Thursday, December 31, 2009

What a Decade

The phrase Jan Cox used, 'there is no truth in words,' is pointing to
the same thing as the formulation 'the opposite is never true.' And
these formulas make no sense to the ordinary, that is, mechanical
mind, which typifies us all most of the time, and most of us all the
time. This example comes to mind, the love and tenderness Jan had for
what another generation would have called the created world. He
referred to plants once, as that category of living thing which clung
to its parent. He would not let an animal he knew about suffer. But he
did not dwell on what could not be helped, and he had not a moment of
mental energy to spend imagining situations which were not in front of
him. You saw a situation of an animal in need, you did the possible,
and mainly, then, you did not let the situation dwell in your mind. He
would use pesticides at times. And one night he said to us, (words to
this effect): "there is no need to move earthworms off the sidewalk."
The ordinary might find these contradictory situations. I am amazed at
the thought of his patience with his students.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Right Tools

The wonderful advances and exciting  perspective of theoretical physics are like a jigsaw puzzle. When presented with the unknown, scientists will argue there are still pieces to find, to fit in, but they are working on it, (they have been saying this for centuries.) What they do not perceive is that the jigsaw puzzle needs a board to fit the pieces into, a table for the board to rest on. This, since they are unaware of the limitations of the tools available to physicists, is invisible to the scientists and so the limitations of their knowledge is not apparent.
There are tools available to those who seek to know, mental tools whose existence is mentioned in historical texts, tools which if consistently applied lead to reproducible results.
Without a feeling of spaciousness which an awareness of one's ignorance allows, the real questions cannot be addressed.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Periodically Speaking

Gurdjieff is mentioned in a recent Psychology Today blog. I recall Jan's interest in that publication: he thought (I am suspecting here) of it as a means of checking the state of the larger mass of humanity. Certainly his interest did not reflect a concern for psychology itself, the vast majority of which is just dreamlike constructions, with no basis in scientific evidence.
And we are already in the blog in a bit of a morass, as we need to bend words to express for common consumption uncommon insights about man which are better described as anthropology: Man considered from the outside as part of a larger structure. So from the perspective of a visitor to this planet, Jan Cox would leaf through issues, in a manner which was not really reading. He remarked more than once that he could sum up a book simply by glancing at the preface. I would call this talent as reliant not upon imaginary facts, but the altitude of the knower. That last is my phrasing, not his. He asked me once to recommend his website to be listed in Harper's. He was always aware of the worth of his contribution to a world of knowledge, and despised waste of any kind. He never gave up the thought that people would hear something in his words and be attracted to learn more, from he who understood the limitations of any speech.
Of course----Gurdjieff died sixty years before the passing mention cited here....

Friday, December 18, 2009

What Jan Cox might have pointed out about a new movie, had he been still alive

Just saw an interview with James Cameron, whose new movie, Avatar, looks to be a hit. Not going to see it, don't need to. The director's movie Titanic, tells me all I need to know.  We still though can glean some interesting points. Apparently a lot of trouble went into conceiving  thousands of new plant species, a new language, for these inhabitants of another planet.  All this novelty is spent on --- a boy meets girl plot.  Couple of things-- for someone with a certain aim, all fiction becomes inane, it is recycled fumes for one trying to breath at a new altitude (altitude measured in millimeters of course)l.

Also---we can ask, what underlies this reliance on a threadbare plot.  When I spoke of trying to get a breath of air from a higher zone, I was pointing to the possibilities for an individual.  This focus on coupling is magnetic perhaps because it points to the dreams of the mass of humanity. For the species to endure, we must procreate.  These biological necessities point to the fact of immortality---or should I say, the possibility of immortality--at the level of a species. This game is worthy of the attention of fictioneers, regardless of the silliness of their plots. In this particular movie too, we get to see what is a growing trend, I think, and that is the mechanical dreams of some scientifically based individual immortality, on the part of those who think they have given up the illusions of mechanical religion. (In the movie a crippled person is put in a new body.) This whole impetus behind research into and stories about  robotic intelligence, brain dumping, cryogenics, are driven by children who cannot accept the fact that immortality, is, so far as anyone can tell, not an option for the individual. 

At least with mechanical religion the plot lines were a little more interesting than boy meets girl.  That thought could be a last salute to mechanical religion.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Climate Inside, (as Caro once said)

Another report on declining Siberian tiger populations. These
reporters are part of the problem, though symptomatic is a fairer
label. What these wild animals need is lots of free space,
untrammeled by people, and what you have are researchers setting up
camps and making trails through hitherto isolated wilds. The
researchers and scientists are part of the problem.And THEY will say,
without our reporting the world will not rally to save the tigers.
And they are right. This is the mechanical mind, only notice----you
cannot hold both yes and no together. The ordinary mind, that machine
that is responsible for the progress of millenia, that binary
computer, will say, well, which is it? And that is the ordinary
mental apparatus of man. Being able to see with the stereoscopic
vision of one who grasps that yes and no can both be valid, and merely
present, together, a fairer picture, is a step on the way to....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Odd Odds

"Homeless Brothers set to inherit billions:" that's the headline for a
recent news story. My story is about -- odds. Lottery winners get
written up, and people find this encouraging, he won, why not me. What
no one thinks, unless they have listened to or read Jan Cox,
philosopher of a radical empiricism, is that, the event being in the
news, its newsworthiness, is why it will NOT happen to you. The
opposite, to speak loosely, (since another thing Jan spoke of, in his
attempt to point people's heads in a certain direction, is that "the
opposite is never true." This quote points to the nature of binary
thought though.) --- so speaking loosely, --- people find their doom
encouraging because they have no idea what is going on.

Similarly people take a so-called mystical experience, as an
authentication of whatever they believed before, rather than
conceiving the possibility that this event is a common experience,
rather like getting splashed by a car driving by you in the rain.
Except the forces involved are not glimpsed, much less understood. And
the possibility such is just pointing in a direction, rather than any
arrival, is not even in the universe of everyday assumptions. Jan's
picture of the nature of these common, wonderful, and transitory
'mystical' events, was they were like signs for Istanbul in a Parisian
train station.

What if, the odds of a sustained awakening, to speak loosely (I should
invent my own linguistic codes, tsl) are actually smaller than those
of finding one has inherited a fortune...?

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Wow is this a great holiday or what. Here is another story that speaks for itself. This link,
is to the comments of a theoretical physicist Sean Carroll and the cool thing is, here is a scientist, not a science popularizer, so, after you read his assessment of what modern physics is lacking, notice---the number of times he says we don't know the answer to that and, his solution "think harder." This is a real scientist here talking, and there are some comments to be made on this category of person.
1. Real scientists have fun. That is why they are not more interested in the work of Jan Cox. (Of course now that Jan is dead, it is a question a living teacher, which I am not about to get into here.). Real scientists already DO a low grade version of "real work," and it is ------- fun beyond words.
2. But as I hinted, these fun having scientists are not driven by the psychological discrepancies which motivate many to search for some version of Real Work. So they miss the push to go forward and miss, well, everything. That's okay. We recognise our brothers even if they fail to get the family connection. Of course most who seek to solve a certain disignorance, never find the real work either. And at least the scientists are having real fun. Their yellow circuits are flashing on newness, they are living on an edge.

3. Real scientists do not have to face the primordial problem of how do you remember to (let's say, remember the work, it has different names.) All the natural scientist has to do is glance at the physical world surrounding him---that is where his intellect is focused, and the external world is where his achievement comes from. The natural scientist is using the mechanical mind for the job it is designed to do. Of course they are going to put words where words can't go. But you can't have everything. So the link I am giving is to an example of the most fun you can have with words on.

The link should be above, but here it is again:

Friday, November 27, 2009

A holiday license

Quoting is something I do sparingly, even of Jan Cox, ---usually, but
I just got the following from a newsletter associated with What grabbed my heart was the Indo European root of the
word 'science.' The info is in the derivation of a word, scienter:
adverb: Deliberately; knowingly.
From Latin scienter (knowingly), from scire (to know; to separate one
thing from another). Ultimately from the Indo-European root skei- (to
cut or split) that also gave us schism, ski, shin, science,
conscience, and nice.
End quote.

And this reminds me of one of the astounding things Jan Cox said: and
this is a close quote. He said, if you do not know the etymology of a
word, you cannot use it properly. His example was the 'word cakewalk.'

And quoting Jan, I found this recently, after some comments I made in
an attempt to convey something Jan helped me glimpse, about faith.
Here is a quote from a paper Jan wrote and numbered 6950.
"That which is real and practical requires no faith, but still- a man
must believe in the work or he wastes his time. If a man does not
believe in what he does, nothing will happen. If a man does not
believe in the ideas of the work, he can never think in a new way...No
man can be converted to this work."


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Burglar's Bugle

It is possible to grasp the dilemma that determinism presents to the
rational, verbalizing, mind of man. The self described mind of man as
elucidative, and illuminating, can only conceive its own destruction
or impotency at the picture that any knowing, any dialogue, inner or external, is
not affected by the exchange of ideas, but rather a flow of forces,
loosely described as genetic. The picture of the mind producing words
as a genetic bugle might put forth sound should not obscure that the
verbalizing mind plays a crucial role in the progress of humanity, as the
arranger and rearranger of the external world. a function Jan Cox outlined.
And perhaps that includes the imperialistic aspect of the verbalizing
function of the human mind, as part of the propulsion for this

It may be that the prospect that a few men, through out history, have
succeeded in leveraging this determinism to gain a foothold, a toe
hold, on a vista, from which everything, including determinism, may
(one surmises) appear,-- glorious--, if non transmittable via the ordinary intellect,
is equally scandalous, (as scandalous as the fact that determinism
points to the impotency of the rational mind) to the verbalizing
function of the human intellect.

