses the question, it has to be solved. The student is convinced about it, because he trusts his master. Therefore the student concentrates and is blindly obedient to his master, unflinchingly. Then, one day, when hearing a call, a loud noise, a painful stimulus, the tension comes to-*an explosion, Satori, the illumination comes through, the novice sees the solution, he is very agitated, starts sweating and trembling. When he turns to his teacher to tell him the results, he stammers or is mute. What has been evident to him, cannot be said. Herrigel, who lived in a monastery and experienced Satori, emphasizes the indescribable aspect of the condition and adds metaphysical interpretations corresponding with the biosemiotic interpretation of change in the CNS function. Satori is an ecstatic condition, which in actual genesis skips normal individuation and ego-constitution, and finds fulfillment in a direct link between the fusion phase of the experierice process and the conscious comprehension. It is not the ego which thinks and sees here, but the creative basis of TS communicates itself on the picture phase. Out of this creative, super-individual

Buddhism and Zen


foundation noetic acts appear, which present the communication to a conscious intuition, without generating first an object and a subject of experiencing and knowledge. We analyzed a similar condition in the case of Gopi Krishna; only the preparation and the underlying philosophy is different in Zen-Buddhism; therefore, we see differences not only in the state of illumination but also in its implications. Zen does not know an all-encompassing self, no Atman, no Brahman with whom the meditating novice can expect to be united mystically. In this school, there are only concrete things, which focus on the intuitive attention and concrete Koan questions which have to be solved. The attention is focused intensively on the origin of intuition and the question ofthe picture-phase communication. Outofasudden direct revelation of the creative nature of this origin with its omnipotent erotic potential - even an unmoved hand can be heard - Satori is born. The inner nature of reality, i.e. its meaning creating basis is revealed and generates in its turn a completely new relation to its external appearance. Herrigel characterizes this new relation. Everything is for this new view "important in the same degree, the most important as well as the least important. They impress as having an absolute accentuation, as if they became translucent such as things which cannot be seen by ordinary eyes. This is not a horizontal relation, from one thing to another like other things in this world; it is a vertical relation, through everything until the deepest layers of its origin.; One sees things intuitively from the origin of being and understands them. They point out - beyond themselves- to the origin of their being but in such a way that this origin is the same as in the presence." I could add many instructive descriptions of Herrigel of the nature and the influence of Satori and the change they bring about in Zen-novices. But all would, confirm the biosemiotic interpretation of change of function caused by real ecstasy in the course of actual genesis of experience and behavior. The new view, the newly experienced relation does not take place "horizontally from object to object within the world of objects, but through the object right to its origin." It is thebeginning of actual genesis, which became a partner, not the finished thing, which as object confronts a similarly finished subject. "The intuitive observer," according to Herrigel, "does not feel a subjective pole, confronting things and-objects, but experiences the existence as the incomprehensible pole and himself together with everything he encounters, as the other pole of existence, which, like himself, stems from the same origin." I analyzed intuition (das Schauen) biosemiotically as a form of communication towards knowledge and thought and focused particularly on the direction of intention and the pole-formation. In intuition the temporality of experience predominates. "The spiritual poles fixed on the presence do not separate out of the primary fusion; this present-pole of the soul, composed out of a previous bodypole anda world-pole confronts the active past as a picture-like pole. This separating power of matter.,(i.e. the Thanatos principle)."is not related to the connection of one spiritual pole to the body, but more to the connection with the presence." (1950 p.48) Intuition is accompanied by a rearrangement of the inner polarization, a


Creation and Evolutbn

These sentences are a bit cornplicated because at that time, intuition Was related to mediatingstructures and functions of the CNS. But itshould be clear from the -use of the concept-pole that we dealt with the same intentional structure of inwardness, which, according to Herrigel, is so important for the intuition of Satori. Now we have an idea of the great liberation which, accordirig to Herrigel, is experienced by the Zen-novice. Through the dominance of intuition with ecstatic fulfillment, the normal individuation and ego-formation, are eliminated. "The most important thing is to loose the ego; ego has to be replaced by id (Es)" Herrigel describes still another stage of meditation exercise: "Submersion without a specific theme, i.e. without Koan." The meditating persori "is not focused any more to a certain question, but directed to unspoken questions, a final question which cannot be asked in words. It is not any more a matter of illumination through intuition,'but an illumination by union a state which can be obtained by protracted meditation." "Then it may happen that a person, deeply submersed, feels himself iri a luminescent darkness; he perceives appearance of light. Where they come frbrri and what it means, I do not know." I suppose that in these phenomena"reported by Gopi Krishna and others, we deal with an inner adaptation of the neural system to theawakenesssof consciousness, i.e. asymptomofthe high readiness of the noetic system, which, however, does not express itself in acts of the ego neither in constitution of things. "'"But then it happens, one does not know how: one feels as if swallowed up by a whirlpool, drawn to endless depths, then ejected suddenly returned to oneself. It is a kind of convulsive waking-up, not gradually but accompanied by" cold sweat... This Satori is perceived as a kind of knowledge; that what I was looking for is in me and all those things. This world, this thing here is it and is riot. It is something, but it is not the essence; it is void, but it is not nothing. It is existence and nothingness, nothingness and existence; both is right and both is wrong the moment one thinks it and expresses it." Everything is so simple as child's play, matter of fact, and one is in possession of complete freedom. This freedom is not only untouchable by gladness and suffering, love and hate, but to be able to experience both and nevertheless remain independent, not to lose oneself in them, not to vanish. And this is the difference with the zero-experience of the stoics: one is on top and inside and hot. Whoever came there is not purified by suffering neither destroyed by hatred, nor dragged by gladness, nor surrendered to love. He is surrendered because he is not. "The tendency of this behaviour is pure goodness, the only thing that grows in the same measure it disappears, "calmness, confidence, to be sustained (Getragen Seiri)." That could be an idealized description of the inner structure of a Zen-rriaster. I do report but do not have personal experience:" But according to man's tendencies, the described experience and behavior is possible. By weakening the individuation process in the fusion with the picture-phase of TS, we arrive at the first stage of Satori; by the additional openness for the super individual of TS in the noetic system, one arrives at the progressed stage of Satori. In this way, we get a systematic excavation of the typical individuation and constitution of the ego, obtained both from its initial as well as from its terminal phase. All

