Reframing from L-field to D-sphere

At the beginning of every presentation, I first introduced the concept and significant metaphor of the Mobius and Flatliner as well as the metaphors of emptying mind (un-conditioning) before discussing logocentrism and deconstruction.

A Beginner's Mind

"You must unlearn what you have learned” – Yoda.

This quote reminds me of a Zen parable, in which a professor came to visit a Zen master who offered him a cup of tea. As the Zen master poured tea in the cup of tea, he listened to the university who talked about Zen.

The professor exlaimed, "Stop! Stop! Why are you not stopping?" The Zen master continued pouring tea in the cup and overfilled it. The Zen master explained, "How can I teach you if you don't empty your mind first?" First, one needs to empty conditionings that they grow up internalizing them.

Phonocentrism: art by Jolanta Lapiak
Image: "Phonocentrism: Ptolemy of Language" by ASL literary artist Jolanta Lapiak.

For a metaphorical description of this image, see the post "Phonocentrism: Ptolemy of Language".

The Mobius and the Flatline metaphors

I demonstrated two simple objects: a Flatliner strip and a Mobius strip. There is a red circle on left side of a Flatliner stip and a blue on the other side end of the same strip. So, these circles are two separate, different views like opposites.

On the other hand, a red circle is on the strip of the Mobius strip. Right on the other side of the strip, there is a blue circle. Starting on the red circle, my finger moves forward on the same side of the strip and continues until it arrives at the blue circle without changing or jumping to the other side of the strip. Again, from the blue strip, my finger continues moving on the same side of the strip until it arrives at the red circle.

Or the Mobius strip for D-field. When you stand on the marked side of the Mobius strip and continuously walk all the way, you will end up on the other side of the same spot. Then you continue on and you're back on the same mark.

In the concept of yin and yang, they are inseparable. They inseparably coexist, like the Mobius strip. The two sides and two edges of the Mobius strip are one of the same side and edge - an undecidable outside and inside, subjectivity and objectivity, observer and observed, beginning and ending, and so on.

Speaking of the undecidablity, another favorite metaphor is the particle and wave. The theory of complementarity in field theory explains how one cannot detect a particle when studying a wave, and one cannot find wave when observing particle, depending on which apparatus is used. Field theory thus allows for the observation of both particle and wave.

This theme frequently appears in my works, which attempt to subvert or undermine the Western tradition of hierarchical categorization in the areas of language and art.

On the other hand for logocentrism, you stand on the end of a flat strip and the other end is on the other side. It's associated with dichotomy, hierarchy, and linearization.

There are no facts, only interpretations." -- Fredrich Nietzsche (one of influences on Derrida).

The law of complementarity

If a scientist studies to determine which light is a particle or a wave, it depends on what device one uses. With a device, one sees a wave. With another device, one sees a particle. The light is undecidable.

Galaxies (swirling stars), Julia sets, DNA or genes, leaves, rocks, and such are found in daily life. Repeats, cycles, complementarity.


The Flatliner strip is a metaphor of Euclidean-like thinking, which I call this category "L-field."

In reflecting on the L-field, it is associated with logos and logocentrism; hierarchy, dichotomy, linearization, and such.


On the other hand, the Mobius strip is a metaphor of Fractal-like thinking, which I call this sphere "D-sphere". I associate D-sphere with deconstruction, complementarity, and Mobius strip.

Keep in mind: L-view and D-field are not a binary opposition, but rather a difference. L-view is a part, and D-field is complementary or undedicable.

Beginner's Mind / Overflowing Mind

What does one see when looking at the image below? Immediately? Lovers.

logocentric view
Source: unknown from Internet (domain)

The majority of adults recognize the lovers in this image above, but a beginner's mind might see several dolphins. Some viewers take time to realize they see a dolphin or two or more. Few ones might take longer minutes, struggling before they finally recognize a dolphin.

What this illustration explains is that people grow up viewing one way (like the Flatliner strip), overlooking the other perspective. To look at the whole perspective, one needs to be able to view from multiple perspectives.

This idea likens to logocentrism that one sees only one side or sees it as a center, but is blind to the other side or sees the other as a margin. It creates hierarchy.

This example represents one's conditioned mind of how one grows up with a worldview. The majority of Lover-ism become Loverists, while the minority becomes Dolphinists. It creates -ism.

Hearing people see Deaf as people with disabilities and with hearing losses. While, Deaf people see themselves as people with Deaf-gain, human variation, cultural-linguistic-ethnic group. Hearing hardly could see the cultural-linguistic aspect of Deaf people. It creates audism.

No matter how we explain, they still couldn't see it. It takes an average of four ASL/Deaf culture courses to attain a basic understanding of the Deaf people and their community.

That's when I introduced Derrida and deconstruction to participants. Jacques Derrida, in practice, is a post-modern literary critic. In profession, he's a Algerian-born French philosopher.

The metaphors: L-field and D-sphere

In the L-field, we will look at the following: logos, logocentrism, hierarchy (foreground and background), dichotomy (background and foreground), linearization.

On the other hand, in D-sphere, we will look at deconstruction and complementarity.


D-field is complementarity like the artist Escher's image of fish.

Note that L-view and D-sphere are not a binary opposition, but rather a difference. I will refer to those two pieces through this presentation. The Western tradition views these two points as opposites, whereas the Eastern worldview sees gray relations of these. In the concept of yin and yang, they are inseparable. In field theory, they are complementary. They inseparably coexist, like the Möbius strip. The two sides and two edges of the Möbius strip are one of the same side and edge –an undecidable outside and inside, subjectivity and objectivity, observer and observed, beginning and ending, and so on.

Related posts

Introducing Logocentrism and sign language