Easy even to feel sorry a bit for the human mind, if it didn't so resemble
some gadget sold on late night television.

But of course the human intellect is
superb as evading basic, and really obvious, truths. The picture Jan
drew many years ago of the intellect is in this story---man is a
person in a house who thinks he hears a burglar, and the
burglar-----is in a position to say, here, let me help you --find this

Friday, November 13, 2009

Human Soup for the Chicken Lover's Soul

The fact is most (I was going to say all, but how do I know) of us
take breaks. What supports you then, when you are not struggling, is
mechanical habit, and that suffices for, for most peoples whole lives.
The only safe place to retreat to, is the pararational alertness Jan
Cox describes. The ordinary definitions of faith have no place in a
real struggle, except you could call the humble awareness of your own
ignorance, and not panicking when you glimpse the enormity of your
ignorance, a kind of faith. But generally speaking, what the ordinary
call faith is for a few, a "kick this door in" scrawl that points the
way to, in addition to the constant need for pararational alertness, a
direction for (what Jan Cox calls) 'neuralizing,' which could be said
to be a whirling around of various possibilites in your head, not
landing on one explanation but trying to think of as many explanations
for the circumstance that called forth the label of 'faith.' A bunch
of explanations all together at the same time.
What you want is at least a soup of the unthought of before, mixed
with the undeniable, and tossed together with a sense that as
mysterious as the world is, you can make sense of it--not the whole
thing, but spoon full at at time, and the spoonful, is not at all the
whole soup, but is still always just a part, that spoonful of
understanding you taste. It all starts with a stone of novelty.
And throw in some commas.
And---what if, really, what if----your best ideas, your best intentions, your secret assumptions, were of the level of significance of----a chicken scratching in the grass....what if.....
this chicken is adorable but exists in a world of jaguars, among an infinitude of things, which the chicken cannot cannot know, regardless of the chance of encounters.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Light of the Present

The idea that since light has a finite speed the star light we see
originated actually at some time in the past, maybe billions of years
ago, has lost its ability to amaze, though perhaps not irremediably.
Few focus on the reality that the fact the light we see from a candle
must actually also originate in the past and thereby must give us, a
picture of ---- the past, not the current reality we suppose.
And who can imagine that words are like candles. As our OWN words,
even, leave our lips, they are already in the past of any spinal cord
reality. They do not reflect our current thoughts, intentions,
Yet like the Mayan ball games where the loser was a blood sacrifice,
our verbal interplay -- the mass of words, a token, a ball in play,
becomes the entire universe, for modern man. And as in any game,
there are rules, arbitrary rules, which all must accept. And the
rules, say the game is ----not a game, but reality.
There is a way to silently step back and verify for oneself, the game,
it's limitations, it's pretensions. There is a way, but surely it
would be inappropriate to speak of that WAY, to those who trifle with
--- important things, and weight heavily, the irrelevant. And those
who, to use the terminology of Jan Cox, do not even suspect the
importance of an aim.
So yeah, maybe there is such a thing as a light of the present, but how could that be what this post is about?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Impossibility for breakfast

An Italian court has been in the news because a judge there reduced a
murderers sentence (originally nine years) after presented with
evidence the guy had a gene for aggression.

Quoting New Scientist:
"Last week, Nature reported that Pier Valerio Reinotti, an appeal
court judge in Trieste, Italy, cut Bayout's sentence by a year after
finding out he has gene variants linked to aggression."

The science community sputtered about how individual responsibility
was not different for someone with such a gene, and other stuff. The
facts pointed out by Jan Cox, the 20th century empiricist of
mysticism, is that genetics determines everything. Everything, those
nice ladies who would die rather than spill tea while filling
someone's cup, are just as helpless as some bonking conker.

The mechanical mind cannot remember the above and also keep in mind
that man cannot, should not, relinquish a hold on his belief that
individual responsibility is possible. The entire progress of human
history depends partly on persons maintaining such a conviction. So
scientists and more often, commentators will talk on about
environmental versus genetic influences and free will, without ever
noticing such discussions shred comprehensibilty, and this is not
noticed because people HAVE to believe in individual responsibility.
They cannot notice that to talk of genetic influences makes no sense
unless you can draw a line between what is genetically determined and
what is not.

To try though and grasp these contradictory things can be a start
toward appreciating the nature of the human intellect, an organ with a
function different from that imagined by public intellectuals. To
appreciate the impossibility of a task, like personal change in a
universe completely determined, is a necessary step for persons with
a certain aim.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Reality of Paganism

It is odd that the world has given up paganism as a serious theology,
which it was once. Now not a trace is left, of any explanations. Yet
paganism was unsurpassed in explaining the world in one respect. In
this paganism has never been surpassed. Paganism communicates how
genetics determines everything. Modern science every few years comes
up with research results indicating the power of genetics to explain
behavior, and after a nervous giggle, the western mind forgets the
entire event. Completely. But a couple of millenia ago, there was no
reason to deny that man was not an autonomous creature. Having your
life determined by a drunk deity, a cranky blacksmith, a jealous
woman----explained the observed world in a quite competent manner.
Paganism was empirical. The gods were like your crazy neighbor only
the god had real power to control events, not jsut, like your
neighbor, chatter. What else could one conclude?

And we gave up a workable view of human events, for......monotheism?
What is that about?
How could we have gone from a theory that explains the evidence, for
one that expects man to improve himself, a hopeless waste of energy in
most cases. Well yes, there is a reason that monotheism works----it
provides a mechanism to accomplish a certain kind of progress, but not
the progress that religion describes, rather, on a large scale, the
progress of religion is the efficiency of change on a large scale. But
what a hard sell, if anyone looked at the facts. And yet monotheism
did prevail in the west. Perhaps the reason for the triumph of
monotheism is that the intellect of man reached a certain stage of
progress in a human economy. Not the stage of effective control of
human behavior, the intellect of man cannot claim that, but---the
intellect of man can claim the goal of rational behavior is a workable
goal. It is the ability of the human mind to tout the advantages of
rationalism, that explains the triumph of monotheism. For the god of
the monotheists, is, possibly, just that human intellect, which claims
to be able to understand, ---everything. The triumph of a sole god is
the triumph, of a world transparent to human understanding. Maybe.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sampling Ordinary

Here's a quote from an online mag called I present
this as a nice example of ordinary thought. Let's get this straight:
we love ordinary. Ordinary is what keeps our world safe from, like mad
maxine types, and lets geezers walk in the park without worrying about
someone snatching their camera. That does not mean that for a few
there are not alternatives to ordinary and so I present this sample of
what a few could get beyond.

A Writing Revolution
Analysis / by Denis G. Pelli & Charles Bigelow / October 20, 2009
Nearly universal literacy is a defining characteristic of today's
modern civilization; nearly universal authorship will shape
Nearly everyone reads. Soon, nearly everyone will publish. Before
1455, books were handwritten, and it took a scribe a year to produce a
Bible. Today, it takes only a minute to send a tweet or update a blog.
Rates of authorship are increasing by historic orders of magnitude.
Nearly universal authorship, like universal literacy before it, stands
to reshape society by hastening the flow of information and making
individuals more influential.

End of quote. Reshape society, perhaps. But make individuals more
influential? eeh. What we are looking at with what this author is
calling universal authorship is -----more chat. More chatter is
necessary, because humanity, all the folks on the planet, is getting
bigger, and for this unit to continue to function while it is getting
larger, man's cerebral functions need to increase, so an individual
becomes more sensitive to the needs of the whole, (yes, less
influential as an individual, not more...) An individual as a cog in
something larger must be fine-tuned to function more efficiently,
transfer energy more efficiently. Increasing the cerebral dimension
is one way this could happen, increasing the proportion of yellow
circuit to red and blue (to use the terminology of a temporary map Jan
Cox once made up.) This map assumes the reader has some appreciation
of the mechanical quality of the ordinary human intellect.

Do I know what I just wrote above is accurate? No. Anyway it would be
the tiniest glancing sliver of a larger complexity. Let me guess
though, that someone glimpsing certain bedrock realities, and
wondering about escape routes, might do well to treat superficial
(widely agreed upon opinions) appearances as questionable and that
understanding might be a hard, but unique, path to --- a startling

Saturday, October 17, 2009


What a delight is a sprinkle of rain on a desert extent. What sweetness in the unexpected shift in humidity, but here you could say shift in altitude, shift in melody, shift in perspective... because the point here is a picture of one's first intimations of a world that before now, existed for one merely in literature. This world existed in literature but the thinness of this plane does not explain how appealing the accounts, how persuasive for some the pictures drawn in the literary accounts of mysticism.
This literature is typically by someone who before was -- parched -- and who,  after having this sprinkle, was changed merely in that he had something new to chat about. And chat they do, bulging library shelf after bulging shelf, on and on with a drier and drier tongue.
These accounts have the appeal of an account of foreign travel, with this exception. Most accounts are by those who never got that this glimpse, was merely a peek through a portal, not a certificate of some accomplishment.  This glimpse could for those thirsty to learn give a clue, but who fits this category.  Who can suspect that what happened to them was not of their own doing.  Who understands this artifact (memory) found out of its setting, means the start of a barefoot trek through a harsh landscape.
Or we could say, for some, but not most, this sprinkling weather event, is a hint that one must invent irrigation.

