THE INTEGRITY PAPERS - James N. Rose Genre - Benking - US Website

Computation for Metaphors, Analogy and Agents: An International Workshop

University of Aizu, Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Japan, 6-10 April 1998

Metaphors          Life-Like Agents         Imitation & Embodiment         Analogies

Heiner Benking
(University of Ulm, Germany)
Sharing and Changing Realities with Extra Degrees of Freedom of Movement

Sharing and Changing Realities
with Extra Degrees of Freedom of Movement


Heiner Benking

"The only really new paradigm
would be to find the level of consciousness
where every known paradigm originates."
               Georg Kuehlewind



What realities can be

        First of all, realities can be real or abstract, synthetic or imagined. The moment we embody realities and are able to share them, they become real for us. The critical step is accepting or resisting them, for their existence is unquestionable, as we realize form and content, functions, positions, proportions and consequences. This article is designed to bring such realities of Life and Society into awareness by plotting and editing them in old forms and new, the combined and sharable spaces which we can call : situation or problem-learning-solution spaces. It is important to accept, address and focus them, instead of dismissing them as flat facsimiles or imaginary, not sharable, subjective shadows. Such a merging, modifying and playing instead of fighting realities, as we do and can not fight the ugly nightmare or dream of a child by trying to discuss it away with words and hollow arguments.
        What we are talking about here is mental mobility, as the most natural and cheapest form of healing. We are talking about creating and editing categories and boundaries, and bridging cultures, mind-sets and forms of representations. Changing focus, subjects and objects of attention.

Additional degrees of freedom (mental mobility). How do we gain them?

  • First, change the optic: lenses, views, pictures, perspectives,...
  • Second, play with maps, models, paradigms and world-views (I would like to call it Views of Life&Nature) and accept co-existent and coherent representations (going beyond dualistic right or wrong and hierarchical orders as the only possible model)
  • Third, change positions and integrate/orchestrate even incompatible views, perspectives, and models.
  • Finally, imagine and design a continuum or Navigation and Orientation Space consisting of each three dimensions in three connected spaces - Cognitive Panorama (3Space/Time).

1. Change the optic:   lenses and perspectives

        For any possible model there is an important potential of applying optical laws, since we know that physical references hold equally as well for the abstract and conceptual worlds.  First the spaces have to be deep or nested three-dimensional, spaces we can approach from different angles. We can pan and zoom to get to deeper levels or other 'planes'.   As the integration of eyes, worms-eye, fish-eye, human's eye, bird's eye, public eye and mind's eye has been covered elsewhere we can use the analogy of optics to augment the human intellect and realise that the angles and perspectives, beside the way we record our 'pictures', decide if we can create stereoscopic or even holographic models. Seeing with new eyes and sharing our 'impressions' is definitely a new way to construct 'realities'.
        It should be mentioned that reflecting on representations reminds us that realities are cast quite differently and very subjectively, sometimes seemingly unconnected and alien, forming totally different opposing pictures -  pictures which can cause totally different emotions, attitudes we experience when looking at pictures taken from one object with different objectives or wave-lengths.

                                        Complexity:                                             Transparency:
                             Hostile to any participation               Ready for exchange and participation

    igel2.gif (4123 bytes)              giitter.gif (2196 bytes)   

Fig. 1: Positions and Perspective, not only models, guide perception and create transparency or anxiety. Morellet Sphere, Rive Gauche Gallery, Brussel, photo: A.J.N. Judge - Many further examples can be found in the study of body language. Poses and gestures are seen and interpreted quite differently when seen other perspectives.

2. Change the maps, models, and paradigms

Central dilemmas include the lack of global or wholistic pictures, and oversimplistic flat paradigms.   No doubt, reductionistic, materialistic and hierarchical approaches have their merits and help for many processes, but they can be easily misused and cause much harm when combined with overclaims used in applications beyond their scope and validity. Western Industrial Society for example seems to be lost in  fixation on hierarchical representations and nominalism. Complexity and Ideas and Images are screened out and everything is put into the straightjacket of monontone hierachical and unimaginate 'orders'.
        Representations like paradigms are given paths. We typically use them in one domain to have a guideline to achieve something or go somewhere. The knowledge tree and bibliographic classification systems are only one example of how we avoid complexity by moulding it into linear and sometimes oversimplistic orders. Such representations support a simple and easy to remember structure, especially if computers are used to handle large volumes of data.
        Typically they are easy to understand and are even practical when used inside their known (often not consciously reflected) boundaries or limitations.   It would be silly to blame a map, model or paradigm for being wrong but it is our linear and dualistic education and View-of-Life, which makes us blame others when it encourages us to cultivate oversimplifications and overclaims, instead of paying attention to underlying rules, ranges and limitations.

