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a validating frame of mind
March 20, 2011 (slightly revised 4/1/11—no joke)


1.1 | I’ve very briefly distinguished psychal (or phenomenological) and psychological interest (1), but getting analytical about psychality (or mindal experience) easily seems psychological (or a methodic interest in general features of “the” psyche).

1.2 | My sense of psychality is phenomenological, but a holism of that pertains more to a theory of appreciation or artistry of experience than to especially “psychological” inquiry (which, of course, interests me immensely). Yet, especially interesting to me—no surprise—is the textual phenomenon (which I eccentrically anticipated last year). So, I’m coining a notion of psychality with a textuality of phenomena in mind, i.e., regarding all experience inasmuch as it may be regarded as interpretive, taking to heart the figural frame of “reading” experience.

1.3 | That can be regarded as quite ordinary. After all, we may commonly say in conversation: “I hear you to say...,” which is overtly interpretive. But that’s taking exception to a common presumption that there’s no interpretation involved in well-flowing days, as if we have pure experience that’s finely representative of someone as they are to herself or himself. (Conversely, a lack of meaning in the other or things belongs to the other and to the things, as if irrevocably, because perception is—presumptively—non-interpretive.)

1.4 | Pointing out that we commonly act as if there’s no frame of interpretation probably results in immediate disagreement: “Of course we’re always interpreting.” But we often (easily) live as if that’s not the case, such that persons are easily puzzled by making explicit what was “implicit” (i.e., as if there had been no implicity to make explicit, but then the enchantment was dissolved by curiosity).

1.5 | In instances of supposedly frameless understanding, saying that the other’s supposed lack of potential for meaningfulness is one’s own frame would be (to the “frameless” mind) just that the other really lacks potential. The frame is a self-confidence about presumption (an implicit claim to framelessness). Evident framelessness is a kind of purity of interpretive frame as there being no issue of an absence of interpretive frame, i.e., we don’t talk of interpretiveness as a possibility (annuled in this discussion by my making framelessness a theme—putting framelessness under erasure).

1.6 | However, “the” world—any context, environment, or scene—is inherently nebulous in character, nebulous because everything has a character—everything is in a sense (“is”) as instanced stance, always having character, so to speak—or really lacking that because so ordinarily everything has it. Not that common sense personifies everything, but rather looks at things as if there’s no personification because personification is the first (or primal) mode of meaning.

1.7 | For any scene, an indicated difference between explicit (on stage, in the scene) and implicit may feel uncomfortable, because common sense doesn’t bother itself with whether or not something is explicit (such that an implicity is discoverable), as common sense is “clear.” Controlling boundaries of attention includes not needing to acknowledge that there are boundaries. One just knows where not to go (not even thinking that there is the “not”). Implicity of the difference between explicit and implicit (as if there’s no difference—including no as if) is part of there being common sense boundaries on understanding. There “are” no boundaries; there are “no boundaries.”

1.8 | But granting the difference for everything—that everything is in-stanced—is accepting that interpretiveness belongs to everything. Everything has an implicit frame—though that’s easily exaggerated to a degree of making everything simulacral (which I briefly discuss below).

1.9 | To many folks, the mere topic of relationship produces anxiety, because reliance on the framelessness of the frame expresses a need for non-attentiveness (or non-consciousness), as attentiveness can become confusing when the implicit is made explicit. Between teen friends, for example, a naturally-developing rapport may be invested in never having the issue of the rapport as such ever become a topic, as if reflectivity invalidates the rapport dissolved into explicitness of a relationship, a rapport invested in a non-consciousness about the relationship because that’s too immanent, too self implicative (self incriminating?), a rapport defined by never drawing attention to itself: Friends may feel betrayed by the other needing to talk about their very own friendship (much truer of boys/men than girls/women). “We” are invested in our tacit dimension, as there being no thematic dimension at all, just “us” in our magical lack of need to recognize that we’re magically needless.

1.10 | Common sense may avoid its non-consciousness in order to protect its unconsciousness. It needs attentiveness’s non-attentiveness as unindicated difference (as if there’s no non-attentiveness to be framed), especially when, as they say, the emperor has no clothes; i.e., non-attentiveness protects evidence to others of unconsciousness or unattentiveness (unattentiveness acts like an independent intentionality), which has an emotionally-vested interest in not coming into interpersonal (let alone interpsychal) presence. Unattentiveness may need to protect itself by marginalizing, even excommunicating, others’ implicit “threat” to perceive, just as the other’s really-unnoticing presence. Thus, even another’s simple presence must be avoided by unconsciousness (and the avoidance avoided, perhaps as the other’s lack of importance for any attention at all), because the mere psychal presence—a so-called “thought”—of the other’s presence is intrusive. Suppression may become repression by controlling the environment to promote forgetting any presence. Being unable to forget can become a plague.