The convenience of convenience

Jan Cox once said that the reason convenience stores were popular is that they were convenient. I am not suggesting I have figured out what he meant yet, but that thought came to my mind when I watched two people walk toward a small shop of this kind.  And it occurred to me that it was convenient for them, because it did not have a lot of stuff they could not afford. I guess I don't yet really understand what Jan meant, only that he never wasted his words.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Bigger Picture

The url above is to a press release from NASA which talks about the results from a satellite that has returned information about the boundary area between our solar system and the galaxy of we are a part. 
These results allow:

"The first comprehensive sky map of our solar system and its location in the Milky Way galaxy. The new view will change the way researchers view and study the interaction between our galaxy and sun."

The lack of such a map was not part of my mechanical mental furniture, and yet how wonderful to now hear about something like this: I cannot even comprehend the mathematics that are critical here, and surely my grasp of these words could not be adequate to the reality that the scientists are thrilled about.
The only way for me to evaluate my picture of all this is to go beyond my picture of say, the solar system.
And even then, as one lets new pictures percolate, as this article allows, the fun is the fun of the edge, the fun of the new. The fun of the dimly comprehended which is yet plausible.

Perhaps my sentiments here are an example of what older theological systems called: faith.  Not--- hearing about some clumsy puppet figure and saying well that makes no sense but I will try hard to think it's real.

Perhaps faith is --- just what it was once described as
"the evidence of things unseen."

Perhaps the "evidence of things unseen," is this thrill of a border, a border from which things are just glimpsed, but not outlined in great detail (then it would not be a border.)

I can imagine some NASA person reading the above and thinking, nice lady, she reads our press releases and will probably encourage her congressman to vote more money for science.

No, they missed it.  The scientists are in the same boat I am, different edges, but the same boat.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Initial Color

It was the Book of Kells that got me studying again the illuminated
manuscripts that we all have seen in pictures. The extravagances, the
bright jewel toned color; the scenes of daily life, daily contemporary
life, to the artists, the monks who labored on the books, are
meticulously crowded into a scroll on a single letter. You could say
art was here in the service of religion as most folks then, even
royalty, couldn't read and learned most from the pictures in these

You could say that, and ignore what you know about the timeless space
the working artist occupies. Same thing applies to this thought:
Perhaps these infinite glimpses crowded into a curlique, are art in
the service of science. For have we not here, a celebration of
objectivity, an objectivity that looks at the human mind, and lays out
the true wonder of such a development, as thinking, in the species.
The letters of thought are there on the page, but in the illuminated
manuscript the words are put into a wider, humbling landscape that
measures the letter with a scientific exactitude. Perhaps, sometimes,
what you cannot say, you can occasionally draw.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Illuminating McCandless

Chris McCandless and his trek into  unknown wilderness, a quest apparently inspired (according to the books and movies on his story) by a need to establish his skills and self-sufficiency, is a story which rings familiar for many people who do not follow his example. They understand they think his motivation. 

The focus on what prompted his journey could be still more precise. He did not put it this way but his mind did not fit his body, there was a continual sense of something at odds, which found some surcease in situations when he was alone. 

Most people feel this disconnect at some time. It is a common experience -- because nobody's mind fits their body. The mind is a common grid which is imposed on people, and part of the imposition is the feeling that it is YOUR mind, when it is not.  Did you make up all the words you use? Of course not, if you had, no one could understand you. You get synced into a previously existing system when you get educated, and although the syncing only works if you believe in your own individuality, in fact the grid you become part of is planet wide and serving purposes which are not necessarily to your personal benefit.

Just like a scratchy shirt label at the back of your neck, from a garment purchased 'off the rack' there is a sense of irritation which is in some people becomes so grave that they persist in looking for peace. This can come from various sources and only very rarely does an individual take the necessary first step for real peace.

That first step is getting a sense of the direction in which the problem lies.  Chris never got that focus; he headed into the unknown physical world, after his graduation from Emory University, and the change of scenery provided some balm, an effect though which he needed to renew. A change of scenery is actually a tried method of keeping the mechanical mind off balance and inspired at the same time. But Mccandless took what is a work trick, as the goal itself. 

McCandless felt that irritation of an ill-fitting mind more strongly than most. But he still was looking in the wrong direction.  He wound up lost and starving in the physical wilderness.  For whatever reasons he did not look inside himself to a possible wilderness there.  He could not question the viability and sources of his own verbal grid.

An trivial footnote to the McCandless story is that for a few years he was a few miles only, from a real work group.  At that time it was called Evoteck Theatre.  Such a brush with possible help is not ironic because most people never find a real path, and if, they do, they do not persevere. The odds were greatly against any hope for McCandless to resolve his unease.  Another writer put it this way: "Many are called, but few chosen..."

Everybody starts lost.  I have no idea why different people go in different directions. I am aware though, that failure or success is not a matter of individual initiative or cleverness. It is not a matter of individual anything.  Most never stumble upon a real way, they just forget the questions.

There remain a very few, few measured in terms of centuries of people, who persevere, and for whom, anything off the rack, is a kind of torture.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Entangled thoughts

A neat thing in today's science news: scientists have demonstrated quantum entanglement in the visible world, what is commonly considered the realm of classical physics. Two objects, each a quarter of an inch across, have shown that what happens to one, affects the behavior of the other, though they are not connected. Such events used to be called 'action at a distance' and considered evidence of the observers lack of scientific rigor. Now they are called quantum entanglement. Quantum mechanics has typically been microscopic and invisible to the naked eye: the relation between the microscopic and macroscopic realms fundamental and not clearly understood. So evidence of the quantum mechanical effect, called quantum entanglement, that is macroscopic, is a big deal. Here's a link to the article, describing the research published in Nature:

Why I mention this in a blog about the purposes of Jan Cox, is that if you read the article you will note it says, the results were consistent and could only be explained by quantum entanglement. Let me quote article in Science News exactly: "So the two [objects] were linked in a way that only quantum mechanics could explain."

Okay, here is the mechanical mind full bore ahead. In fact----nobody understands quantum entanglement at all, even just on the microscopic level. They have just given up doubting it exists. That does not mean scientists understand what quantum entanglement is, so it is a sleight of thought for them to explain something by saying it is quantum entanglement. Giving something a name is not the same as understanding it. But notice this basic fact slips by without notice. Because the focus on the unknown might call into question the nature of the mechanical rational human mind. Because tangled thoughts prevent you from seeing the edge.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Epistemological curls

There's what we call the mind, and some stuff it knows and some stuff it thinks it knows, and mostly it forgets what it does not know.  But how much can you know if you do not have a sense of what you do not know?  Perhaps a growing vine pictures this:  the vine twirls and curls and can reach quite high.  As long as it is not aware that it is around a fence post, the self-knowledge of the vine may include "height" as a predominate feature of vines.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why Is Afghanistan Unconquerable

Afghanistan is famous as a country the British empire (in its heyday) could not conquer, and in the 20th century the Russian empire, though right next door, could not subdue. To my knowledge no one has pinpointed why this invincibility should be manifested by such a primitive area. It seems plausible to argue that the very primitivity of a large area explains its unconquered state.  There are not many roads for tanks to roll down in huge numbers, or airports, and electric lines. Without a modern  infrastructure freedom for a people who know their land is easier to maintain. 

Similarly in some ways, is a verbal infrastructure key to grasping the knowing of a Real Thinker.
What the very few in all of history have, as mystical figures, is an ability to control the volume of their verbal thoughts.  NOT an ability to turn off the radio, no, that is a misconception of those who merely read books on mysticism. Such clarification is part of the heritage of modern figures of whom Jan Cox alone in the latter half of the 20th century was a representative. The Real Thinker grasps that the verbal infrastructure in his mind is part of a larger structure which does not represent his own personal interests.

The freedom of the Real Thinker is a freedom of wide quiet vistas and subterranean canniness.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Touching stories

Had a friend who stopped to rescue a dog on a busy highway, okay the name was Buford Hwy, but the other details have been ever so slightly changed to protect the ordinary (that'd be me.)  He was hit by a car and sent to a local hospital with a broken, uh, elbow. Jan Cox had me give this person a message when I visited him in the hospital. The message: This better teach you not to be a do-gooder.  That was the gist.  And an expansion of this message, which of course was not what I delivered at the time: the ordinary can be so nice. Being ordinary was not what Jan Cox was about.

Time frames

Don't really know where the word abracadabra came from, but I have to wonder if the word is not the sterile remnant of a once lively trick: say you are trying to convey how circular and unilluminating the mechanical mind must be, on the level of words.

Art can offer a longer time frame than words. Say you are trying to convey the message, in the statue of Romulus and Remus, nursing on a wolf.The children are still totally meshed with the physical world. That is their strength, but they will go on to found a city. The wolf cannot know how different these pups are, ---but the wolf pack that builds a city, an empire, is a quantitative difference which becomes a qualitative difference.
If the stoic knowing in the face of that female wolf could be put into words, the words would quickly become drained of their usefulness. As a sculpture some remnant of the mystery is still extant: how the future can unfold in totally unpredictable ways.

But to progress words have their own value. Jan Cox once described them as fast food. The trick of the word 'abracadabra' is that it may have originated in an attempt to make words look at words. May once have really been a magic word: the first time it was uttered it lit the mechanicalness of verbalizing because it was a word withOUT a meaning. As a word the first time it was used, abracadabra showed the thinness of the ice that mechanical language is. To succeed at showing the hollowness of man's rational speech IS magic. This first, functional, phase, was very brief. As such must be. The glimpse of magic the word provided quickly became the impotent word: magic. With use abracadabra become the opposite of it's original import.