Chem-11.gif (11256 bytes)  Chem-22.jpg (13245 bytes)  Chem-33.jpg (12174 bytes)
Chem-44.jpg (11946 bytes) Chem-66.jpg (24821 bytes) Chem-99.jpg (23744 bytes)
Fig. 2: Alternative presentations of the periodic table or layout of chemical elements

The above is a selection of pictures from Functional Classification, Appendix 4 pp.1763, Vol. 3 Yearbook of International Organisations as reproduced in part from J.W. van Spronsen, The Periodic System of Chemical Elements, a history of the fist 100 years, Elsevier 1969, and the display, the 'Magic Square' form a recently conceived and published design based on number theory as published in: Michael Stelzner, Die Weltformel der Unsterblichkeit " Vom Sinn der Zahlen " Die Einheit von Naturwissenschaft und Religion VAP Wiesbaden, 1996, ISBN 3-922367-70-4. In chapter 3: The Third Dimension, p 369-370.

        The last model, the 'magic square' matrix,  is not typically known, or 'accepted', it might be even called arbitrary by some scholars. Nevertheless, this new design is highlighted here to show that there is an ongoing search for new models which are simple and complete and insightful!  AND which make sense for certain, given purposes or quests for knowledge, open to being amended, improved or even discarded by further developments or insights, earning acceptance in some eyes .. one day.
         All these displays are arbitrary and have their own validity and perspective/purpose, being coherent and fulfilling of those purposes.    They show the extent of knowledge, perspective or detail called for at a given time, and in given frames, display a true picture according to the objectives or course of discovery of what we know or how we master the art of mapping and modeling of Nature.  Most of the stages in finding a model of reality were faithful and helped us to ask new questions and see new connections, in retrospect is the epistemology of what and how we know something, even if we can not always appreciate in the moment what is most exciting or revealing or important.

        The matrix or a three-dimension scaffolding can hold many different schema or orders. The work of Anthony Judge and I. Dahlberg are covered to great depth in other publications, so we invite you to visit the site of the authors and go to 'source' the original works (see in particular and the overview and historical orientation article 'Functional Classification' by A. J. N. Judge).   These backgrounds indicate that we can design or construct deeper logical and coherent orders. The agreement on such anticipatory schema to map items allows us to switch between schemata and gives rise to much hope for bridging cultural repositories and making available sources which now are hard to locate and access. This gives much hope for further projects in the field of archiving and cultural navigation.  See in particular: Veltmann, K.H.: Frontiers in Conceptual Navigation, ISKO Conference on multimedia applications, to appear in 'Knowledge Organization' early 1998.


3. Change positions and purpose to relate/integrate/orchestrate
                'incompatible'views, perspectives, and models.

        The integration of such different views of reality or nature is seen as an important step towards tolerance.  It is simplistic to make us aware that we only see different pictures of a reality, like entering a village from different directions or looking from above or just out of a certain window or door (frame).  To create a complete framework of views, bridging all the scales, perspectives and intentions under which pictures were recorded, will never be possible.   Yet it is possible through education and experience to create a picture of the whole, keeping in mind the resolution and purpose of the 'frame-construction', and the open willingness to question the construction, since different time or wave-lengths or -widths might lead to different models and re-imaginations.

        As there seems to be some misconception about maps or matrixes (some considered widely authoritative or final),   we will show below -- or give reference to -- approaches to order and see in one image a coherent layout of indexes of data or knowledge under a given perspective. The difference between any scaffolding, matrix or layout to the following two classification schemes can be assessed by the following criteria:

              1) Is the layout simple, easy to remember, logical, coherent and complete?, or,
              2) is it far from any organized higher order only a mess or chaos of data?

        Figure 4 is a matrix proposed 15 years ago for providing an index for knowledge ideally suited for library access, even in different languages, allowing to switch between or link other classification schemes. Figure 4 is a system conceived to keep the inner and higher order as far as possible in mind, but compromising for the sake of specific applications and purposes.  Functional Classification,  Figure 3b was developed to index and update large volumes of data from International Organizations. We refer you to example literature like the overview articles of A.J.N. Judge on Functional Classification, and the work of this author in multilingual, meta-databases, terminology and harmonization projects: link <**>.  Please note that other representations, besides the well established hierarchical tree-structures, are readily available and feasible for data storage and retrieval, notably in multilingual, multi-cultural, and interdisciplinary areas of applications.