Buddhism and Zen


of TS in the noetic system, one arrives at the progressed stage of Satori. In this way, we get a systematic excavation of the typical individuation and constitution of the ego, obtained both from its initial as well as from its terminal phase. All the paradoxical formulations are then justified. The organization of communication processes in Satori does not prevent any more the connection of paradoxical stimulations (between cellular, gastrular, neural system; between inner and outer system) with the experience, because the individuation does not regulate these fusions but reduces them to unequivocal contents. The organization does not require any more that mental acts continue the individuation until the constitution of the nucleus of the ego, before they are, able to answer conscious contents. The super individual potential of TS in the noetic system takes effect before it is connected to the own-pole and is individualized. Weakening of individuation means limiting Thanatos' influence because actually Thanatos' intentions introduce individuation and complete it. Thus, Zen finds its place in the methods of inner adaptation; they reach a complete fulfillment because they do not consider the Thanatos' requirements to the full extent. It is a way of redemption and no doubt a powerful and well-founded way for those who master the method. However, because of this avoidance of Thanatos, it loses the stream of human evolution. It leads, though, to the salvation of the individual, while the noetic system is matter of groups of people, nations and states with its main task of redemption. Zen does not accept any responsibility for the future. "Whatever comes, comes," writes Herrigel. "Whoever arrives...; without complexes he can live from day to day and reach fulfillment and leave the future in the dark of fate." We ask whether this readiness to take everything for granted can be the answer to man's problems today. The evolution of man chose the Western and not the Eastern way; it took the way of Jewish, Greek and Christian civilization. Zen, however, deserves our interest as an accessible and .popular way to redemption. Zen is a translucent symptom of man's struggle for inner adaptation. It offers an insight in this struggle, especially when compared with western methods for inner adaptation.





HRISTIANITY AROSE FROM the Jewish religion, the Stoa, the Greek philosophy developed by Hellenism, the Gnosis and the •Mystery cult of those days, and with that development, Christianity became an essential factor in the evolution of the noetic system. When they became Christians, the pagans found a way appropriate to their nature, to guarantee their spirit a freedom in relation to the animal systems, made possible by European culture and science. The Greeks, being pagans, did not have this freedom though their spirit was highly developed. Their thoughts and values were too much attached to the senses and the body, to pictures and to beings observed in those appearances and were not able to realize independent intentional relationships. This kind of pagan became Christian. How was this transformation brought about? The description and interpretation of the history of this period is established so thoroughly and iri so many aspects that we want to single out here only those aspects relevant to the evolution of the human spirit. Palestine was ruled by Roman conquerors, the Jews suffered much from the taxes imposed by the Roman procurators. The cohesion between the various sections of the religious state was loosened as a.result of the intrusion of Greek-Hellenistic culture. The Saducees, an aristocracy of temple priests and wealthy people approxirriated the Romans for social reasons and wished to assimilate to their habits. The Pharisees were the middle class, looking after the spiritual world of Judaism by studying the Holy Writings and observing the laws and safeguarded themselves from



foreign influence. The great masses of the "population, without much education and means, were ideologically phariseic. Apocalyptic ideas about thedestructionoftheworld, and the coming of the Messiah announcing a better world, were widely spread. Actually, the messianic idea in the sense of the prophets represented a steady hope for the people, especially when repressed by foreign conquerors. When the Roman repression increased, the people's expectation took on direct, even illusionary, proportions. The Zealots pushed for armed revolt in order to force a time of new freedom; others, the Essenes, not less futureoriented, withdrew from the political situation and the official temple services and created a separate religious group existence. Compared with the requirements of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and the prophets, both society life as well as temple service were in a process of decline. In the eyes of the pious, the people lived in sin. Such pious people founded societies in which they would conduct a pure life closer to God. They developed new ways of inner adaptation to guarantee the dominance of the noetic system, ways which became more obvious to Jesus' disciples and became later on the foundation for Christianity. Influenced by Persian and Gnostic ideas, one was inclined in this period to regard the world as divided in a realm of Light and a realm of Darkness, a kingdom of Good and a kingdom of Evil. The Essenes, for example, adhered to such a radical separation. In the Qumran settlement, they lived according to the instructions of their founding father, called "Teacher of Justice," who later on was killed by a sacrilegious priest, a son of darkness. Now they were the people chosen by God, "a new covenant." Baptism and other purifying rituals played an important role in the initiation rites of this society and also in the everyday arrangements. Sensual enjoyments and everything that was regarded as carnality (carnal lust) was devaluated, marriage was advised against. Poverty was regarded as independerice from the strivings of sinful society. Life of the societies was very intensive, regulatedby laws and regulations. There was no private property. The end of the world and the coming of the Messiah were regarded as imminent by the Essenes. According to historians of that period; the arrangements of life and the religious idea of Jesus' group were quite similar to those of the Essenes. Whether there were mutual influences or not; both groups were struggling for a new phase of inwardness and tried to free themselves from animal systems. The noetic and the neural systems were very future oriented as a result of the belief inthe end of the world and the coming of the Messiah; the body and its requirements were not required as presence and were easily devaluated. Baptisms and purifications and strict adherence to noetically determined laws, were reinforced by the belief to be chosen and to belong to the Kingdom of Light. In that way the dominance of the noetic systenvwas guaranteed. The a-sexual brotherliness of the congregation and the renunciation of private property, contributed to a spiritual life. The wish to exist as a pure inner spirituality differentiates this sect from the Pharisees. The pious Jew tried to integrate the body requirements with