Life (words, that is) is brief. Art--not so much.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mysticism of a planet

It sometimes occurs to me to change the name of this blog. American mysticism turns out to mean native American to some --those hunters and garnerers who owned the woods because they were home in the woods. Actually my original idea was a bow to Gurdjieff who pointed to the United States as the flatland. I meant to refer to the European phase as Gurdjieffs and then Jan Cox as the American.  But I probably won't change the name.
The idea of the crystal radio came to my attention, an early option anyone could set up if they had a certain crystal and a fine wire. The crystal setup worked best from a high altitude, so children climbed into trees to test their knowledge of physics by making the crystal radio transmit.  The wire tip had to be very fine, the idea was a point contact that worked, allowing radio wave transmission, and the wire had to be fine because it literally had to touch a particular electron.
That kind of fineness is like the attention we struggle to attain and keep-- that is one picture.  The struggle for a precise but next to nonexistent touch, which resulted, when successful,  in words or music. Perhaps if the transmission is successful, there IS a silky background of forest and figure  behind the flatlander words.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This is not a clue

For my own sense of propriety I would like to amend the phrase in the
previous post, where I say, "whatever else I may have learned." It
should read 'unlearned.'

What's the date today?

Oh, right, September 11, that rings a bell. That's the day when something unexpected happened. Doesn't really matter what that something was, compared to the lessons to be observed about when the unexpected happens. Because the habitual total routine machinery of life is a big reason people can go on thinking they know something, when in fact they are clueless. 
But in a blog about Jan Cox, really, what jumps to mind is the incident I recall where he said to the group of people he had allowed to stay around, "if you leave the group, I will not again think of you." (words to that effect.) One person hearing this,  thought, wow, that's cold.
How wrong I was, and whatever I later learned, one thing is this (and contra the many statements you will hear on the media today about never forgetting) you can only remember by not thinking of something.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Take 89

What if the man speaking is actually, not a deliberator, not a conveyer of information, but what if, the man speaking is -- a car without brakes. What if this applies to any person with their mouth moving: they are a car without brakes. Any man. In such a scene then, would reality be----piles of wrecks blocking highways. Yet the brakeless cars venture onto the roads, unaware of swerving, hoods mingling, screeching and metallic mixing sounds all around. A man may look down and wonder, why is there blood on my shirt. The ordinary do not grasp the reality of their situation.

And in this scenario, what is the role of a real teacher, someone who can actually see the wreckage, which is in plain sight? Does he teach the principles of brakes for cars? Not if he is a real teacher. Speaking is driving without brakes and this applies to all.

The real philosoher, say a Gurdjieff, or a Jan Cox, uses words with caution, never doubting the lack of brakes, but chosing their roadway, their speed, aware of the importance of geographical features like hills in the path. They know the purpose of words is not to convey knowledge. Their use of words reveal a precision unknown to the ordinary, since the words of a real teacher reflect the teachers awareness of the reality of gravity. What to the ordinary sounds vague and disconnected may actually be the precision necessary to thread a path through the wreckage of the road, or the cunning necessary to halt a vehicle without brakes. Anything the ordinary hear is hampered by their own inability to evaluate their surroundings.

Friday, August 28, 2009

You Can Touch Tape

Watergate plus 30 is a nice review of the Watergate affair which changed the course of American history. Only thing though, it failed to mention the name of the one person who started it all and who can be said, if you glimpse the logic of Jan Cox, a logic based on an extraordinary perspective, --who can be said to be the only one in the whole Watergate affair whose contribution was not just dreams. Yes, those dreams that define our world, were the whole Watergate review film, and the name of the person without whom the whole affair would still be raveled, that person's name was not even mentioned. I refer to the guard that discovered tape over the locks of a door in a hotel. Frank Wills. Not a murmur of his name in this documentary about Watergate, though you can touch tape. Not so constitutional crises.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Needs and motives on the mystic path

Freedom, a need for freedom, is a major key to grasping the import of the life of Jan Cox.  This focus of being free quickly shifts from the comic book idea of gravity tricks. An awareness of the universal power of genetics is always an aspect for someone interested in freedom, for the freedom the mystic seeks begins with an understanding of reality.  Few persevere in this quest for freedom partly because they are surrounded by the massive denials of the actual silhouette of the goal.  Most people grow into a state where the question makes no sense to them---what is freedom?
Yet---there is evidence that this drive for the freedom appropriate and possible for the human kind,  transcends species. What creature suddenly confined does not look for an escape path? 
Someone like Jan Cox would find zoo visiting a painful experience.  What man can grasp the true dimensions a wild creature needs to live comfortably. Certainly no zoo on the planet really provides a satisfying habitat, and this is because the sense of boundlessness is part of the needs of many if not most creatures on our planet. 
Aquariums too see many creatures die simply because there are bounds, and the failure of such places is a failure of imagination. Even situations such as fish farms with small fish, are sad---often these businesses do not keep the water clean, and instead feed the fish antibiotics, rather than keeping the water purer.
For the mystic philosopher, solving the problem of (internal) dirty water is a good picture of the cognitive route which provides the path to the maximum possible freedom.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That old mind/mind split

The wringing of hands about whether computers will "take over" mankind caused Jan some mirth when he discussed this aspect of modern dreaming. I was reminded of this when I saw this recent headline:
"Is there nothing a smartphone can't help you do better? Downloadable applications, or "apps", are becoming indispensible complements to their owners' biological brains – indeed, some argue that they are turning us into cyborgs."
While I do not know if Jan Cox would have put it this way, what struck me reading this ad was, Yeah, man's mechanical mind, the binary part which is so useful dealing with the external world, and so misplaced when expected to deal with the internal and anything complicated, that mechanical mind, is not at risk for becoming computer controlled, it already IS a computer.
Not sure whether this will get folks to focus on the possibility that mechanical verbal mentation is not the total of man's mental capacities...

Like kudzu

The way kudzu covers growing things so you can discern the outline but no detail, is like words and the world. And if the words -- I mean kudzu continues, then what is underneath loses form utterly.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What if there is secret knowledge

That the poets accidentally mention,
That the scientists tangentially address
That the mystic philosopher cannot speak of.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why Alpha Wolves Wag Their Tails

I am of course not talking about wolf wolves, they don't keep their rivals around, I am talking about world statesman (mainly statesmen.). And the tails I am talking about you can see mainly in their eyes and smiles. Because those pictures of world leaders gathering for summits, posing for group pictures clearly show----how pleased those people are to be in their own company. Yes, the only place alpha wolves can be truly appreciated is in the company of other, wolves.  No need to pretend to be religious (as Jan Cox pointed out about the social elite, religion is not what motivates them.) or worried about the poor. Finally they can draw a breath and relax. Those documents they sign were settled before the politicians even arrived-- but still the meetings have to happen, because briefly there is there ---no need for phony explanations about the rich menus at banquets to benefit the starving. Or stories mentioning the need to spend time with their families, in those cases involving the other reasons wolves wag their tails. Among their own wolves can relax.  And we can't do without the meetings either. Though the number who can understand why we can't do without alpha wolves  is smaller than the number of wolves themselves.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Uses of Words, part 1

How common is it that words, qua words, are used to forward the necessary D flow?  I am not sure, but the use of words -- simply as linguistic objects -- to accomplish what our ordinary mentation would call destructive purposes is an interesting phenomenon.  What I have in mind is behind Lenin's quote that (this is a rough quote) listening to music was bad because it made him want to smile when what he needed to do was bash someone's head in.  Okay, what I mean by words qua words is that in this example I assume Lenin was following the ideas of some communistic philosopher, and it was the ideas themselves that led Lenin to think it okay to hurt someone else because he was following a revolutionary goal. I call this using words qua words because Lenin, our sample thinker, is not trying to verify the words against reality, he is simply allowing the words of a theory to guide his actions.  Like the words were planks in a stream and the thinker is walking from plank to plank, that is, following the ideas, rather than listening to the reality of his own inner and outer surroundings. Now no doubt our sample thinker here would argue that these are not just any words he was following, but the correct formula based on a study of history, and thus his actions were justified. Yeah, yeah.  (I cannot resist pointing out that the Russian communists killed far more people than the czarist police ever did, however that is not the point of our using this incident.) To me the interesting point is that he was allowing the words to determine his actions. His heart told Lenin to do one thing, but Lenin measured his feelings against an idea, and he followed the idea. Note I am treating Lenin's comment as having some honesty to it, and I am treating Lenin as merely an example. The point is not that he was following bad ideas, no the point is he was following ideas, that is, words, at all.

