Skillful activity involves a kind of absorption into the external world. For example, skillfully playing the piano or playing basketball, the distinction between internal experience and external world becomes less rigid. The individual becomes absorbed into the “whole.” Such absorption into external space essentially depends on the existence of other people. In fact, it may be the deepest stratum of social existence, the stratum from which we “coordinate” our social behavior. Absorptive skillful activity is essentially social because in order to learn how to become skillful, one must be continually corrected. One must have a teacher. The teacher may be an internal voice, but even this voice is derived or adapted from other people. In completely absorptive skillful activity, there are no “other” people, there is only an act of complete coordination with the external world. Within the skillful activity itself, there is only a state of almost perfected totality, in which one is continuously incorporating the voice of the “others,” in consonant unison. So we see how skillful activity is fundamentally social, because it is only when the others are seen as others that they let him know that he is mistaken, it is only when the “external” space becomes considered as external that lets the individual know that he is no longer in a state of absorption. If the individual is absorbed in skillful activity, the “others” are really just extensions of himself. If he made no mistakes, then he would remain continuously absorbed, he would be completely coordinated with the external world, there would be no separation. But this also begins to depend on whether other people make mistakes, because if another person makes a mistake, the individual will perceive it as his own mistake because he is so absorbed. So we see how absorptive skillful activity depends on a kind of social coordination, is even identical with consonant social coordination. For the individual to become absorbed into external space is to become coordinated and interdependently linked to the others that teach and influence him. All of those around us teach and influence us. And so our own successes are bound up with those around us, and our own failures are bound up with those around us. In developing a skill, we are developing the ability to correct and be corrected. We invite others into the same state of skillful absorption, and we also invite others to correct our actions when they are misaligned.
The state of skillful absorption is a state of “compression,” or “aggregation,” in which information about the system of experience as a whole is pulled in to one’s own narrow field of view. One discovers complex, multi-layered reality in the symbolic-metaphoric instantiation of the whole ordered system. This can be considered cultural production or “knowledge production,” in which one is actively constituting and regulating the state of the whole system. In states of higher lucidity and vividness, the individual attains access to immediate, interdependent networks of human social behavior and “fills in” for inefficiencies of meaning in those networks. The whole is in a state of continuous equilibrium but there are inefficiencies of meaning in its composition, there are areas that are “meaningless,” where there is no purpose, no aim. The purpose or aim of human pursuits is innate, the human being is innately oriented toward some aspect of experience which is outside of his present reality, usually some potential future attainment. Even in his most mundane activities, he cannot escape the novelty and perpetual unfolding of new futures and new information. And this perpetual unfolding is limited, because human beings are finite creatures. There is a certain “scarcity” of time, which means that every micro-occurrence is important and meaningful. Ultimately every micro-occurrence is so important and meaningful that these importances are interconnected with one another at the most immediate level in a unified field of immanence. Furthermore, every individual is completely unique with respect to this field of immanence, each has a completely subjective interpretation of it, but these subjective interpretations are unique instantiations of the same complex whole, meaning that they all adequately approximate a single homogeneous field, in different manners. Each individual has such a limited life that he cannot help but to posit some hypothetical or axiomatic concept of the overall whole of experience. His direct experience is a fluid, continuous, unbroken whole, his experience is the only thing that he ever knows. This complex whole is a kind of medium, which interdependently connects and regulates all values and “oughts.” This field can be considered as a kind of social Game, whose purpose is two-fold, 1.) total absorption into itself as a unified, literal symbol of the whole, and 2.) separation from this whole so that it can studied as an independent, objective entity. This Game, which is also called the Divine Game, is a dialectic of absorption-separation, which sets up a competitive-cooperative system of coordination.
In the capitalist mode of social coordination, we coordinate around the attainment of a unified medium, the money currency. Everyone agrees to agree to ascribe value to that medium. But what does this money currency actually represent? What is the reason for its ascription of value? The money currency actually represents the state of the whole system. This is why the health of a nation is so dependent on its state of economic development. And this is why all of the nations are locked into an interdependent system of prices. If the money currency actually represents the state of the whole system, then the value of the money currency is equivalent to “the information that best describes the state of the whole system,” meaning that whoever has the best information about the state of the whole system can trade that information for more money. Money currency is the equivalent of the best information. Whoever can correct the disparities and inefficiencies to return the system to equilibrium can make a profit. We know that the capitalist mode of social coordination rewards those who are more competent, leaving a huge amount of income inequality. This can be considered an inefficiency in the capitalist mode of social coordination. But we also know that any redistribution of wealth can be more accurately thought of as a redistribution of information (money is information). So what if a corporation or a sector arose that could correct the inefficiency of inequality precisely by redistributing information? What would information redistribution look like? It would have to be “information that best describes the state of the whole system,” meaning it would have to be a complete and systematic account of the state of the whole system. It would have to incorporate information adequately from every relevant information domain into a concise, unified framework that was accessible in plain language. It would have to work on metaphoric and literal levels, it would have to be scientific and religious, it would have to be able to compete in the economic domain. Even more important, it would be have to compete with the historical social institution of money currency itself. It would have to be so cogent that it could coordinate people’s actions at least as succinctly as the money currency itself. This means that it would have to reach down to the deepest strata of human valuation. Money currency has value for social coordination because the individual says I “expect you to expect me to expect you to expect me…” to use money. There is such a deep mutual expectation that everyone will agree to agree to use money, which is historically and socially grounded. The ascription of value is at the core of people’s deepest intersubjective claims about reality. I argue that there is an account of the whole which can compete and cooperate with money currency itself. My evidence for this is the Christian religion. People still coordinate around the texts, rituals, and morality of Christianity after more than two thousand years. It has survived and adapted through almost every conceivable monetary system. Imagine that there is an entire economic sector dedicated precisely to creating and discovering a systematic account of the whole. This is essentially the concept of “distributed religion.” Such an economic sector could help with the function of government, could help to redistribute knowledge and information, could help people to coordinate in their environment. Such a project of information redistribution would have to arise from the particular combination of science and religious narrative that is characteristic of works like Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning. Essentially, what someone is paying for by supporting such a project is an entirely new competitive-cooperative system of coordination. They are paying for an account of the whole which is religiously and scientifically valid. In addition, different corporate entities within this space could compete and cooperate with one another, using each other’s information to build successively better and better accounts of the whole. Essentially we must use various aspects of science, like algorithmic information theory and game theory, and artistic devices like metaphor and simile to create a new social equilibrium comparable to the monolithic impact of Christianity. We must engineer a renewed vision of Christianity, partially by renewing and revitalizing the original texts and partially by creating and discovering new metanarratives that are coherent continuations of Christianity. Pure knowledge production could soon be its own economic sector, this would rely on the cooperation and competition of multiple pure knowledge production firms to generate realistic and compelling metanarratives that had sufficient coordinative capacity.