Creatbn and Evolutbn

the spiritual laws and did not fight them as the origin of sin and lack of cleanliness. He did not suppress them as the origin of sin. The dominance of the noetic system gained a different character as a result of the denial of the previous systems, a feature more prominent in the Paulihian foundation of Christianity. u Similar to the lifestyle of the Essenes are the spiritual movements of Hellenism such as the Stoa, the Gnosis, the rites of,the Mysteria: They are expressions of the intentions_of the noetic system, namely to dominate the animal systems and to.root the ego and consciousness of man in the world of the spirit. According to the ideas of the Stoa; the cosmos is an inspired living creature, whose matter was shaped by.Logos. It is divinity itself, or in other words, the divinity is the general law of nature and as such it is necessity and compulsion. Man has to understand himself in the framework of this complex. He has to recognize its existence as Logos existence and to perceive its identity in connection with the world,Logos. Likewise; its constitution should correspond with the arrangement in the cosmos, that is, God's polis, when the Logos is the prevailing law. (Bultmann) "If man lives according to the will of nature, all differences of rank and dignity become meaningless. Also the differences between slaves and free men; because all men are equal by mature and have the potential of freedom." From this quotation it is obvious that the Stoa projects the structure of man's noetic systern onto the cosmos and deifies the Logos. 1 Transcendental subjectivity in biosemiotics and the Logos of the Stoa, have related functions and actually the freedom of the ego is founded in a similar way. Man can be free if he differentiates between things which are at his disposal and things which are not at his disposal; "At his disposal is only his inner life, ideas; desires, and wishes; all the rest is not at his disposal, whatever comes from the outside, even his body and whatever there is good and evil, every external life situation, every fate which can hit irian." The relation of the spiritual acts and the transmissions of the other systems is interpreted here adequately and also the conclusion is drawn: "Health and illness,.exile or contempt, for the wise man everything serves one purpose: the preservation of his moral force and spiritual freedom. He withdraws in himself and recognizes in his own clear thoughts, the divine cosmic law, which he anyhow cannot change. He affirms it, he permits fate to do with him whatever it Wants and in that way he preserves his inner peace " This stoic form of inner adaptation, no doubt, is a magnificent demonstration of the dominance of the noetic system. If man identifies his own will, with the cosmic law, then he can adapt to any situation, because he regards it as necessary. Recognizing the necessity; the ego realizes its own freedom. This is a radical prescription that guarantees the ego's superiority at any time. In this way the ego solves the aim of man's inner adaptation through the evolution of inwardness towards.the dominance Of reason and inner freedom.



However, it is a one-sided solution only, limiting Eros, and iri constant readiness to withdraw from the conflictive nature of life. "Do you tempt the wise with money? He despises it! What does he care about the enjoyment of love, or darkness? What does he care about glory and shame? What does he care about fame or death? He is easily the.victor of everything." (Bultrhann) In these words of spiritual victory over everything, what can happen to man through its animal systems, one finds the stoic attitude of the Hellenistic world. But it is really an expression of pessimism, a lack of hopeful expectation of the future. Pessimistic attitudes and assessments of the human situation were popular at that time. At that time, the creative inwardness and Greek performances of art, poetry, philosophy and also Roman, accomplishments of military and political power, began to sink into oblivion. The absence of general, leading ideas, generated a kind of aimlessness in man, a lack of orientation and even of despair. The only values that counted were personal power and wealth. The laws were arranged in such a way that a small leading majority could accumulate more power and assets and the great masses were pauperized and enslaved. Such a situation, is a sign that IA became insufficient as a result of historical changes. Man lived in a. kind of crisis and "was looking for redemption. Christianity is not the only religion of redemption, but the mystery cults and the Gnosis are too. They preceded Christianity, developing parallel to Christianity, or competing with it. J The ardent desire for redemption was so strong because the immanent gods of the Greeks lost their influence, people did not believe in them"any more and in the same measure the observation of nature, people and events, gained more objectivity and scientific standing. This appeal to the noetic system, together with the corresponding increase of the freedom of thought and purposes, weakened the old spiritual ties and the feeling of order and security in the world. No new Values were transmitted that could reinforce the old, inner values in the new system. The continuation of religions, so typical for this period, is an expression of inner insecurity. In addition, there was the burden of the Roman occupation. Roman emperors requested tobe worshipped as gods, especially Caligula. Altars were built, the people were requested to pray to them, although they were monsters in their moral behavior. A reinforced dominance of the noetic system meant a salvation out of this condition. The spiritual and religious movements of this period tried to reach that goal, although it should be mentioned, that cults also existed with opposite purposes, namely the liberation of neural experiences from spiritual inhibitions and this through ecstatic orgies. More appropriate to the nature of the evolution was the development in upward direction to a spiritual sphere, transcending body and earth and corresponding with the superordinate functions of the noetic system, superordinate in relation to the animal systems.


