Sunday, December 29, 2013

And furthermore

It could be words are floating leaves, falling on, following on, a sea of numbers. This is one picture of the relation of words and numbers, a relation, -- involving the question of the ontological status of mathematics --that no one claims to finally, clearly, incontrovertibly, understand. The interesting history of 20th century philosophy involves a strained focus on words. But if you don't understand numbers, how could you claim to know what words are?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

About Nelson Mandela....

Listen and you can hear the uncomfortable shuffling of people in positions of power subsequent to the news of Mandela's death. 

And another thing to consider: The bravery and integrity of such a man --- not forgetting his fame reflects how rare that is -- is still a shadow of the silent stature of the real teachers in history -- those figures who point to an invisible border. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why are plane crashes newsworthy

We do hear about plane crashes in the news, and I have to assume most people do, since my locale is a backwater. Yet I hear about helicopter crashes, on up to jet liners. Big planes you can kind of understand because the potential death rate number could be quite high. Yet even then, the number would not be a tiny fraction of the population of the planet. Car crashes don't make the international news often, though they can be quite dreadful. 
The answer came to me, AN answer, shortly after the question. Planes make the planet smaller in a way which may reflect the dimensions of Humanity. The fact we are all, as people,  part of something larger grates on the nerves of some scholars, yet the fact peaks out (peeks out) when you look at the question I posed. The plane crashes are universal in a way, affecting perhaps a large portion of the planet. Plane make the planet smaller and larger at the same time. Smaller because people can arrive at far places quicker. Larger because Humanity becomes aware of itself when news items about crash events are broadcast. Aware of itself as a single unit, as Humanity. You are alert to news about aerial crashes because you, unwittingly often, are aware, it is news about yourself. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thorn gardens

Conspiracy theorists declare nothing except their unwitting belief in binary logic. Their assumption in fact is that reality can be swept up and recounted from tiny boxes. The whole billowing and irreducible human ignorance and majestic uncertainty that we know is a factor in everything cannot sway their need to assert. Not that the academics have therefore a compelling explanation -- that would be a binary conclusion. Theorist versus theoretician --- just another binary gap to raise suspicions. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Theories about conspiracy theories

They all overestimate the realm and rigging of the human intellect, or to be more precise, the binary functioning of that human capacity. People say the odds of a loner carrying off the assassination of a leader of a free world are slim,and therefore is an argument for multiple conspirators. This argument betrays an assumption about the fitness of binary thinking to evaluate the world. In fact the plans of men are flimsy at the best. Darn dumb luck explains little except the liklihood of man's plans occasionally appearing efficacious.
My comments are meant to illuminate not the heroes or villains -- little difference from a certain perspective -- but how the logic of any theorist can go astray. I of course know nothing about what happened, but something about how people think and what they are loathe to investigate within themselves. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

You can only define the dead

This occurred to me while I was revising the book. Of course in the case of Jan Cox, his reach was so multi directional, that the normal idea of beginning and end is to drastically distort his life and effect. Still any definition only points to --- what is already moldering. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween monsters

How useful is it that one day a year people can discuss that which they endeavor to pretend does not even exist, the rest of the year?

People talk about monsters, but that term merely is another way of distancing the intellect from the reality of our world. The monsters are always carefully placed beyond credibility. 

By monsters I do not merely refer to the reality of starvation and disease on our planet. The monsters are largely  the result of the insistence of the human intellect that things are either this or they are that--- a bifurcation which while useful dealing with the external world, only confuses when it is given the cloak of invincibility. 

People cannot realize their helplessness though that is the only useful step towards defining a path with a solid foundation. They cannot because it would simply produce mass hysteria or lethargy. This effect would destroy the world we live in, without helping anybody. 

Monsters then are the realities we must ignore to survive. Yet throughout history they have been glimpsed, and so we call the briefly and blurrily glimpsed, "monsters" since that label assures us they are phantasms. 

Only a few dare peer over the edge of the cliff of binary reason. And though a "band of brothers" may help you gather your courage, in fact, the leaning forward over the edge, this is solitary. 

