Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eyesight and Insight

A lovely bit in the science news, which could be intriguing for those with a concern for understanding themselves in the radical sense directed by Jan Cox during his lifetime. I don't know for sure, but what got me interested was an article about the Copiale text,  in the New York Times.

Here we read that a recently decrypted document from the 18th century turned out to be " a detailed description of a ritual from a secret society that apparently had a fascination with eye surgery and ophthalmology."

"Eye," see, jumped right out to one reader--what if the decryption in the text was meant to keep ideas from getting a mechanical agreement rather than the personal insight of one who has earned the knowledge, that is,  seen something freshly for himself. That after all is what Jan meant by making fresh maps. You have to do this because even what you originally saw can become stale, and for those who hear about something, without seeing it for themselves, the illusion you understand something when you really do not, is tricky. HOW you see, is one aspect of self knowledge, and I wonder if the researchers involved in decypherment may not have taken a metaphor (symbol) for a literalness.

Also, HOW you see (that is how you know something)  could be included in a study of the eyeball, under the "as above so below," maxim, wherein different levels of meaning have a parallel structure. Now these last are not the words of Jan Cox, and that maxim not one he relied on.
My curiosity was not discouraged when a different article mentioned this:

The rituals detailed in the document indicate the secret society had a fascination with eye surgery and ophthalmology, though it seems members of the secret society were not themselves eye doctors.

MY eyetalics in the above text.  What if the text were crypted with the purpose of discouraging the causal 'oh I heard that before," -- or whatever the 18th century German equivalent sentiment, was?  To point to the literal level of how the eyeball is constructed as least serves the pedagogical purpose of stressing that what you consider simple might actually have a complex level. 

Then of course it may have been a secret society that had no idea what secret societies might actually mean by ' secret.' But perhaps that is a more modern phenomenon.  The article mentioned "the rights of man," which requires more thought. 

Perhaps even if the researchers finish decrypting  the whole text, they will have missed the meaning.

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