2.1 | Classically, a frame had to be distant. Art is done in special places, viewed at special times. The frame keeps the work in its place, thereby keeping any issues of the frame attached to the enframed distance. Classically, theater has its fourth wall. Frames belong to the other and keep the other apart from one’s life. Bringing a drama into the audience is, at first, scandalous. Inviting a museum visitor to participate in the work of art is, at first, burdensome. Improvising the work relative to what the viewer does can be frightening, because one’s own implicity is “at risk” of explicitness, as if one will be held accountable for lacking clothes before entering the scene.

2.2 | An objectivity of consideration has been a protective distancing of any questions of an interpretive frame. Secure boundaries on genres (and keeping a work clearly classified) ensures that some assumptions will not be brought to question. The character is not you. The staged scene is not an actual person’s room.

2.3 | Nearing of the frame can feel either exhilarating or incriminating, but indifference isn’t likely an option, except as a willful exclusion of the possibility of reflective nearing.

2.4 | So, the world is shadowed by prospects of transgression—or trivialization: If everything is possibly “art”—if a frame is accepted on everything—then generalization of framedness may instill a superrealism of everything (or homogenization, as if nothing is more important than anthing else, and everything is either a novelty or to consume, then forget), and we’re comforted by a perverse celebration of the world as it is, as if tragedy that was once left behind at the theater is now everywhere a dull pathos in reconciliation to relativism, which implies going along passively with what is (what one is?), because nothing lasts.

2.5 | So, a resonance of the frame (as such) is not only that implicit interpretiveness can be disrobed in the light specifically (relative to a scene, a life), but also: annuled as mode of life, as the framedness of everything is just the relativism of everything, which anchors nothing. So, there can be no originals, because everything is derivative. Authenticity is just another frame, a stance toward self importance that is everybody’s entitlement, but nobody’s own to really embody or deeply appreciate, because deeply appreciating is just a rhetoric of preference in a carnival of options or a shopping mall of ideas.


3.1 | You might suspect (validly) that I reject a dominion of simulacra, because I don’t see things extracted from their background emergence, their development, their habitation, their temporal legacy of embodying implicit claims to validity in their frames. That’s not to imply that I understand the background of anything well (though maybe I do); rather, that I presume potential to be discovered. To my mind, the peculiar potential of intelligent life is to find in things meaning that belongs to the things themselves, because we find potential in our own capability to grant meaning, mirrored as the meaning of things themselves—or their potential for meaning which isn’t denied to them, but granted as belonging to their presence. Our power to make meaning richly—broadly and deeply—is pathogenically erased in the pretense of simulacrality “belonging” to the world.

3.2 | The psychal condition of simulacrality belongs to “sensibilities” (a lack of sensibility) that would essentialize its own insensibility as belonging to the world itself. A fascinating phenomenology of simulacral understanding is a clinical kind of fascination, saddening. A cultural theory of simulacra is a theory of psychal tragedy—perhaps a triumph of subjectivity: yielding (subject) to a cynicism of the carnival (driven to cynicism by the arrogance of dominant markets) as anthropology of our nature?

3.3 | The sense of psychality I want to develop has no interest in subjectivity—a claim which might seem bizarre. But asking earlier “What’s the merit of representation?” was no point of rhetorical cynicism, rather an implicit challenge to find high merit in a frame of experience, yet in terms of the experience itself. There is potential, discernible depth and breadth to the presence of another—person, site, etc. There’s authenticity (possibly originality) to be validly granted to the other—but only inasmuch as one knows authenticity oneself, which emerges through long experience, and transportations of reflection—psychal granting in phenomenal bearing—possibly found to be real, readymade as one’s ownmost inworldness—perhaps.


Among the greater achievements of Art has been the conceptuality of finding high merit, exemplified first in the readymade, then the montage, the appropriated assemblage, or the evocative conceptuality of an event (known only by its documentation). Everything really becomes art only inasmuch as the psychal condition becomes an enactive, educive, validating, or enabling artistry. Articulating that is an endless opportunity, I think, as a represented landscape loves to be seen to highly grow (but can’t say that; it must be found). The frames that we may bring to scenes—interplay with persons, appreciation of things—is at best an educive translation of their potential, if only as our sensibility granted to the other—but as theirs, their own potential. The better one’s own sensibility, the more educive can be the possibilities seen to belong to others.