The annual event called Halloween exists not to encourage a resolve to pursue reality -- no, it is a chance for a group chant to ward off ----truth. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

'The Answer is Never the Answer"

Old Derrida joke. But one I think Spinoza either originated or would have approved of. The point is wherever you think you can rest, verbally, in fact, you need to press, to keep questioning, sifting pebbles if nothing else, because, the answer is never "the answer." It can't be, the answer is in words. So you must have missed it. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Perhaps god prefers atheists

This strikes me as likely -- that god prefers athesits over believers.
He may, see the atheists as plucky, brave, compared to those believers
who are 'good' because they fear punishment. I of course know nothing
about god, but I suspect--- SUSPECT-- he is doing the best he can. And
no job description I am aware of includes concern about the voting
results of his creatures.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Let someone else describe self-observing

An interview with Thich Nhat Hanh was replayed on NPR today. A detail in the discussion about the practise of mindfulness delighted me. He said there was a necessary vigilance in your thinking, a practise, like "Walking on Stilts." This is what Jan Cox called by a variety of terms, the variety of course reflecting his methodological insistence on originality in language. 
But neuralizing is well described as 'walking on stilts' in your cerebral awareness. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Erase the zoos

What is this sense for freedom that all creatures have, from moths to mollusks, and 
how is it the most complicated of those creatures, with a featureless crinkle in their brains, 
would deny it to the others. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

How we exist in a world we know is delusory

A cat watches the birds through a screened window. The birds seem unaware of his presence, though the window is open and they must be able to smell the cat. The cat, jerks his body to follow their hops and flights, his tail twitches. The cat is focused with a leopard sized attention on the birds. The cat is positioned to leap. 

And yet, the cat does not lunge through the screen. He does not even touch the screen. 

How or why he does not, is unclear to me. Just as it is unclear to me how one can continue accepting the propositions of ordinary media. How one believes again the prepositions on the platters proffered.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

So to speak

How wonderful to think rats might be finding a safe place, so to speak. 

Near-death experiences are 'electrical surge in dying brain' This is a headline in the BBC write-up of the widely reported research wherein a surge of electricity has been identified in dying rodent brains. 

Jan Cox spoke of such experiences, in people of course, as something we did not NEED to wait for death, to experience. 

The interesting thing about the reports though, are that the scientists are treating this as some kind of explanatory refutation of the reports so common in the literature, of NDE experiences. 

Quoting the article, [Scientists] measured a sharp increase in high-frequency brainwaves called gamma oscillations.

These pulses are one of the neuronal features that are thought to underpin consciousness in humans, especially when they help to "link" information from different parts of the brain. In the rats, these electrical pulses were found at even higher levels just after the cardiac arrest than when animals were awake and well.

The curator of this link wrote:

Guess there's no tunnel then? 

Your whole life is this electrical activity. There's no tunnel the way there is no mental constructs beyond the physical in human life in general. These findings in no way diminish the cognitive content of such electrical brain activity. Whatever that cognitive content may be, and I do not know how that works. 

But it is lovely to think that other animals have something akin. Unless we follow the path laid out by a real teacher,  or somehow accept the challenge to explore such possibilities on our own, -- and I am not sure how realistic that is, not having a teacher -- our own options will be --- ordinary.  

The decline of the illuminated manuscript

Should we not confront the fact that the foliate flourishes associated with the medieval illuminated manuscript are not some embellishment of the page. They are not a decorative diversion from the text, as if the job of hand copying of books were not already a strenuous and time-consuming enough undertaking. How could this be? How could this not be?

Surely the ubiquity and beauty of the medieval sentence is one whole, and this means the illumination of the manuscript is a crucial dimension of the message. 

What then was the cognitive burden of the illuminated page? What then was the "progress" of the printed book? 

To be continued....