                           A Universal Ordering System                                       An Integrative Matrix
                         for Disciplines and Phenomena                                    of Human Preoccupations 

  Matrix columns   Matrix levels   Matrix columns  Matrix levels


9 Culture Distribution and Synthesis


9 Condition of the whole Experiential (modes of awareness)


8 Science & Information Application and Determination


8 Environmental manipulation  Experiential values


7 Economic & Technology Technology and Production


7 Resource redistribution Innovative change (context strategies)


6 Socio Institution or Content


6 Communication reinforcement  Innovative change (structure)


5 Human Persons or Content


5 Controlled movement  Concept formation (context) 


4 Bio Property Attribute


4  Contextual renewal  Concept formation (structure)


3 Cosmo & Geo Activity, Process


3  Differentiated order Social action (context)


2 Energy & Matter Object, Component


2 Organized relations  Social action (structure)


1 Form & Structure  Theories, Principles


1 Domain definition Biosphere


0 Subject Areas General Form Concepts


0 Formal pre-conditions Cosmosphere/Geosphere

                          Fig. 3a                                                                Fig. 3b
    Information Coding Classification                             Functional Classification
                    I. Dahlberg (c)                                                         A.Judge

        The above are only two from many possible ways to structure knowledge in a coherent and meaningful way. It is important to realize that many further matrixes or maps are possible and feasible. What we learn from these exercises into ways of structuring information is, that 1.)  we have to look for coherent, transparent, simple and easy to remember layouts, 2.)  they solve real needs, get applied and make data available, 3.) they create, logical unique locations for entries for the sake of reducing the volume of redundant information, and 4.) they help people to understand connections, make sense, and see the whole.

        It is important to understand that 1.) regarding depth of information, a coding up to 5 or more digits helps to structure with a much finer 'granularity', that 2.) ontologically- based general concept systems allow to implement a 'Systematifier' principle (Dahlberg), what Judge calls a 'Structural Outliner', that 3.) such systems can be implemented as 'switching systems' which enable re-coding and translation between other, typically hierarchical and proprietary classification schemes, which are typically found in different libraries, and 4.) that there is a possibility to use such schemata as the backbone for multi-lingual information and classification systems, as languages can be considered to be just another 'level' (see more about this in Figure 5).  All these features can help build conceptual bridges in order to roughly identify something in other cultures and languages, enabling translation, when appropriate.

        The first matrix, the ICC, was developed for library sciences and has another unique quality: inner or higher order. The second matrix (FC) is more of an experimental nature, subject to changes, as application and production requirements suggest. When looking closer, we see that the realm of the second matrix is much wider, but both like many possible others, have their purposes and find their place.

        We show the partial detail these two scaffoldings to make aware the potential for outlining themes in a holistical or complete and coherent sense. This is a compromise but it has distinct advantages over the traditional hierarchical 'knowledge-tree' structure because they provide knowledge-spaces, which can be outlined, visualized, and embodied.   Behind this is a quite different handling of words, taking words into space as the Australian Linguist proposes or as the father of holism, Jan C. Smuts has proposed by considering and manipulating words like fields in space.

For more, see ISSS Primer WHOLENESS Seminar

theories, principles object, component activity, process property, attribute persons or content institutions or content technology & production application & determin-
distribution        &
form & structure 11 logic                
energy & matter                  
cosmo & geo     33 geo-
      37 mining    
bio                 49 ecology & environ.
human           56 education      
socio 61 sociology         66 law      
economics & technology                  
science and information   82
information sciences
culture       94
fine arts
    97 philos.    

Fig. 4:   A matrix organisation of subject fields called the ICC, Information Coding Classification system.      A survey of subject groups or a new universal ordering system for disciplines and phenomena.  The schemata conveys not only the sense that a holistic organization is possible - with broad categories in which to organize and relate diverse integrated systems - but that given sub-systems can be members of several cross referenced categories (as described in vernacular in J N Rose's  "Understanding the Integral Universe"- Introduction (1992)).