Creation and Evolution

A higher phase in this orientation was the belief in the influence of the stars on terrestrial events and the astrology connected with it. Later on, the worship of the sun as the almighty god, which penetrates the whole world with its vital power, a "solar" pantheism, was prevalent in the Roman world during the reign of the emperors. True, the sun and the stars are located higher than the earth, but nevertheless, immanent in the world. Religious needs were looking for real transcendence, a spiritual reality beyond the world of appearances, which would be capable of putting man beyond the influence of the stars which— he believed — determined his fate. Here, only man's spiritual nature could lead him turning away from his body and external-rriaterial phenomena, and turning inwardly to his inner spirit and soul. The body was susceptible to death, but not the soul and the spirit. They belonged to a higher kingdom, a sphere of light and spirit or an immortal God, but during life they were like a prisoner incarcerated in the body. During the initiation of the mystery cult, the soul was reunited with God, to whom the cult was dedicated, and in this way, man became immortal. In more radical fashion: The human ego is a spark of a celestial light, exiled into darkness and longing for redemption, to return to its origin. A return from bodily, concrete life to the spiritual-reasonable life of the Stoa is not sufficient anymore; "because all concrete movements of life are poisoned, infested by demons and man has to save his spirit not only, from the body and the senses, but also from his s o u l . . . the anthropology of .Gnosis therefore is trifold, it differentiates between body, soul and self... What this self is, the actual ego, is not defined positively, but indirectly and negatively; it is like a pre-existent celestial spark Of light of transcendent magnitude; it is like a prerequisite of longing, of faith.. The Gnosis is not capable of giving a positive meaning to transcendence, because it cannot free itself from regarding the self as a substance, a spark of light, and seeing the fate of the ego within the category of events of nature." (Bultmann). The Gnosis'mythos reveals an incredible knowledge about conflicts of IA, with whom man in that period was struggling. We can easily "translate'' this mythos in terms of biosemiotic theory, if we identify the celestial light with transcendental subjectivity. Out of the other-worldliness of TS, the acts like sparks of light, flash into the experience processes of the neural system and are caught as ego, connected with the body. They are the noetic system. To permit this ego, connected to the body, to return to its origin, becomes a wish, a longing for redemption. But with every act the ego undertakes, it remains iri the system, in the body-soul reality., "The liberation cannot be accomplished by man himself as self-education or inner transformation." Only, if he receives a message from the other'world,, if he receives a "calling," sent by a messenger out of the world of light, then the element of the other world can be assimilated into the present world. And Bultmann goes on: "for the ego, the incorporation of the non-secular world is at the same time the consciousness of the absolute superiority of his world; he



recognizes this discovery as a revelation. The adult consciousness of the self understands that he is "called." "The belief in the truth of the "calling," which traditionally is received by a single person, would be the real gnostic existence. The belief .in the message, cosmological teaching as well as a cajl for penitence, means a call to wake up and to de-attach from things down here. This faith is at the same time hope for an eschatolpgical liberation including the ascension of the soul." This faith, this longing for Redemption and the way to Redemption, are similar to the lifestyle and ideas developed in Christianity. The " spirit of the age" fulfilled man with a striving to attach himself to a supernatural principle, with whom his ego could participate, although they could as bodily orgariisfns not be completely part of him. In this striving, they acted in concurrence with IA, evolution's way to a higher and more pure inwardness. The original Christian congregation was a Jewish sect. Ascertaining this fact of the connection with Judaism, covers only one aspect of the Christian religion. More important for the understanding of the historical development, is the radical contrast of the religious intentions. The Jew realizes his or her relations to God while keeping God's commands and prohibitions. The loyalty to law and perceptions guarantees the spirit the superiority of the noetic on the animal systems and leads to the integration of the drives and the moral commandments in an undivided man. Christianity denies this way to God. i The political fate of the Jewish people duririg the Roman occupation, the social conditions at that time, the increasing proletariat in Jerusalem, they all did not allow the development of ideals and joy in the future. Thewish and hope for a radical change was still alive in the poor and uneducated layer of the population and drew the old messianic promise to the point of an illusion. The end of the world, the day of judgment, the beginning of a new era, be at hand. Then Jesus appeared and taught the people a radical conversion to God as an answer to the expectation of a radical upheaval in the world. Jesus is full of God, lives out of communion with God, and teaches people to enter this communion. God is merciful and gracious. ManfallsshortofHis grace, if he only keeps the laws or arranges his life according to those laws or has standing in society. Success and honor do not count with God, only by humility and loving dedication may man receive God's grace. The Holy Ghost, partner of the Father and the Son in the trinity, enables man to take part in this communion. To describe the mode of action of the Holy Ghost, IquoteHendrikvanOyen: "The spirit of wisdom (Act. 6:10), the sense for knowledge (the gift for systematic reflection), the faiti% mentioned as a gift, because there are people whose faith.enables them to remove mountains (1 Cor. 13:2); gift of healing (Act 3:6 sqq), prophesying, speaking in tongues and its explanation." But not only the presentation of the power of the Holy Ghost, the whole New Testament makes it clear that in Jesus and the early Christians a new