 I am not going to point out here that a follower of the maps of Jan Cox, could respond that any words will miss the mark.  Rather let me vary Jan's map by saying that a philosopher of talent would be constantly testing that web of words, constantly tugging on it (mentally is the picture here), because the present is the only arena there is, the only source of reality, and words are just a minor part of this reality. Words are always subject to testing, revision, because they are only fresh and useful, ever, for a very short time. Useful, that is to accomplish that which we can using the energies of C flow.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Tension of Tenses

Jan Cox once wrote that about 500 years ago a change of some kind happened so that human life had a value.  I am sure his original phraseology was clearer-- but my recollection is that he was referring to a sense that every human life has a worth.  He was pointing to something other scholars have delved into the fringes of, and call the Renaissance. One thing that also happened around this time frame in Western history has been called the 'discovery of the past.'  What this means is that people in what we call the medieval period in western Europe,  assumed that everything around them had always been the way they currently observed it. The church was a big factor in this perception, one church, supporting a clearly structured society.  People were born into a certain class and did not consider it unfair if they were not rich, this was where God had meant them to be.  Then all heck broke loose, with the printing press making books more widely available, and many other factors of which I am unaware going on -- but now, as the historians would say, a perspective of change was pressed on people's attention. Old books, old art, for instance made it apparent that society had not always been arranged the way it currently looked. And if things had not always been a certain way, perhaps change in the current structure was a possibility.  In the words of certain malcontents: 'When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?'  Change had become conceivable.
The above is pretty standard stuff in history books. (Except for Jan's comment.) What it brought to mind is that, you would think a discovery of the past would mean a discovery of the future...Yet this little essay argues that in fact, there was not then, nor is there now, a real discovery of the future. By discovery of the future I mean a sense of the future as real, as in the first paragraph, I tried to show what people mean when they say the past is a real factor.  Of course, I do not mean the future is real as in currently existing, that would be contradictory. But the future as real in the sense of something unknown which impinges on us, an arena of the new, the possible new --that future is not part of the ordinary machinery of man's mentation.
WERE the future a reality in the mind of man, then there would have been no amazement that we could have planes crashing into office buildings in a city arguably the capital of the world. Okay---it would have been amazing, but there would have been no sense of how could this happen, how could our intelligence have let us down?  Because a sense of the future would give to man's ordinary mind the flexibility that an awareness of areas of which we are ignorant would lend it. 
It is possible, it seems to me, that ordinary human mentation could include a sense of the future, and does not now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

And It's Not Called The Artemis Mission Because...?

The mechanical mind is marvelous to the very edge of words and the moon missions are vibrant examples of what rearranging pieces of the external world can accomplish. This phraseology is that of Jan Cox, to describe the proper functioning of the mechanical mind. But imagination hovers at every portal and one evidence of this is naming the missions Apollo. Besides, Apollo was the Greek god of the sun!!! Not the moon. The god associated with the moon was a goddess----named Artemis, Diana, Selene.
Yet the (mostly) men, bright men, who thought out, calculated, trouble shot, bravely believed in what the words predicted, named their goal, not after the thematically appropriate, goddess of the moon, but the god of the sun----emphatically NOT where they were heading.
It seems to me that we are not dealing here with any rinkydink bias, but have, in this example of a misapplication of old stories, the fact that ordinary knowledge is about the knower, not what is known, or the hoped for goal. The proper goal of the mechanical mind of man is rearranging the environment to enhance the survival of our species. The goal of the mechanical mind is NOT knowledge per se (though this sounds shocking, and is rejected by that mechanical mind itself). Actual knowledge of the world and man in that world, is not within the grasp of the verbal mind. The proper use of the mechanical mind is protecting --- mankind. The knowledge available to the ordinary intellect is not about the objective world of which we are apart, the knowledge available to the ordinary intellect is about the external world of the knower. So it is proper that the Apollo mission was named for those bright men who are laying a way for our species to leave our ancestral home, this planet we call dir--, I mean, earth.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Limits of the Human Intellect

Recently we have pointed to logical gaps at both ends of the intellectual range of man. (Our last two blog posts).  Our point here was to raise certain questions regarding the nature of man's mental faculties. Obviously man has a desire to know---we can look back on a history of technological achievement over the past two thousand years, and an artistic heritage which suggests man can deal on the symbolic level.  Yet this desire to know has a limit, and this is what I am pointing to. Man typically will NOT pursue a question to its logical ultimate. How interesting is this!  Just keep questioning and man may reach, (I suggest you experiment with this) a surprising awareness. But this persistence in intellectual questing is exactly what man, homo sapiens, will not, and certainly, typically, does not, maintain. One reason is perhaps that there is, at some level, an awareness that persistent questioning, a pushing to the borders of the human intellect, would destabilize that intellect.  At least on a scale larger than a few people, this questioning would be destructive to the larger machinery of which man is a part. There may be a good reason that man's intellectual can be defined as one which is not characteristically persistent.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Civil Discontents Part II

So we noticed last blog some incoherency among those who assume extraterrestrials explain anything. Perhaps the academic chaps avoid certain glaring logical gaps. One hopes those sagging library shelves hold something of value.  Still my example here won't support that last hope. There is a philosophical question about the nature of man: is there any validity to the idea of a mental or spiritual realm. The extremely common view is that man has a spiritual dimension.  Some philosophers assume man has a physical and a mental nature to explain their observations, and experiences. Without this duality they are lost to explain what they consider the human dimension---man's values, spiritual worth, etc. What these folks fail to notice is this: if you assume a second layer of reality, you have to then explain how these two dimensions interact.  The addition of a spiritual, or mental realm merely moves the problem of explaining man, around, it does not solve it.  With two dimensions the consistent thinker then has to explain how these diverse realms coexist and intercommunicate.  A mental realm as a separate world just confuses the reality of man's world. Typically if you are explaining how two diverse things communicate you wind up with a third realm -- one which connects the physical and mental. Yet what does this gain us??? You really need another realm to connect the third to the other two, and, this could go on infinitely. Kind of like those who think extraterrestrials on this planet explain anything, when you step back and realize the questions are just moved around, not really explained.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Civilization and its contents

There is an interesting continuity between the explanations of those liable to a certain hysteria, I mean those who give credence to extraterrestrials, and those typically found in academe, the ivory tower billed birds.
The first group crave a certain gross excitement in their mechanical mental lives, nothing too subtle. Flying saucers serve a purpose in their imagination, satisfying a unviversal craving for an exciting edge, but one which can be oh so concretely described.  At one time angels were seen in the heavens, now it is household utensils. This coarse profanity serves other purposes---one of these functions is to explain human development, and human origins.  The visits of extra terrestrials have been used to explain both the advance of man's civilization and the origin of humanity itself. The idea is that visitors either produced a new species, and or, helped along an extant one, to produce the world we know.  The question of the ET motives is left open.  The illogic behind the E. T. scenario is unrecognised. Illogic in the sense that an explanation is produced which actually does not answer the basic questions for which the explanation is put forward.  A visit from people from other planets does not explain the origin of life----one is just pushing back the question---from where did the life on other planets derive??? And what promoted the developments in civilization, the technological superiority, on these other planets? The popularity of stories of extraterrestrials fills a gap left by the declining interest in traditional religious explanations of such questions. 
These objections to the E.T.answer to life's mysteries seem obvious once outlined.  How is this kind of thinking related to the typical thinking of the academic writer of books?  We will return to this question soon. 

After Dinner Dents

My sense is that the writings of Jan Cox, now that he is dead, are serving as digestive aids, after dinner mints, so the ordinary can better digest, and live on, the hostility of life, without ever seeing that Jan rejected all and every system, philosophic label, hell, all labels, and that was just to get started. His only interest was in the freedom available to our species, and nudging people to look in the direction he did. Ideas, labels----all words, all that you must learn to look beyond.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hey, it's just a thought....

Is cyberspace a medium for sharing, learning? You could make a case that cyberspace is less so than is commonly thought. As an attenuation of man's mental realm it shares the status of what Jan Cox calls the yellow circuitry of man.  For many cyberspace is I suspect a kind of heaven because it removes the physical element from relationships.  This leads to encouraging, enlarging, the dreaming portion of man's life.  The awareness that the mystic seeks however involves full frontal reality, and I cannot see how cyberspace, with its hygienic debodying of reality (what IS the opposite for decapitation), with the lack of, oh say, smell, can be anything nourishing. Cyberspace rather, may share the cotton candy quality of man's mental realm.  Of course this realm plays a larger part in humanity's life as centuries go by, and the birth and expansion of cyberspace could be one way the larger growth of Humanity, rather than the individual cells we call humans, is kept intact as a single organism. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Why is remembering mentioned so frequently in mystical literature?
Wouldn't remembering be always OF the past??? Many mystical groups in history speak of remembering as a critical technique, Yet the past, that is over, that is not where creativity is, the past. Perhaps we could get a clue here from the member part of remembering.  A member is part of something larger. Whether part of a body, or a community of people, the same word, member, is used.
Perhaps then the past part of remembering is partial, bordering and inviting, as the past must,  an infinity of detail, an infinity which can never be completely captured, Whether that infinity of detail, in the past, is an echo of another infinity, or actually itself, (that infinity of the past,) part of a larger infinity, is not clear. Yet these thoughts seem to be going in the right direction, elucidating how remembering, --the past--- can lead to the unexpected newness of reality.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Public Aspects of Attention

So much attention lately after the death of a pop icon-- Michael Jackson. It is not clear to me why exactly. I still say if it were for the greatness of his music you could ask why James Brown's death did not provoke the same storm.  Another of the students of Jan Cox told me the other night that Jan had admired Michael Jackson stressing his creativity.  A good perspective, but if creativity were the reason for the dimensions of the public outcry, then we would certainly have seen a bigger commotion when Jan Cox himself demised. I do recall what Jan said when the last pope croaked. He said the crowds were not converging on Rome because of the Pope, but because other people were going to Rome.
And changing the subject, a bit---some commentator said the black people knew the police had it out for Jackson and that is why the legal charges.  Here is a tricky way binary thought works.  Even though I can easily imagine the cops were happy to arrest Michael Jackson, that doesn't mean he was innocent. (I am of course merely pointing out an example of binary thought, not addressing the facts of which I know absolutely nothing. I am just saying, contra the logic of binary thought, that saying the cops have it out for you, and if they do, does NOT mean you are innocent.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stalking the Stock Market