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The death of printed books

Discussions about the death of printed books miss the point. All these tears over the demise of a book you can lay in your lap, annotate in the margins, crease the page corners of, ponder until you daydream, leave in a purposeful stack, when you need to mark your turf in the stacks alcove, these tears for a tearable page, are beside the point---
which is---
Can we live in a world without  book jackets? 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Science and modern science

The popularizers of natural science, and most scientists, stress the importance of repeatability as a token of validity, as the measure of truth.

That leaves one's own experiences as, statistically insignificant.Jan Cox, himself coming of age during the heyday of this philosophical trend, would smile at his students, and say, while pointing a finger at his skull, here is your lab. 

This environment of the natural sciences relies on a false division of inner and outer experiences. The inner are supposedly subjective, and thereby invalid. Only the external world can be set up so tests can be repeated. 

The problem with this view is that nobody really lives in a world divided into inner and outer. There is, to use an old Latin term, "in media res," in the middle of things, which describes the situation humans participate in, in learning, communicating, studying, anything. 

This middle ground, neither in nor out, but both, is the human experience. I don't understand it completely now, but it is an approach for study--this middle ground. 

That is the relevant arena, and in fact, not only does modern science ignore this, they are uncomfortable with this prospect.

The natural sciences would.have to confront the valid question of why people disagree, have contradictory experiences and conclusions. Life was simpler when you could lop off half of reality, the so-called subjective side.

We've got the lab set up. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The sacrifice of children in ancient cultures Part 1

The sacrifice of children in ancient cultures is on the surface not just pretty universal, but totally baffling.

Throughout history the dreams of men have been simple really: Let the harvest be bountiful. Let there be enough food so my family can survive the winter. Survival would seem to be the primary genetic motivation for the human race. 

So why kill your own children? What is the logic there? Those hands for helping with the harvest. Those hearts to take care of their parents in old age. Those extra eyes and trigger fingers in case there are disputes with the neighbors. How could you lose that, -- on purpose? You might even argue that your children could be an ultimate meal if your survival was that threatened, but --- this option seems not to have been extant in human history, so that underlines their importance even more, and the weirdness, that they could be sacrificed.

It is like there is this leap going on,a leap beyond genetics, with the sacrifice of children. One thinks of leaps in history. The logic might be-- here is the precious thing I have, and I will surrender it...because.... ??

Other leaps are like the what Jan Cox called, "falling up the stairs," when he referred to man's ability for language manifesting itself. Manifesting like it was there all the time. Who knows about that. But suddenly we could talk. 

Then there is what Karl Jaspers called the "axis time of history", when, simultaneously, in effect, a certain objective thought became apparent, Socrates. Buddha, Confucius, the composers of the UpanishadsLao Tzu. There were other figures Jaspers mentioned. Of course the word he used was spiritual influence. You might also say a certain kind of personhood was involved. For my point here the significance is this leap humanity made as a whole. A leap which cannot be explained by "cultural diffusion," try as the positivists might to do so. 

Back on the track: it may be that there was a time, between the birth of speech, and the birth of philosophy, when what men appreciated was, the existence of this leap, this gap, and all they could perceive was that a certain appeasement was called for, in the presence of this gap---

Only that's not really it, either. So I don't know an answer, yet. But I know this --- why these children were sacrificed is something we can understand, because we too are humans, and this is something that happened to our species. The standard reply, that they were barbarians, is I trust, an evasion that does not merit a response. There is an answer, I just don't know it. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yes, of course it's ridiculous

Writing about it, minutes after the announcement that there is a new heir to the English throne, it is enough to make a republican of you. Unless, of course, you give it some thought. 

What are the alternatives. The rule of plutocrats? Such as seems to be a current product of democratic processes? When elections are just bought, subtly or not?  TV stars setting taste and opinion? That's better? Thugopolies, like Russia has? 

Only the young disregard the benefits of political stability, an easy argument to make for monarchy. But there is more. The people born into that status do not seem to be particularly handsome, or beautiful. Certainly they are not terribly bright. What they do have are standards. Standards of fairness, standards of taste, and the ability to convey their own fairness as plausible. 