Creatbn and Evolution

way of living, thinking and actirig developed; basically different from the pagans and basically different from the Jews. In the language of religion, Christ was a new creature, a revelation of God. From the point of view of the evolution of man, Christ taught a new tie of the soul to the spirit, accompanied with indifference or denial of thebody. The members of the congregation identified with Jesus in his love to God and rrian, manifested iri his suffering and death. That way they could free themselves from the body systems and direct themselves with spirit and soul to a kingdom of God, a kingdom that was accessible, by faith and hope, to their intuition. Thus, Jesus appeared to thefh as a being completely fulfilled with Eros, to such an extent, that Thanatos was eliminated by this overpowering love. The worldly orientation and also man's lethality go together with Thanatos' function in thebody systems. If these are removed to the background, death looses its impact. Jesus arose from death and when the kingdom of God comes, all dead will rise. "Death is swallowed by victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy-victory?" says Paul (1: Cor 15:55). By his life, teachings and expiatory death, Jesus became the superindividual eiribodiment of creative love and the creative spirit of God, a revelatiori which enabled rrian to identify-with and take part in this possibility to embrace all man as brothers. Agape, love guided by spirit, may give man inner freedom, surpassing the freedom of the intellect, because it does not oppose the demands of the body but overcomes them by surrender to mental and spiritual goals. As love of man, it applies to everybody regardless of natural tendencies (Anlagie), status, nation and on the basis of this love, Christianity could expand far beyond its Jewish origin. Two more properties of Christianity I would like to mention, quoting from Bultmann, two properties important for the evolution of the noetic system: One is the orientation to the future instead of the past. Being tied up in the past means life'with its habits and fulfilling the precepts of the law leading to self-justification of the ego. To a Christian, the past is unimportant, just as he also withdraws from the requirements" of the body. As a result, the own pole, the self, the ego, is denuded from content and is surrendered to faith, hope and the grace of God. According to the words of St. Paul, the original sin of man manifests itself in man's striving for righteousness by works only. In that striving, it is obvious that man boasts of his own power and in that way gains standing with God. In boasting and by boasting, man bases himself on what he has, of himself as the past. The renunciation of his boasting, the abandonment of everything that looks like a benefit and to regard this all as liabilities and even dirt (excrement). "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (Phil 3:7)" This sentence leaves man surrendering to the grace of God. Faith does not mean anything else as a radical openness to the future, always on the way, without a known goal. The openness to the future, even if God Will impose suffering, guarantees the ego freedom from mental acts, necessary for the active dominance of the noetic system, which in itself, favors the evolution of this systern.



An additional guarantee for the dominance of the noetic system, is the doctrine of pneuma. In accordance with Gnostic ideas, man receives prieuma through the act of baptism. Pneuma is from that moment active as divine power. Pneuma determines the new form of practical behavior. It is a new possibility of life and freedom disclosed by God's grace. It is man's potential, freed from cosmic powers. This freedom generates the consciousness of a superiority, a certain knowledge, that "neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, norjrieight, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." (Rom 8: 38). This kind of superiority also generated an independence of the world, an attitude of distance towards political and social realities. Bultmann also calls this attitude a dialectic relation of participation with inner distance. No doubt, this attitude favored the scientific endeavors of the monks and scholars in the Christian medieval era of Europe and also in Modern Times. For example: Copernicus had to take distance from the apparent situation that contrasted with his discovery that the earth orbits the sun and not the opposite. The Christian religion corresponded with the spirit of the age and was an adequate expression of the state of man's evolution at that time. For comparison I quote here the vision of Philo of Alexandria who lived from 25 BC to 25 AD, "The creative power of God manifests itself in the logos, which mediates between God and the world." The Logos is also called the only begotten son of .God, prototype of the world and the world spirit. Out of chaos, God created the world through the mediation of his son Logos. Those ideas are not only related to the Christian dogma, they bear also similarity to the metaphysical prerequisites of .biosemiotics if you replace Logos with TS. The reason for this similarity is clear. At that time, one was looking for a new step into inwardness and spiritualization of life, as is expressed in Philo's philosophy 1 and especially in Christianity. This.inwardness is a reaction to the alienation (externalization) of the. religious life that deteriorated in ritual acts and superstitions, which, in the late Hellenistic period; were borrowed from foreign religions. European-history shows how man's intentions changed during the period from early Christianity to Modern Times, from inner -values to external values. One can make objections to this statement. But I. want to propose this thesis in its simple format as a phenomenon of evolution in the history of European man, because it emphasizes a basic trend in this development. It is the biosemiotic scheme of evolution of the noetic system; its active dominance over the neural, the gastrular, the cellular and finally the picture-phase of communication, and together with these changes,,we observe a tendency from inner to outer adaptation.


Inner Cultural Reflection


Adaptation His


in of



ofNeurally-experienced Life in the Middle



OR EXPEDIENCE SAKE, we depart from two conclusions, suggested already above, and which are close to our presentations of Christianity. Between the Christian trinity: God-Christ-Holy Ghost and the biosemiotic principles God-transcendental subjectivity-spirit (noetic system); there is some analogy. One may say that our principles are chosen according to European spiritual traditions and from there the correspondence. But that is not so simple. When developing biosemiotic theory, I did not think of Christianity at all. Only when reading Teilhard de Chardin's works and studying the "history of Christianity, was I struck by the analogy. Both the Christian religion as well as biosemiotic theory, depart from God as a transcendentally working'creative power of the world and its evolution. The meeting of pagan religions with their immanent gods arid the Greek Hellenistic philosophy and science with the Jewish religion of a transcendental God, predisposed the belief in a mediator between the world and its transcendental origin. This role of mediation was fulfilled by Christ, which is a central issue in Teilhard de Chardin's christology. Similarly, transcendental subjectivity in biosemiotic >theory occupies'a place between divine creative intention and the material world. TS is the mediator of meaning in the revealed appearances of this intention. Finally, there is the analogy between the Holy Ghost of Christian trinity and the spirit as function of the noetic system of man. The Holy Ghost is connected with Christ and God; the human spirit with TS and God. Christianity put man in such a structure and orientation corresponding

