• What is (a) Hypostasis?
A hypostasis is, elementally, a vehicle. However, humans have a very peculiar relationship with hypostases, in general, and exploring this relationship is part of the foundations of Cognitive Activism. I am particularly concerned with exploring the human relationship with caching, memory, language, and tokens in a deep way, and I have found that all of them are like spokes on a wheel whose hub is hypostasis. Memory is a form of hypostasis, which, while not entirely physical, is biocognitively mediated. Words are hypostases, in that they represent vehicles of reference and storage. An idea, or concept of identity is a hypostasis, an ‘imaginal figure’ which may include for the experiencer qualia which cannot be verbally expressed due to the dissimilarity between the experience and the vehicles with which we might encode it to ourselves or another. In this case, the experience cannot be formally hypostasized, and remains in some other, probably more dynamic relationship within the organism or group.
The onset and character of our own experience with hypostasizing are in large part culturally determined, however, the set of steps, or arisal strategy involved can be fascinatingly informative to explore or remember. We each underwent a unique process of acclimation to human-like hypostasizing, both cognitively in terms of language and thought (and imagination), and actively in terms of relating to objects and beings around us through a lens that enforced permanence and local possession of identity. The key milestones within this process contain crucial keys to the riddles of our cognitive evolution, but they also comprise clues to causes and nature of the extremely suspicious mismatch between actual intelligence and ‘what humans do’.
Dollcraft (and use) and human memorial traditions represent two branches of human hypostasizing behavior that I consider to be particularly rich veins for exploration. I believe that both of these activities have important connections to the process of language acquisition in our early ancestors.
A hypostasis is a cached structure which we use as a skeleton in some way, usually to carry reductions of meaning and experience with us, forward in time. There are many species of hypostasis, from words to cars to ideas. Each form has unique features, dangers, and functions — but a without a clear understanding of the basis of the human habits of hypostasizing we will be unlikely to proceed beyond the barriers that have thus far denied us access to actual experiences of the power of our innate relational intelligence.
The attack and defense of hypostases, real and imagined, compromises a relatively absurd quantity of our cognitive momentum. Their conservation, storage, and dissemination require further extreme and ongoing investments. It is my experience that new ways of exploring and employing our representational intelligence in general (and hypostases in particular) could resolve the majority of the problems facing our species, many of which can be revealed to be our own inventions — mistranslations, really, of understanding and knowledge.
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