Stalking the stock market Of course for what can be learned about life. Jan Cox told his students decades ago to stay away from it,  Though he did not elaborate, (to my recall) my guess is he perceived there was not, nor ever would be, any kind of level playing field. Which came to mind after hearing the denunciations of Madoff as "evil." First off, these words are from people who did not investigate who was getting hurt as long as their own dividends were being paid. Secondly to label anything evil just means you are asserting your own self worth, and that is a dangerous position for anyone to take. As Jan said: do not pray for justice, pray for mercy.  This whole idea of evil may have evolved to bolster the mechanical personality.  For using such a label means you can see clearly (you assume you can see clearly) that the world is divided into two, and that one of these parts is not good. Not going into at this moment the whole ignorance of a third of reality in such maps.  What I might end with is the stunning inability of ordinary consciousness to perceive how the mechanical operations of nature, of everything, accounts for any so-called problems of evil, as long as the quester appreciates, remembers, that the mechanical personality, is not isolated, and not a source of knowledge, ---which does not mean knowledge does not exist.  It exists----just not at the level of verbal maps.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Europeans Covering America

It was not Columbus that is credited with discovering North America, but John Cabot, or Giovanni Caboto, as his mother knew him, since he was Italian. Henry the 7th of England financed Cabot's explorations, and historians are not sure of anything regarding these voyages.  But historians talk of Cabot landing in Newfoundland and claiming Eastern Canada for the English.
This would have been Cabot's second voyage in search of a northerly passage to the Spice Islands. The date of June 24, 1497, is assigned to his landing in North America.  Cabot never returned from his third voyage, begun in 1498, and nothing is known for sure of his fate or that of the crew members. 

But it is not just Cabot's voyages which can be described with various degress of certainty, which certainly means, degrees of uncertainty.  Accounts of Cabot's sailing across the Atlantic are just an example of the kind of dreams that historians regularly compose.  Calling the seas the Atlantic, his ship, The Matthew, his fate, unknown---what can this really mean?  Can you quiz a drop of water til it says, "Atlantic?"  The historians do not recognise that the status of their knowledge is far more compromised than their admitting, "well, judging from his maps, he probably made it to what we now call Newfoundland." 

What do we really know, and even this is a surmising. But the real knowledge that could have been involved, would have been the bump of a wooden keel on a sandy shore, the kind of thing you see, you feel.  This can be called knowledge.  The use of words like English sovereignty, this is not knowledge, this is imagination.  You cannot taste English sovereignty, the way you can salt in the air.  A simple enough distinction, but one the academics don't make.

Jan Cox said "history is dreams." My talking of Cabot here is meant to illustrate what Jan meant with this phrase, "history is dreams."  When I mention history, I am mainly trying to find fresh ways to think for my own benefit.  Not to elucidate some "out there" kind of truth. History is dreams.  But if your mind is motoring along at a mechanical speed, your best bet to speed up, is fresh thought, (and always, though this has not been publicly explained, a certain effort.)  But fresh thoughts----that will at least keep you in the game.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Finding the Trail

My philosophic calm gets lost easily if the subject is lost pets.  Or---people who speak of animals having a homing ability.  It has always seemed to me that folks who speak of pets finding their way home are irresponsible people who blame their pets for their own carelessness, as in "Fluffy will come back when he is ready." That kind of attitude makes me want to slap the speaker.  Most likely their pet is frightened and lost and soon to be gassed, the latter if some so-called good samaritan drops them off at the government sponsored control the animals by killing them place.
Well the above paragraph does sound cranky.  Jan Cox spoke of our taking care of stray animals. He did not dwell on it----taking care of some lost pet will not wake you up. Ordinary people often have big hearts.  Some even act on their impulses to be kind to animals.
And---the fact is some animals do exhibit an ability to find their way back home.  There is no doubt about this.  This homing ability in animals is rare. The rareness of this ability in animals, (an ability which most people could not duplicate, to find your way over strange terrain, to some place you may or even may not have ever been to before) means you have to assume the animals you encounter are really sadly lost.  How do some few dogs or (I assume) cats, navigate their way successfully, is a question, even as we acknowledge most animals do not exhibit this behavior.  Is it some kind of radar, some latching onto a magnetic line?
Similarly people very rarely exhibit an interest in the Real Work,--the Way of Real Knowledge, to which Jan Cox devoted his life. Presumably all people have the ability to hear its reality.  Though most people, too, will never find their way home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Stronger than Fiction

Is it a question as to why fiction writers often stress they are writing about the truth? Avowedly totally made up, and yet what they are at pains to show and state, is that their writing is about reality. There are a few exceptions but notice that few people read the writers who set out to puncture the limits of the genre of fiction writing. So how come is there this emphasis on being realistic when writing fiction---to the point of even often saying, this is a true story?

One reason might be that ordinary consciousness clings to words, is defined by words, and sometimes senses a hollow sound to these words, this last being a sensation that is discomforting to them. In this possible take on the question I raised above, what we have is a stress on the very word 'truth' to avert a fuller awareness of our peculiar situation as human beings----that being that words exist to hide the fact that reality cannot be expressed in ---- words.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

No Stinkin' Badges

Jan Cox picked a phrase someone else had written, the movie dialogue that has become a catch phrase--"We don't need no stinking badges." This rare recycling of something another had written served the purpose of demonstrating a kind of energy, and also shows how even at the ordinary level there is an awareness that verbal labels often totally miss the point.  Not repeating others or yourself is a critical trick to making temporary escapes from the habitual life which alone allows the mass of people on this planet to function together as one unit.  In this case though, "no stinkin' badges' was so apt that it became an inside joke for his students.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jan's Metaphor of the Fish in the Water

The students of Jan Cox will remember one way Jan used to explain the ignorance of man about himself----a person's self understanding is like a fish who CANNOT perceive that he is a water creature because water is ALL he knows. A variation of this occurred to me: scientists and those who say they seek learning are like people studying the water from an elevation----they do not see the water, the important element, they do not see the water, for the fish.
Funny how man's speech is literally wet, in his mouth. This foam though, like the edge of an ocean wave, is not where the action is.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Perpetual Motion Machinery

The ordinary flow between folks is all about dominance and submission, what Jan Cox called, your pack position. Given this universality among people, it occurred to me to wonder how come my cats exhibit dominant and submissive behavior. Cats are not pack animals, and not really even tame creatures. Yet I do have a cat who is casually dominant over the other kitties. He gets the best chair, eats first etc. The first thing that occurred to me is that seeing domsub behavior in the common house cat suggested this behavior may be a general mammalian trait--therefore very early, very deep. And such may be the case, but I got sidetracked when one at least of the reasons cats exhibit this behavior came to mind. Sex. Male cats have to be aggressive, they have to perpetuate their kittiness over as much of the planet as possible. Female cats though, can afford to wait to be noticed, a mere meow and they have all the attention they need. Perhaps it all comes down to a differential just so that motion never ceases.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Joy is the ...

There is an authenticating quality to the mystical experience---a
seeing that answers questions. I am not prepared to say that such is
not the main aspect of what Jan Cox referred to sometimes as vertical
expansion. This authenticating though is part of the major hazards of
such events, and I do not mean hazard in a bad sense, but for the
individual himself the experience most often is the beginning and the
end of his personal growth. This is because the circumambient words
are felt to be authenticated by the experience of vertical expansion.
So instead of real wordless knowledge we have people of various
religious, and other, stripes. And humanity as a whole progresses,
but the individual person, not necessarily so much. So the few real
teachers, men like Gurdjieff and Jan Cox, were heard to say that you
had to have a teacher to wake up, to use that common and misleading
phrase. And the path between crankdom and guruism is not one that can
be threaded with cocksure stride.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A State of Stillness in Stone

The Kouros are sculptures from around 530 BC. You have seen pictures of them, standing figures, arms at the side, legs together, with maybe a foot extended. And the face, no radiant smiles, just a tiny calm lip line. I have heard these statues referred to as an early stage of sculpture, before the Greeks had learned to convey the action, say the movement you can see in the Laocoon frenzy, before action in stone was in the repertory of Greek artists. The statues are commonly regarded as a primitive stage of European art.

What if, though, the opposite were the case. What if these statues, the still strange erect figures, were representing the inner life of a man whose awareness has a vertical dimension missing in most people. The Kouros, to my mind, have the stillness of a mystical awareness kept amidst the flurry of everyday life.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Joan of Arc and all that

The dimensions of history. It is my, probably sound, guess that all the major stuff we call history has a mystical element, in the sense of someone's experience sometime. Joan of Arc is just an obvious example. (May 30 is the date of her death, in 1431.) One interesting way this might happen is that people begin massive external building projects, under the energy involved and, most typically, misinterpreted (misinterpreted is an inside joke since ANY interpretation of a so-called mystical experience is a MISinterpretation.). The pyramids jump to mind, the expansion of Islamic culture, the crazy way western Europeans just decided, hey let's cross the mediterranean and attack those nice folks over there. (That thought started with the Crusades in mind.). Not that I have proof in my previous examples, I am speculating here. But it is plausible that we may owe, to someone's misinterpretation, indeed, perhaps an active turning away from a glimpsed reality, the major events in a high school history book. Only of course, if I am right, then so called historical causation is, the way it is currently written, utterly wide of the mark. Or perhaps, in the words of Jan Cox: "History is dreams."