Their own sense of entitlement is not as defensive as that of the bankers. They can, sincerely believing themselves superior, make decisions based on a larger good  Their sense of entitlement is genetic, and they may lack that grasping defensiveness characteristic of modern psychology.

Compared to a typical politician, the aristocrat has nothing to hide. One speaks in generalities of course. And of course we are not talking about the monarchy you read about in history. We are talking about constitutional ones, and their value. 

There are not many left, and it is reasonable to wonder if that tyke will ever make it to a throne. 
Because once gone, monarchies cannot be replaced. There is this hope though: the function of the monarch, that is to say, to wave at you, yes, you personally, is not a need that is going away. One shudders to think what is replacing them. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Secrets as a cultural meme

So Baigent died. Meh. He reminds one of the extent of popular interest in conspiracies, in secrets. When I read of some conspiracy, some idea that there are people who are secretly controlling public affairs, it makes me giggle. And these ideas are so common. Among a variety of types. 

I imagine myself saying to some exponent of such ideas: And you, are clever enough to have penetrated this plot, a plan which has fooled the rest of the world, but YOU, have figured out the plot. Oh yeah. 

Such innocent spokesmen who point to conspiracies have no clue about the nature and complexity of reality, or the mechanical nature of human knowledge. And the same applies to anyone who THINKS they themselves could be a participant in such a plot. I should say here, a participant in an effective plot. 

All  of which does not mean such events have no basis at all in reality. Jan Cox spoke once about the Knights Templar as having at one point a connection to something real. By the time you read about it from me, reality has gone through a stage of myth, and become mere gossip. The person who could speak of such things is dead. 

But I trust the person who mentioned that detail. I trust him, you see, because Jan Cox was a person who could keep a secret, keep a secret FROM -- himself. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How truth subverts truth

How come no one wonders how they know it is an elephant the blind men are handling? The point of the story is about man's ignorance, but in fact --- the conclusion is dead set before they even investigate the evidence. You cannot wonder if it is an elephant that is being investigated.

Binary thought is the reason. Not only does binary thought assume everything is either this or that, but that assumption includes a sigh of relief when the division is made. That sigh prevents thinkers from pushing on.
The goal of investigating 'what is' does not include investigating the thinking apparatus itself. The sigh when binary thought has divided something distracts the thinker, and that distraction is crucial to the growth of the world we know, and the world we are a part of. That growth though, needs man's understanding not as much as he assumes. 

In the case of the example above, the hack occurs at: it is a teaching story, it is not a teaching story. The gap leaves distracting flows to push the thinker in another direction. 

My analysis might be the case.... 

Monday, June 10, 2013

About Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden's situation presents a great glimpse into the dance of the three laws--- which all manifest in every occurrence every moment. The Creative, The Destructive/Conserving, and the Erelevant,(the irrelevant) are the terms used by Jan Cox. 

My thoughts are about the danger this fellow is in, and my hope that my total ignorance, includes not knowing about greater clevernesses on the part of the technical community, and even Mr. Snowden, --- events and approaches that are mainly effective because no one knows about them.

We may or may not find out about that. 

Who on the planet now can see two sides here-- who can see the appropriateness of the CIA regulations, and the nobility and sweetness of what this young man has done. Both sides are critical to the growth of humanity, both angles at the same time can be in your head. That is a potential of the human brain.

OF COURSE you cannot run an operation based on secrecy if people are leaking to the papers. OF COURSE the flow of power melts the so-called principles of people. OF COURSE the innocence of purity easily flips into self-righteousness. 

And of course the growth of humanity depends on a few flinging themselves into the blades. Ignorant people, beautiful people. This too is part of calculations whirring beyond a murky mathematics which is barely audible.

Those flingers, as we might call them for a moment, include the likes of Jesus, if we can believe the stories. Both Socrates and Jesus died because they would not speak. Reminds me of how glad I was once, to hear Jan say, people are no longer required to die for their  visions. By which I assume he points to a greater economy currently operating within the greater machinery.