Inner Adaptation in the Cultural History of Europe


with the dynamic powers of its evolution. First and foremost, we have to emphasize the radical inwardness characterizing the lifestyle and teachings of Christ. The preparation-for the kingdom of God was at stake; a new spiritual world, substituting for the expected destruction of the bodily material world. Hence, a'derogatory attitude towards the material reality and whatever was transmitted by animal systems, and an over-estimation of mental-spiritual reality transmitted by neural and noetic systems. Religions of revelation and redemption, like Christianity, promised knowledge through enlightenment and salvation through revelation, and in this w a y differed from the reason of Greek-Roman pagans, which was dependent on the animal systems. The Christians learned how to find the value and goal of life in the iriner faith and in that way, they learned to concentrate on noetic-neural functions. The communications" in the world of their faith were-transmitted by noetic-neural functions exclusively. Thus, Christians were prepared, predisposed, to experience ecstatically the martyr's death at the stake, because they dissociated from the burning body. Likewise, the fate of the human soul, the fear of the punishment of hell and the expectation of salvation of heaven, became the center of their interests. Tertullianus, who was one of the first Christian philosophers, was of the opinion that the true Christian is "an angel riding the tamed beast of sensuality." This example presents a clear picture of the relation between higher and animal systems. The process of inwardness of the neural-noetic dominance in this period, is described by Augustinus: "Do not look outside, turn inwardly; in the inner parts lives the Truth." However, this human truth is dependent on the "certain eternal truths which are rooted in God"; it means, if one wishes to think these thoughts, one needs an intensification of inwardness, which leads to God. This turning inwardly, makes Augustinus, the founder of ego-psychology with its capacity to will and to think as a functional form of inwardness in the noetic-neural mediation. Another expression of the noetic-neural dominance is the development and organization of the Christian Church. The political organization of the Roman Empire with its hierarchy of power division and the center of power in Rome, no doubt influenced the ecclesiastical hierarchy with its bishops, priests, deacons and the pope. Both hierarchies are noetic-neural structures and both are influenced by the tendency for social scales (rank and file within the group) stemming frofn the animal systern. However, the sources of the hierarchical system are different. The organization of the Empire was characterized by a great power and wealth of the ruling circles in relation to the dominated ranks, in the first place in Rome, but later on also in regard to the conquered other nations and states. Here we deal more with outer adaptation in the dominance of the noetic over the previous systems, which was expressed in the political authority. The Church taught its hierarchy based on the teachings of the Gospels and the books of the Apostles. This teaching in itself was a process of inner


Creatbn and Evolution

adaptation to Christ and to the Holy Ghost emanating from him. This power came from above, from God and was divided and distributed by the Church in stages of holiness. The Church understood that it was the body of Christ and wished to continue its mission, and gather the people in a holy congregation and in a new covenant with God. The Christian teaching and the Church had a great attraction in the early Middle Ages, because they offered entry into an inner and super mundane (heavenly) kingdom, and offered to human potential (in the form of noetic-neural connection) hew possibilities for .development and fulfillment. At that time.the Church was not involved with the political-economic reality and the resulting conflicts. The priests lived and believed with their dedication and authority, that these conflicts could be solved. Nevertheless, the Church in the course of the medieval era, took over the spiritual management also in political and social spheres. The Church in its structure and operations, was an ideal1 expression of a supernaturally determined noetic-neural dominance, which was present in all peoples after the decline and destruction of the Roman Empire. Also this was a result of the laws of evolution. People did not join groups out of economic necessity only, but were also lead by spiritual motives. These groups were lead by feudal lords or by the Church in its hierarchical organization. These structures did not arise solely as a result of the power of the feudal lords or the powerlessness of the vassals and bondsmen, but was inspired also by the responsibility of the first and the fidelity of the latter. In that way, feudal organizations came into being, self-supporting and with inner cohesion, though sometimes fighting with similar communities. A mostessential factor in all this, sometimes prominent and sometimes in the background, was the Christian faith with its call for fraternal love to all man. The noetic and neural systems are pure inner systems: The world of the Christian faith, mediated by those systems, was able to arouse in the rather primitive people, a considerable measure of inwardness, intensive longing for the heavenly things that we can only imagine with difficulty, because we have a different interpretation of brain functions. "Life in medieval Christianity is penetrated in all its relations by religious ideas and is even saturated by it. There is no object or act that is not referred to Christ or to faith. Everything is based on religious convictions." (Huizinga p. 214) Troeltsch emphasized other traits mediated by the noetiCTneural (dominance, for example, the personal freedom propagated by Christianity. This personal freedom collided sometimes with the blind obedience requested by the authorities, but. on the other hand it guaranteed the solidity of contracts and allegiances. In the total population, but particularly in the cities, this freedom led to the development of guilds, corporations of people in the same profession, brotherhoods characterized by the same dress and lifestyle, emphasizing the differences with other groups. * The rriedieval society was not organized in single persons, but predominantly, in.groups and this again corresponds with a neural

