Friday, September 16, 2016

Out of the mouths of BBC commentators

NPR just mentioned this:

the Kurds have a phrase, no friends but the mountains.

This is wonderful on many levels.

but the

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This is not a blog of book reviews

This is not a blog of book reviews, but a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education caught my attention.  It was how there are so many books that scholars whose job it is to evaluate canons, cannot really read the volumes they are responsible for analyzing. Do not click on that link, my synopsis is not because that view is significant. My recounting is just a setup.

A setup for this perspective: Jan Cox read a lot--- or--- I should say, he evaluated a lot of books, because he did not finish some books. I was going to say "most" books.  He told his students that you can judge a book by reading the first few pages.  I probably should say "glance" at them.

By evaluate we mean grasp "the level of being", to use a Gurdjieffian phrase, of the author. So you see that an academic whimper about the quantity of books on the market has nothing to do with this blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Just a wee bit of spam; the musician, Art Davis, was a special friend of Jan's

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Professors say the darnedest things

Dan Gilbert is on the faculty at Harvard. His TED talk was just on NPR.  One thing he said was that the present does not really exist, at all. His picture was of a tide and the shore. Gilbert says that the past and the future are real, but that edge between the water and sand, does not really exist as a third entity.

Well, and despite my animadversions about binary thought, Gilbert has got it almost exactly, reversed. My gloss on the source of his confusion is that, along with anglophone 20th century philosophy, he assumes that reality must be verbal. Although he didn't put it this way, this idea, that something is not real if it cannot be stated in words, is quite common, and of course, if true, would mean that self-observation is impossible. Because self-observation, while not completely eliminating language, is, a means of turning down the volume, and is that third entity.

Self-observation, or remembering the Work as Jan Cox sometimes referred to it, is, very nearly, impossible, and certainly, once one reaches a particular age, unnatural.

Dear ones, this particular activity, which explains the whole history of mysticism, is, possible.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rio Really

All that colorful artistry and animal spirits, grace and beauty, on parade for hours. Swirling and dancing. And the conclusion, of the evening, is some guy in a gray suit and blue tie, blathering on.  But such is the world of man, accurately drawn. And a pyre, of an unspeakable flame.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Modernity and its limitations

This link is to a video at the website for Smithsonian magazine, but you can skip it.

The relevant thing is in the title, quoted:

The Egyptian Pharaoh With the Biggest Ego

Though little is known about Khufu, the pharaoh who oversaw the Great Pyramid's construction, vicious rumors about him persist today. 

End quote.

I love this: the title reveals a great example of a perspectivism which exemplifies modern assumptions about reality.

You can make a case for Khufu as a pioneer in advancing mankind's spiritual progress. Perhaps no one else has, but, regardless, it could go like this:

Man is a creature shot through with infinities, as a modern scientists might say he is by cosmic rays.

Mathematics demonstrated something similar in its own timeless dawn: for example a line is made up of points, but this is literally impossible since the point has NO dimension. 

Khufu as a king and priest, may have overseen the bumilding of pyramids as an empirical quest for  the connection of the visible and the invisible, via this heaping upwards of --- matter  --- reaching a point -- the sharpened point in which the earthen pyramid ends.

And something also, else, begins -- the point at which the interpenetration of what we call mind and matter, is isolated and made OBVIOUS. At that point which defines the pyramidal shape.

So the pyramids may have a place in the history of mathematics, and religion. 

This view I outline is plausible, and may be moreso than one which trys to fit an anthropology that truncates man, onto an earlier time.

The pyramids then, do not indicate ego, but a humble and exploratory adventure into the human and what might lie at the edges. From a time when our divisions of the world into economics, politics, religion, sociology, art, had it been communicable to the best minds of many millenia ago, would have been seen as, amusingly blockheaded.


If my skeches above demonstrate merely the difficulty, maybe inherent limitations, of understanding previous historical eras, that could be a success.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Stages in the quest for truth (verbatim from Guardian... headlines)

Following are different stages in a quest for personal truth, as exemplified from the headlines of the Guardian's most recent (newsletter) edition.  The only changes were in words I left out.

'I alone' can fix dark, violent, weak America... 'I am your voice....."

HSBC banker denies fraud charges

Edward Snowden designs phone case to show when data is being monitored

MH370 search will 'not end, but be suspended'

Argentina's disappeared...An Argentinian man learned the man he believed was his father may have killed his real parents during Argentina's 1976-83 dictatorship, part of a campaign of forcibly "disappearing" those who opposed the bloody regime. Hundreds of babies of the disappeared were taken and raised by military families. Guillermo PĂ©rez Roisinblit's world was turned upside down at age 21 when a young woman tracked him down at the fast-food outlet where he worked in the outlying Buenos Aires district of San Miguel. "I told her I was busy working," Guillermo recalls now. "So she sat down at a table, wrote a me note" in which she told him she might be his sister.

'My name is Michael Caine' – legally.  After more than 60 years in showbiz, and frustrated by increased airport security checks, the legendary British actor, born Maurice Micklewhite, has decided to replace his birth name with his showbiz moniker for good. He took the name Caine from a poster for the 1954 Humphrey Bogart naval drama The Caine Mutiny.

Ancient bottom wipers yield evidence of diseases carried along the Silk Road