And going back to misinterpretation being an inside joke, --- the reality behind that is why you could call, in the words of Jan Cox, "vertical expansion", a secret, --- meaning a secret you keep from yourself.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Paw This

Words---words are like cats' paws. Not cats paw---but the way a cat can knock something off a counter on purpose. In some cases this results in the cover falling off the butter dish, and the reward is butter, or the reward is...... The reward is perhaps marking the gap between word and experience

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Words, (What else)

One's knowledge of a subject is not revealed by how many words one has read about it.  It is not what you read, it is HOW you read that signifies real awareness.  The excitement a scientist feels on looking a new data, say from an orbiting telescope, is because he is looking beyond the data and experimentally plugging the numbers he sees into various scenarios, or whirling in the back of his mind, possible new scenarios that could account for some anomalies.  The scientist in the fields of the physical sciences, is exceptional in that he works often with what is genuinely new, and so his awareness has the potential for an excitement, the thrill of the fresh, that is absent from any rote learning.  His knowing is real as long as it is at the edge of knowing.  It is in a way this excitement which Jan Cox sought to show others how to achieve with his own writing about the world.  Of course the mystic's knowledge, has a greater potential power than that of the physical scientists, and this is hard for the scientists to grasp since they already have a yellow circuit (intellectual, in a common parlance) excitement, thus the scientists probably will never grasp what they are missing.  Partly this is because of the ignorance of the scientists about the quality typical of the thinking of most men.  It is the mystic alone who pursues knowledge on a variety of frontiers.

Getting Somewhere

It is a common assumption that words are a source of knowledge. Common assumptions are rarely correct as a resolute study of Jan Cox would reveal. Not a study of a huge number of words he wrote (what else was he going to do?), but an attempt to glean his purpose of undermining words. Those truly concerned with what Jan Cox was pointing to, would be prying apart his words---trying to catch a glint of light between the letters. Like buses----to assume words convey knowledge is to assume the advertising on a bus IS the bus. Buses nowadays often have a vinyl wrap advertisement. Like the one I saw this morning advertising Mercedes Benz vehicles. Inside the bus are tired people. The tired people are the point of the bus, getting people holding multiple jobs about the city---moving energy around. But the neophyte assumes the bus IS a Mercedes Benz. The neophyte assumes the definition of a word in the dictinary is accurate and relevant. The words of Jan Cox are designed to point out to people that the bus is NOT what is advertised ON the bus. Words are to be studied, but not for their ostensible definitions. For some few folks, the words in a dictionary are just an inside joke.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Joke of the Day

The following sentence is from an article about Larry Squire, a neuroscientist at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego.

[About Squire:]He is a leading investigator of the organization and structure of mammalian memory and pioneered the brain-based distinction between declarative and procedural memory, or as he later refined it, between declarative and nondeclarative memory systems.

What got me chuckling, and of course, a reporter wrote the article, not Professor Squire, was the word in the above quote: "refined." In the context, and to a non-scientist, the opposite of refined seems to be a better description.  Quite apart from the general giggles descriptions of academic stuff can produce.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Backyard

One man found a treasure in his backyard. He dug up a gold lantern.
But he did not dig up any candles, so the lantern was of little use.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Binary Thought -- part 8,930,281.

"...[W]hy psi phenomena flourish best in [the] darkness [of
statistics] is ...hard to comprehend. If the mind can alter the
statistical outcome of many tosses of heavy dice, why is it powerless
to rotate a tiny arrow, magnetically suspended in a vacuum to
eliminate friction?...The failure of such direct unequivocal tests is
in my opinion one of the great scandals of parapsychology."

These are the words of Martin Gardner, who for almost three decades
wrote the column on mental puzzles for Scientific American. He has
written quite a few books pointing out charlatans and sloppy research
in the psychical research laboratory. In the quote above he is
referring to the fact that there is a statistically significant effect
pointing to some kind of psychical power of mind (so-called) when
tests are done in runs, rather than individual tests of say,
precognition. So if you guess what card will come up next, you get
significant results (better than chance) only if you average the
results from a large number of tries.

Gardner has thankfully pointed out many many cases where people
cheated on these tests. He seems annoyed that there remain these
statistical results that confirm the existence of the so-called
psychic powers, and that cannot be explained away.

It would not be so odd that an individual person cannot demonstrate
psychic powers in the lab, but that large scale test results do, if we
recall the map Jan Cox used, which spoke of a global mind. If the
individual mind is merely part of a larger phenomenon, and not itself
any kind of self actuating engine, as is so fondly believed, then
these results are what one would expect. But the intellectual cannot
relinquish his dream that his rational, binary, mind is an adequate
tool to investigate everything he might encounter. So he gets annoyed.
And yet the cosmos keeps on spinning.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The worth of a bird in the...

Road.  How often do you see birds that have been run over. Not often. They  have another direction available to them, they can and generally do, go up if there is any need.  The words of Jan Cox, and other real thinkers, are kind of like dead birds in the road.  By words I mean spoken, printed, words.  What can you tell of flight from a flattened mass of feathers? Yet the common asphault is the only means of communication to groups of people for someone such as Jan. 
The proportion of birds on the road compared to the sky -- how tiny the number on the road, how vast the song and feathers in the sky.  Such, it may be, is the amount a mystic like Jan Cox could say, compared to what he knows.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Numbering Energies

Of the maps Jan Cox created to help us glimpse the panorma we fall into, that of the three flows, was one of the most durable.  "C" was the creative flow of energy, D, the conserving, called sometimes destructive, and E, the irrelevant, that which man could not grasp as relevant with his binary mind.  All three being always present in an event, Jan rarely mentioned that three was an arbitrary number, though using alphabetic letters to signify them, hinted at the other flows. For the first time I am wondering about A and B flows, and remembering from another mystic, the phrase "fundament of the stars."  And how some today would consider that description old fashioned, and irrelevant, as if we already knew, now, this fundament, because we have particle physics, and string theory, as if THESE ideas addressed the question of Job: who has fathomed the fundament of the stars. As if the passage of two and a half millenia could answer such a question.  But such is the unempirical drive of the modern mentality, that binary rigidity which hides one's ignorance, in all but a few questioners.  Perhaps.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


There is a kind of knowing which notices motion in shadows.  It need not be a grand knowing, but when defined as a knowledge of the partial, it can be...

Thursday, April 30, 2009


It is still a question to me the extent to which cyberspace can promote the growth of real understanding. Cyberspace must always be in the past, after all, ALWAYS, -- because it lives in words. And, as Jan Cox said, TKS, This Kind of Stuff, only exists in the present. Words are of and in the past, because of, for one reason, the neurological processing time they involve. By the time a word is said, comprehended, the reality of which we are a part is already different from whatever prompted that particular word. Where is there, in cyberspace, silence. It is all words, there is no silence in cyberspace, and is that silence, or approximation thereto, not a goal? These comments of course do not address the reality of tigers, --- merely the usefulness of cyberian tigers.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Universal Mysticism

East Asia: Tradition and Transformation, was published in 1973, and is the product of leading historians adding up finally to 969 pages.  Recently my total ignorance of the history of most of the planet, was brought back to me.  I was not surprised to find the following statement, however, in my newly acquired book.

[Taoism is] large part a philosophy of retreat and withdrawal on the part of thinkers who were appalled by perpetual warfare, instability and death..."  A philosophy of retreat does not describe at all accurately what could be argued as the greatest literature on the planet, the Tao Te Ching, and Book of Changes.  Actually the response of mystical empiricism, to the world, is the only sensible avenue to knowledge.  It is the only knowledge offering objective truths.  The alternative to this path is not any "advance," into the external world, the alternative is to be a bumbling staggering pawn of forces one does not glimpse or control.  To be sure, the mystic is in the same situation except for the knowledge he has of his situation.  He is no less blown about, but he can learn from his situation.  Not so those who are NOT appalled by warfare, instability, and death,( which features hardly isolate one historical period from another.)

And these simple facts eluded some leading historians.  My point is not the writers of the above quote, but for rhetorical purposes let us look at their educational background.  East Asia lists three authors:

John K. Fairbanks, graduated from Harvard University, and taught there also, starting in 1936.
Edwin O. Reischauer, graduate of Harvard, also faculty member there. Author of many books.
Albert M. Craig, also a Harvard graduate and professor there.  Together these guys wrote a lot of books.

The point in this little aside is not these fine scholars, but the binary mechanical mind of man.  (Readers of Jan Cox will appreciate the special status of the natural sciences and no doubt soon I will again review that aspect of man's knowing, which is only superfically a contradiction to the points in this essay.)  Only by hanging oneself on the forked branches of ordinary mentation is it possible to find statements about a man's retreat into philosophy of any useful import.  The mystic philosopher has at least the possibility of finding the knowledge, a vague sense of which haunts man's being. It is the mystic philosopher alone who can seize life by the throat and interrogate it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A breath of ....?

It occurred to me again, especially after noticing in todays science headlines (plants absorb MORE carbon dioxide when it is hazy, that is, polluted, out) that Jan Cox said the planet will take care of itself.  Right now, for instance with the economic slowdown, one effect is that there are more green spaces, where construction has stopped, more woodsy cleavages left, for a while anyway, where feral cats can hunt rodents, less exhaust in the air as people do not commute to jobs they do not still have----it is like the planet is taking a deep, needed breath.