        Please note, we do not show the content of each cell, or how they are coded, merely samples given.  You can find more about this grid and about ongoing research projects in this field here [ webmaster note: link temporarily inactive].  More importantly, this scheme is there to help you look for yourself, ask new questions and  find new structures and relations, which is essential for creativity.   For the purpose of this paper we only show that we can tune our thinking to look for coherence and connectedness. This is mandatory in order to avoid the redundancies we are confronted with today -- in an era of confusion and overload of messages with dubious value.

        I  see such a grid as one possible way of making sense for a given purpose or certain aspect, then we can show connections and identify not only a cell, but columns or area consisting of a couple of small parcels of 'land'.  In this way we can outline and search for subjects and issues more coherently! We will find out that some cells have relations with only few or, as in the case of the term ecology for example, we could define relations with nearly every other cell and can in this way detail it in a meaningful way.  The following are only some examples in the broader 'area 49' of ecology and environment: 4951:348 air pollution, 4925:428 marine microbiology, 4938 garden and parks architecture,....


4. A Navigation and Orientation Space

Finally, a Navigation and Orientation Space to embody Situations consisting of each of the three dimensions in three connected spaces: This can be understood as the Japanese bio-holistic 'ba' concept for inter-spaces. There is a need to index and find real and conceptual entities and to find ways to present such in coherent layouts.

p-b350.gif (5085 bytes)

Fig. 5: The Cognitive Panorama, in its limitations, is one of many possible candidates. There is also a need for the coexistence of different forms of representation and an easy transformation and translation between the different models, foci, and forms. By combining and overlaying such representations annotations new connections and insight might come up and canyons between objects and subjects will be bridged.   see details about the Cognitive Panorama Bridge at   and

        There is a definite need for simple, coherent and open models acting as common frames of reference, in order to accommodate diverse perspectives and teach tolerance, coherence and harmony. In particular the Western Societies, seem to be fixed or blocked in their way of seeing the world. They neglect the issue of the need for models to aid our thinking and sharing references. Instead modern societies opt for having no model or WORLD -VIEW at all!   As this is the result of 30 years of education into 'Subjectivity', every thing is seen as relative and vague. We should not wonder that this resulted in the cultivation of 'self-esteem' and ego-develoment, instead of building society on confident children having and changing directions and orientations.

        One final remark is in order.  In the "Cartographer of Consciousness" by Brian Van Der Horst, .."Ron Siegel probes the hallucinating brain to chart hidden features of our mental landscape" Omni, Sept. 1980, the author uses Heinrich "Kluver"  to present a geometric recursion. There is much research going on in this field (which will be covered elsewhere). For this little journey along maps and representations it can at least give us the idea of connectedness of physical and mental realms. The only problem is our problem of believing in one 'authoritative' map or matrix, the one and only school or 'dogma'. The presentation of the chemical elements proved that there are many views and schemata possible and even they all together are just maps, not the territory, as Alfred Korzybski wrote.

Fig.6: Form constants as mapped by the 'cartographer of consciousness'

Final musing:
The central problem of our Society is our ruling one-dimensionality (duality) of our thinking and acting and the apathy or aggression resulting from feeling 'lost in space' instead of resorting to our original capabilities of path-finding, bridge-building and barriers-editing.... As we do not question representations and look behind words (nominalistic instead of conceptualistic thinking) we do not switch codes, translate or transform meanings. We are fixed into one perspective, instead of looking into sharing and questioning. Only when we dare to tell and show our Children,  that 1.)  we also do not know and that there are things which are 'unknowable', when we 2.) take them by our hands and explore with them the INTER-SPACES, the terrain in-between the pictures or landscapes (,  and when we 3.) jump and edit 'fences' and explore new levels, we will reach new shores of social and ecological consciousness by bridging meaning,sharing understanding, in what we called a meta-paradigm, a framework of being and sharing.

Acknowledgements: It is clear that without the work of Dahlberg, Judge and Veltman this work and progress from harmonization of environmental information, to meta-databases, education and and policy making would not have been possible. As there is a strong relation and much material is used, in particular from Judge, the question of integrating and providing a collage of the work of others is the right thing to do. The author felt it is not only important to link and make known this work but combine it and and create through the 'umbrella' of the panorama something new, maybe a step towards more synthesis and synoptics.

The work of Mrs Dahlberg is only available through ISKO and its publishing house INDEKS, Frankfurt and the Journal Knowledge Organization - KO. For visitors the author can recommend not the introductionary article of Anthony Judge on Functional Classification and the work of Kim Veltman from the Perspective Unit of the McLuhan Institute in Toronto.



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