Inner Adaptation in the Cultural History of Europe


transmission and .riot a gastrular one that appears later. Particularly the higher ranks, the knights and the noblemen, had a professional honor, whose maintenance demanded severe requirements. The knightly duties and manners impregnated the sphere of the courts and nobility similarly to the Christian faith; and it was a moral ideal, related to piety and virtue. But the nucleus was of an aesthetic nature, arrogance elevated to beauty. "Out of thestylized and elevated arrogance honor was born, the central axis of life of the nobility." (Huizinga p. 91) Arrogance and professional hohor'pfesup poses a hierarchy of current social values, and this again, corresponds with the noetic-neural dorriinance of this period. A tendency for ascesis and sublimation of sexuality likewise is derived from this dominance. The body and its demands, the material reality at all, were supposedly not important for the knights. The knights of the monastic orders in the time of the Crusaders and the Templars, were monks. The idea to liberate Jerusalem, the birthplace of Christianity, out of the hands of the infidels, was greeted with great enthusiasm. The journey to remote regions, adventures, fights for the sake of an ideal, accompanied by picturesque tales and fantasies, this all is typical for noetic-neural inwardness. Even more characteristic for this mental attitude is the kind of love of a knight fora woman: "The deep trend of ascesis, of courageous self-sacrifice, typical for the ideals of the knights, is related to the erotic basis of this lifestyle, and is possibly the ethical reversal of ungrateful longings. The need to provide a noble style and form to love finds its expression in courteous behavior, social games, jesting and sport. In all these areas, love is sublimated and romanticized." (Huizinga p. 103/4) It is not relevant to analyze all the appearances of knighthood. We only want to indicate that it is a symptom of an inner condition, representing a phase according to the laws of evolution. In this inner condition we see the development of the. dominance of the spirit over the human experience forms. The knighthood disappears just like other peculiarities of medieval culture, because the spirit produces new aspects out of the experience matrix of man. And philosophy, and even the way of thinking in general, shows the characteristic traits of the evolution of this period. Medieval thinking is looking for the roots of its ideas; the actual reality can be experienced noetic-neurally only in its inner aspects. In order to know the essence of something one does not look for its inner structure not to its history, but one looks upward to the heavens, where the ideas are. The habit to connect everything with an idea is typical for the medieval way of treating any political, social or moral problem. Even the most trivial everyday phenomenon is regarded in its universal connection." (Huizinga p.311). With these words Huizinga characterizes exactly the noetic-neural connection of medieval thinking.



The Reflection


Beginning of Gastrular

of Modern Mediated






ISTORIANS DISAGREE WHETHER we can determine the end of the medieval period and the beginning of Modern Times and whether at all such a differentiation is justified. But the change is obvious: 17th century man stands in a different world compared with 13th century man. Ideas of a supernatural sphere, heaven and hell, sin and purgatory, which fascinated the medievals, disappear gradually. The reality of nature and environment and the own bodily existence gain importance and significance. It is a turn from dominant neural to dorninant gastrular, from a pure inner system to a leading outer system. All the phenomena indicative of a developing humanism are very instructive in this respect. Instead of God and the images of the world-tocome, man and his reality become the center of interest and not man as a type, a representative of a social class or group out of the social organization of the Middle Ages, butmanasasingleindividual in hisconcreteappearance. In the gastrular type of communication, reality is perceived as a giveri body, spontaneously moving or resisting the movement impulses of the subject. In these alive bodies and their bodily environment, the secret and miracle of our existence is hidden. __ But this body is not permanent: Man dies, the body as flesh falls apart; only the bones, the skeleton remains. We could overcome this fate easier if we occupied our minds with pictures of a life in the hereafter: There was the purgatory; there was heavenly bliss. The Church was prepared to alleviate the liberation of the soul from the purgatory by means of-indulgence money. Anxiety and hope characterized the fate of the soul. However, when the preoccupation with the human soul diminished during the course of the

The Beginning of Modern Times and the Reflection of Gastrular Mediated Experiences


Middle Ages and bodily existence on earth became more important, death became a theme, d e a t h . . . the end of bodily existence. The new awareness of death could not be incorporated in.the Christian point of view, because it was not abstract and not limited to the general complaint of mortality. It now became a mental problem and added significantly to the individual suffering. "From the beginning of the XV century, the Dance of Death almost became a dimension of the collective feelings. One presented it in the theatres, wrote literary compositions about it, painted it in frescos in the churches, cloisters and cemeteries. The Dance of Death bec'amie one of the first collective expressions of secular culture. The whole society celebrated here the harsh encounter with bodily finiteness." Together with the disappearance of hope of an existence hereafter, we see the development of a wish to linger on beyond death by means of fame acquired by the individual. Monuments, tombstones and portraits served this purpose. Especially in the paintings, a thirst for everlasting human presence is expressed. An intensive study of the objective bodily appearance is observed. A new appraisal of antique art and Greek and Roman literature was the result of the fact that monuments and other cultural presentations were capable.of immortalizing a person even after his or her death. One was looking for concrete ideals of this world instead of those of the other world, characteristic of the Middle Ages. Antique arts provided the best example for this aspiration. .True, in this interest in the past, there is an element of neural attitude. However, with the bodily monuments of this past, this interest fulfilled already gastrular intentions. The revival of the Antiquity indicates only one side of the humanist movement, expressing the new spirit of the age. Instead of the world of the Church, we see a secular culture, a new European secular society. In its center stands man, independent, energetic with his joy in life and his creative potential. Theauthors of volume 12of Fischer's Weltgeschichte(Ruggiero Romano and Alberto Tenenti) are therefore of the opinion that it is more correct to speak of humanism (and not of Renaissance) if one wishes to characterize the spiritual movement indicating Modern Times. "We preferred the concept humanism to describe the many aspects dedicated to the highest cultural accomplishments, produced by the West between 1450 arid 1550. (p. 145) "Humanism tried to replace the hierarchical spiritual system of the Middle Ages with an approach tending to individualization but on the other hand, aspired a fraternal connection between man. Its ambition to emphasize the dignity of the individual tends to affirm the general value of humanity and nature." a clear expression of the transition from neural to gastrular system in the evolution of the function of mental acts. Corresponding with this change, religion arid science separate. In the Middle Ages, under the influence of the neural system as primary inner system, man answered the


