Thursday, December 31, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
I just got the following from a newsletter associated with
wordsmith.org. 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
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
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
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
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
Sunday, September 20, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
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 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
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
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
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
Friday, June 19, 2009
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
Thursday, June 11, 2009
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
Saturday, June 6, 2009
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
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
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
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
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.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
[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
Saturday, May 9, 2009
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
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
[Taoism is]...in 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
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
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
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
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
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.