Civics of World-View Symbols

Reflections on World-View Symbols
(Wisdom of the Universe in a Pictorial Symbol)

This series of reflections explores a variety of World-view pictorial symbols in the hope each reflection inspires the reader to better appreciate the symbols they are devoted to and to seek ways of making them more truly sustainable.

Introduction


Pictorial symbols have the potential to be a universal vocabulary in that they can transcend words, thoughts, spoken languages, locations, cultures, species and paradox.

This last capacity is very important because it is probable that all forms of sentient existence involve the experience of paradox in some form. It is certainly important for Mankind because our survival, whether as individual beings or as a species, is contingent on our capacity to transcend paradox.

Why is this capacity so important? The reason is that paradox is an anathema to the human ego, which is an exclusive, divisive, dualistic force that arises in any moment of self-awareness.
Without the inclusive, cohesive, holistic force of compassion, the ego traps us in paradox. Thus our general language and behaviour becomes both delusional and dissonant with the universal balances that sustain us. Put simply, we become selfish, greedy and deceitful to the point of self-destruction.

In other words, we are our symbols and this matters because they simultaneously reflect and generate our world-view, for better and for worse. Hence it is wise to explore and reflect on our most potent pictorial symbols to ensure they best align with the principles of physics and sustain humankind.

Background

These reflections were initially inspired by Kate Raworth’s “Doughnut Economics” symbol and its re-imagining as the “Te Reo Maori Doughnut” by Teina Boasa-Dean and Juhi Shareef. These inspired my own attempt in the form of the “Mobius Loop of Life” symbol and my reflections on the “Yinyang” symbol (exemplifying high quality physics) and the “Greenhouse World” (exemplifying poor quality physics).

Method of Evaluation

In retrospect, the evaluation of the symbols was done according to the following intertwined criteria:

(1) Physics: their relative compliance and denial of the principles of physics.
(2) Words: their use of words.
(3) Holism: their degree of exclusion and inclusion.
(4) Psyche: the degree of balance between the compassion and the ego.
(5) Paradox: their general capacity to enable us to transcend paradox.

Summary Reflections

(1) Physics: Very poor – major denial of the Conservation of Energy Principle (energy is conflated and equated with forms of energy).
(2) Words: The Crown dialect of English (Unsustainable, post- “English Combustion Revolution” language.
(3) Holism: very limited – dualistic (e.g. Ecological v Social systems).
(4) Psyche: ego-derived, lacking compassion.
(5) Paradox: poor capacity to enable us to transcend paradox.


Te Reo Maori Doughnut (Teina Boasa-Dean et al, Aotearoa NZ 2019)

(1) Physics: Very poor – major denial of the Conservation of Energy Principle (energy is conflated and equated with forms of energy).
(2) Words: The Crown dialect of Te Reo Maori (transliteration and translation of post-“English Combustion Revolution” language).
(3) Holism: very limited – dualistic (e.g. Ecological v Social systems).
(4) Psyche: ego-derived, lacking compassion.
(5) Paradox: poor capacity to enable us to transcend paradox.

The Mobius Loop of Life symbol. (Dave McArthur, Aotearoa NZ 2021)


(1) Physics: derived from study of the Conservation of Energy Principle.
(2) Words: sustainable dialect of English (Pre-“English Combustion Revolution” language).
(3) Holism: moderate to extensive, particularly in 3D form.
(4) Psyche: some balance between the ego and compassion.
(5) Paradox: though limited by words, this symbol retains potent capacity to enable us to transcend paradox in its 3D form.

The Yin~yang symbol
Ancient China 3000 BCE?)

(1) Physics: derived from study of solar dynamics. Good grounding in principles of energy.
(2) Words: wordless. Has associated dialects of Asian languages.
(3) Holism: extensive.
(4) Psyche: significant balance between the ego and compassion.
(5) Paradox: though two dimensional, this wordless symbol retains potent capacity to enable us to transcend paradox.

(1) Physics: derived from a Man-made construct. Involves profound conflation and confusion of thermodynamic principles.
(2) Words: wordless. Unsustainable dialect of English (Post “English Combustion Revolution” language).
(3) Holism: very limited, dualistic (Man v Universe).
(4) Psyche: extreme ego-driven, little compassion.
(5) Paradox: very poor capacity to enable us to transcend paradox.

We are our symbols and, without compassion, the ego can easily have us make them be our worst enemy.

Reflections on the Doughnut Economics symbol

Reflections on Te Reo Maori Doughnut symbol

Reflections of the Mobius Loop of Life symbol

Reflections on the Yin~yang symbol

Reflections on the Greenhouse World symbol

First draft 31 October 2021