Creation and Evolution

questions of communication with the world with an answer based on faith. Knowledge was subordinate (inferior) to faith. At thebeginning of Modern Times, man concentrated more and more on a gastrular level of communication, that is, on knowledge and research by means of facts collected by its sensory organs. Man becomes an empiricist, the ideal world of pure faith loses importance and interest. As an example of this gastrular tendency, we see a lively interest in the mechanical movement of bodies and a study of the laws of mechanics. These laws can be formulated mathematically and present man with new possibilities for experiments. It enables man to understand the behaviour and movements of j man on earth and of the celestial bodies, and to'make use of this knowledge. As a result of this new attitude to nature or according to the biosemiotic point of view,asaresultoftheutilization of gastrular knowledge, Copernicus, Galilei,-Kepler and Newton, laid the foundation of ['modern physics and for modern scientific research in general. This scientific breakthrough led to a new attitude to technology. "Since the middle of the XV century, those acts which were designed in the Middle Ages as 'mechanical,' enjoyed a high prosperity." Leonardo declared that "according to man, knowledge stemming from experience is mechanic; knowledge originating from the spirit is regarded as scientific; however,*I am of the opinion that science; not based on experience, the mother of certainty, is vain and erroneous." p. 186 The building of enormous churches was a challenge to technical knowledge and so were the developing army equipment, and these again forced the scientists to determine exactly the laws of mechanics." The era which was to be called Modern Times, was characterized byan accelerated increase of knowledge or in other words by an increased rate of applicability of intellect, "(p.191) The requirements of everyday life became more important to scholars than the moral-religious world of yesterday. This was the period when watches-were developed to measure time exactly; one started to describe more exactly the geography of the continents and oceans and was assisted in this task by .the increasing knowledge of astronomy. Great discoveries were made, the conquest of the Americas, Africa's west coast, the circumnavigation of Africa on the way to India and the circumnavigation of South America by Magellan. A new image of the earth, closer to reality, came about. All these accomplishments of Modern Times testify to the gastrular intentionality and its influence on the spirit of the age. Man planned to arrange himself in a new way towards the bodily reality of his environment and to obtain, new knowledge from it. An important result of all this was the increased productivity. More and more was produced in agriculture as well as in industry, and surpluses were traded in business locally as well as overseas. Far away countries came into closer contact, which in its turn stimulated the development of technology. Another symptom of the change in the world of values was the different behavior.of the dignitaries of the Catholic Church, who used to represent the spiritual attitude directed to the world to come. In the second half of the XV and the beginning of the XVI century the Pope became more and more

The Beginning of Modern Times and the Reflection of Gastrular Mediated Experiences


a secular monarch "because he dealt with other Catholic powers first and foremost as an Italian monarch and subordinated the requirements of the Church to his secular,'personal and familiary interests." "The Popes imitated their royal contemporaries also in that they regarded their territories not so much as the apostle Peter's property but rather regarded it as their own personal assets." Neither did they neglect the acts of war in order to increase their power, and one Pope, Julius 11(1503-1513) conducted a war at the head of his troops. A radical secularization in the style of gastrular intention, had taken place. But also, the reaction against this secularity of religion, leading to a new period, the Reformation, was likewise born out of gastrular intentionality. The carriers of the old ecclesiastical organization tried to enrich themselves as individuals, the Protestants were looking for a new way of inwardness of religion, but did this also as individuals relating personally to God. The gastrular emphasis on independence of the individual and the personal engagement to improve one's own interests, is observed in the first case directed at material gain and external power, and i n the second case directed at the right of a personal faith independent from the dogma's of the Catholic Church. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and many other subgroups appeared.and gained supporters expressing the newly acquired tendency of the human soul to protest. The fact that this protest was followed by terrible persecutions of the new communities such as the Huguenots in France and by religious wars such as the 30-year war (1618-1648), indicates a neural intention, manifested by the tendency of activity and aggression resulting from the gastrular opinionatedness. An essential step on the way to Reformation was the intensive Bible study, started by the North-European humanists." The wish to read the Scriptures in an unadulterated fashion, originated no doubt out of piety. Because one regarded the Bible as the custodian of the divine revelation, it is estimated Christian duty to read it in its purest form. But behind this wish was hidden a demand for confirmation of anew spirituality which contrasted With the traditional and conventional of the Middle Ages." The gastrular trait here is the personal attention to the concrete text of the Bible and the own activity to obtain understanding against the authority of the dogmas. Also Giordano Bruno taught to de-attach the personal relation to God from the mediation by the Church; because of his heretical teachings he was incarcerated by the Inquisition of Rome during many years and burnt in 1600 because he did not revoke his opinions. Bruno took over ideas of Nicholas of Kues (Cusanus), a catholic cardinal and philosopher who in addition to traditional medieval themes, proclaimed also modem attitudes and interests. Cusanus taught the spherical form of the earth and its rotation about its own axis already before Copernicus. He proposed methodical scientific experiments. His speculations about God as the creative origin of the world, his principles of "docta ignorantia" and "coincidentia oppositorum" come close to the metaphysics we chose ourselves for our investigations.

Creatbn and Evolutbn, Bruno emphasizes more God's immanence in the world. But even his pantheism differentiates between God and His emanating world-soul, which creates everything and supplements it.with a soul. Bruno calls the smallest particles, both material and psychical, monads just like Cusanus did and expressed in that way the displacement of neural