Of course I do not KNOW this, it is a possibility, and this aspect of my comments points up that it may not be WHAT you think, ----HOW you think may be the saving gasp.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Silliness of Academe

Okay, these thoughts are about how silly it is to pay attention to academe, or to value any degrees from the academic world.  My tack here is to take some arguments from a book called something about Noble Animals, the author is David Salter, and the book is his doctoral dissertation, published in 2001. Now Dr. Salter, I am in no way insulting your research, and I am confident you will do fine in the academic world. Merely I am using one of your arguments to illustrate a point about the way EVERYBPDY's mind works, and if you by any chance come across my comments, to reassure you, I will state right now that I only read a few pages of your book, and so you can argue I have not given you a fair chance. Insulting anyone is not my intent here, and could it be proved that I did, I would certainly have failed in my purpose.
And that is (my purpose) to examine an argument and point out how this argument from a typical academic, quite misses the intent of the literature he discussed. The literature here is a kind of Aesops fable:  there was a story common in the medieval world called "The Lion and the Man." I need to tell the story first: so a lion and man were talking about who was stronger and the man proved his point by showing the lion a drawing of a man putting an ax into a lion.  The climax of  the storyis that the lion responded, "Who painted the lion?"  In other words had the lion been telling the story the ending would have been different.  The author of the book above, the exact title of which I still do not have to hand, says the point of this fable, is that depending on what part of society your are in, your insights will change. 
My own take on this story is that "The Lion and the Man," was mainly about this: the rational intellect is incapable of coming up with objective truth.  Because my take may sound abstruse to someone who has not looked at my blog before, does not mean that Chaucer, and/or Aesop were not capable of the mental delicacy my argument assumes. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Job of Job part 2

Perhaps, since I have been pushing the Book of Job, as an up to date exploration of the mind of man, though written in the 5th century, (that timelessness would not have surprised Jan Cox of course) a few words should be directed to the prose beginning and ending paragraphs of that part of the Bible called Job.  The fresh and creative pointing to achieving a certain insight by pushing human mentation to its limits---exhausting words, not trying to ignore them, constitutes a demonstration of a technique for (can't think of a fresh way to say this at the moment) spiritual growth. Teaching by showing.  ("Spiritual growth" sounds so wrong.) Anyway the poetic form of Job has a prose beginning and end which so obviously conflicts with the message of the poetic form itself that the question is forced on us: what is the purpose of these stories about satan chatting up god, and then Job gets to have his sheep back as a grand climactic denouement. What the heck is that about.  Either this part was added later, perhaps an attempt to ensure that future generations got to read Job, by sugar coating the important poetic part, for the 5th century BC burghers. Or the original author of Job knew his work would be discarded, as incomprehensible,  if he didn't make it apparently conform to the prevalent myths of his audience, so this is his little trick to ensure the preservation of his work.  This assumes the original author of Job, like Jan Cox, well knew the importance of his words, and the significance of his enlistment of words to push beyond them. Something like that.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Job for Job

Recently I got to reread the Book of Job.  Jan Cox did not encourage new students to read spiritual classics: the possibility of words tainting certain new experiences is a common dilemma.  That is not so much an issue now, and I was amazed at the delicate insights of this essay.  And a great surprise, the Book of Job has nothing to do with man's suffering or understanding god, or evil.  This, the common view, is no more accurate than describing Schrodingers thought experiment with a cat, as advice on feline health.  Nor was the Cliff Notes version which preceded my copy a good preparation.  Some fellow who was involved with the Jerusalem Bible's reader edition had summarized the lesson of Job, to this effect: Man learns to stop talking before God's majesty. Not even close---rather the exact opposite, in a way, of what the Book of Job describes. 
The Book of Job is an examination of the mind of man, the human intellect.  Naturally one discards any thought of reading about evil once the quality of insight in this prose is appreciated.  Evil is a discussion for children.  Our 5th century B.C. author has no use for the quality of thought which sees in natural processes something antagonistic to humankind.  The author of Job, is interested in how man can achieve self-knowledge, and the method illustrated is running the intellect ragged, following every logical thread no matter where that logic may lead, push push push with the intellectual busyness, let it run wild, go to extremes, play with every possible consequence of each thought.   This method is one used in the twentieth century by Jan Cox, and it was just as effective in the 5th century, at elucidating --- a certain border, a margin, an edge...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And exactly what ARE heroes?

Again we have the news and now two linked names as recent heroes, "Sully" and Captain Phillips. They arouse a thrill and thus the question I put in the subject field. What constitutes a hero. One thought is this: they are ordinary.  Not just normally, but their deeds are 'ordinary.' This surprising possibility (surprising since one might have defined hero as someone NOT ordinary in his deeds) arose from thinking about this thrill one gets from considering their stories.  People, that majority who are satisfied with the canned answers Life provides, are yet aware that their world is actually consituted of mere fantasies filaments floating around. This awareness cannot be too clear to anyone (as we all are all the time, or often anyway) or they woud be provoked to hunt for real answers, and this is not practical for Life, as a whole, -- a bunch of people searching for answers would in fact make life too holey to procede as the majestic spectacle it is. Yet this fundament of dreams cannot stay hidden all the time.  So we have heroes who accomplish exactly that which our dreams predict, and thus these heroes are reassuring the sleeper, pulling those blankets closer in the dark.  (This last picture is one that Jan Cox used on occasion.) The fact heroes actually do accomplish that which ordinary life projects as competent, aware, activity, obscures the fact that the ruling flows of life are (and must be, for the health and progress of the whole of humanity)--mechanical and not the product of man's initiative, or conscious action.
I am encouraged to view the possibility above as worthy of a second thought because of Wesley Autrey. Why do we not hear HIS name linked with that of Sully and Phillips? What could be more heroic than jumping in front of an oncoming subway to rescue a person fallen on the tracks?  Is it because it happened several years ago?  Is it because this saint was not of the majority race? No--- possibly we appear to have forgotten Wesley Autry because his heroism was beyond that bell curve of the ordinary which life supports by anointing some mens actions as 'heroic.'  Life wants men being able to land planes on rivers, to risk their lives for their fellow workers; one has to wonder if Life wants folks jumping onto subway tracks.  This last is not that about which men dream.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Clatter of Jackdaws

Does the chatter of jackdaws in the ruins mean there are no owls in the tree?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

All that glitters ---- has a value

Jan Cox mentioned, and this is a rare instance where I believe he was not the first to say this, but he said, that gold creates the market for the counterfeit.  Without there being such a thing as real gold, there would be no demand, for fake, or inflated, currency.  His point was, probably, that the existence of so many many so-called spiritual groups which are really just hero-worship, or herd mechanics,  their existence proved that the "spiritual quest" was capable of real answers, real accomplishment.  The existence of most religions then, their bizarre idea that creeds and crowd activity constitute a worthy path,  serve to  prove the reality of that quest which insists on originality -- that the teacher can only set up a situation where he helps students by pointing towards something real, something they must see for themselves, they cannot be spoon fed it, or read about it.  And so it is that the secret cannot really be spoken of, without damaging the hearer. They have to see it for themselves.  And struggle to  keep on remembering a certain reality.  But that the secret exists, the glittering proof is everywhere.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Not that you asked (revised slightly)

Someone remarked about Natasha Richardson that she had come to look so like her mother, Vanessa Redgrave. This was especially apparent the older she got, and others have noticed this fact in general, that family resemblances seem to emerge at a certain time. But this does not have to do with a loss of individuality as one ages. The fact is there never was a real individuality in appearance. All beautiful women look alike: their beauty reflects not any individuality, but rather the puppy chub of fresh hormones.

The Redneck Who Ruled the World

The redneck of course is Jan Cox. What world did he rule? I am using the phrase rule the world to point to what is called the awakened man. The world Jan ruled was the only world a man can rule, the only kingdom that is not fantasy and dreams, the only power that can be exerted with awareness of what one is doing, where the awareness is the power. He used the phrase revolutionary to describe his teaching, and was always careful to point out that external political activity was not the revolutionary activity that could engage an real man.
The revolution he pointed to was the revolution of each minute being fresh, overthrown, not mechanical. And Jan Cox was, along with Gurdjieff, the greatest figure of the last century, in that he brought mysticism out of the shadows of religion and into the marketplace of empiricism.
And to the end he pronounced the word "often" offTen.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hard Facts

Quoth Harold Bloom: If you are aa hard rock empiricist, you must reject religion." Of course any sense of religion as some set of beliefs, some assertion about god (rather than man) can be jettisoned, but that is probably not what he meant.  He has accepted the unempirical stance that there is something  called objective knowledge versus subjective, that man can go  along with the views of a group rather than empirically  rethinking  any important questions for oneself.

Actually  there is no question of subjective knowledge, there is merely man's standard dreamy state, the cog like mental stance men must allow if they are to function as the efficient cogs that is the useful lot of most men.

That, and the individually won momentary  possibility of objectivity.  Individually won and individually realized, but that is not subjectivity -- for ALL who pursue  recklessly and relentlessly a  certain internal mental stance will glimpse, maybe revisit, maybe become accustomed  to, a certain scenery.  It is the same scene for all who stand on the same perch. This scene is the origin of all ideas of objectivity.

Of course these words are misleading.  But they are closer than most.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

THAT Twentieth Century

How interesting that it was the century of pastiche, of patchwork classics, like Eliot's quoting Chaucer, and Copeland, folk tunes, how marvelous that it was the century of a paltry positivism (that "low dishonest decade"), of a recalcitrance to self reflection, how intriguing that it was the century when capitalism gave birth to communism, and is now finding it cannot live without it's opposite to define itself,  how enthralling that it was that twentieth century -- when thinkers pulled mysticism from the ashes of religion and turned an empirical ear to a universal harmony.
Note I do not call this scenario ironic. It was one of the philosophers in the last phrase, Jan Cox, who pointed out there was no such thing as irony.  Irony, he said, was a sign you did not know what was going on.  Not that acknowledging this means I do.