Okay, I am a bit off my subject here. Which was: for those who can hear it--- you have to keep two contradictory seeming things together in your head-- the appropriateness of Eric Holder and Edward Snowden, both. At the same time.  

Both Holder and Snowden are -- schooks. Everyone who is not self-observing, --- is a schnook. Holder is a schnook in that he is moving so fast, everything is a blur, and he only occasionally feels things spinning out of control, though, they always are. Snowden is a schnook because he felt a rigorous logic to the analysis that if HE did not act, no one would. Actually this is merely a cellular pressure, this sense of ego, the walls of self which assume the preservation of the self is the preservation of all. The fate of the world is all on his shoulders.  

Nothing at all the matter with being a schnook. In fact, it is necessary for the greater growth of all. 

And that is only two out of THREE facets to the situation. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Brief History of the Busy

A example of binary thought could be: describing a real school as
interested in method and goal. The most recent real school stressed that you do not discuss, do not label, the goal. By method we refer to how you get results--- in the case of Gurdjieff that would be self-observation, and Jan Cox called it many things besides self-observation: 'neuralizing', 'considering' are just a few examples. 

Looking back in history we might describe the middle ages as concerned ONLY with the " GOAL." There was no general discussion of how you get to heaven. There were no questions about morality.

Contrast this with the modern era, which has no GOAL, just METHOD. My reference here is to the scientific method and the widespread vacuous assumption that science is atheistic. I'm just making a cheap point here. 

Thesis, antithesis. I cannot say a new synthesis is not in the offing, a synthesis heralded by the inane and vapid--- Whether or not, it falls out that way, my point is --- it could.   

Monday, June 3, 2013

The value of proverbs

When you get that you can't talk about "the baby", ---- 'cause you will definitely be throwing it out by talking about it ---

you might then keep the bathwater too. Useless advice if you can't distinguish baby and bathwater. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Real Religion

Real Religion excludes belief, in anything. A real religon is a machete in the jungle, not a vine
covered idol. The hunter not looking for bits of stone, but glimpses of sliding fur.

Real religion precludes

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The opiate of the intellectual

A rage against the rich is the opiate of the elite

Friday, May 17, 2013

The wonder of mortality

This is what I wrote on Google Plus about the article inked to above:

"The author maintains in a fascinating article that evolution is successful if the results are good enough, not perfect. The nice argument may well be the case, but the example, an oak tree which has not evolved an immunity to a specific disease, ignores the wondrous fact that in death there is more creation (the animals that live on decayed oak trees) and in fact, faster new creation sometimes. "

I hesitated to point out more, considering the forum, but in fact the situation the article discusses, is a great example of people ignoring the obvious. First -- the oaks-- if they lived forever, they would push everything else off the planet. Death, an aspect of the destructive flow, in fact is crucial to life, to the greater good, and minimally, what Jan Cox called "D" flow, can be said to stabilize the machinery -- steady the Magnus Machina, as he titled one book. 

The binary intellect must consider that things are isolated. In fact "cause and effect,"  takes a new meaning if you try to see beyond the rational, this or that. You could say that the way things interact laterally is as important to understand, as pulling out one thread, and understanding one sequence. The fact is everything interacts with everything, and specifying a single strand as embodying cause and effect, as necessary as this artificiality is, becomes misleading, if the abstraction is taken as more than a temporary tool. 

Widening your vision beyond either/or not only reduces silly statements like oak trees are an imperfect evolution, it allows perhaps a thought about the way things fit together, and what that could mean. To expand your scope to include more "both / and" situations, allows more insight into reality, 

You might even glimpse the way people think. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

From the news, an olds subject

A scrap from the newspapers, on the web of course---

"Last year, the Queen made a cameo on television as part of the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, appearing as herself as part of a James Bond sketch before a stunt-double jumped out of a helicopter."

What this bit made me think was how we are all, mostly, (unless we are involved in physical labor, or practising the how, of self-observation, (a la Gurdjieff and Jan Cox)) in a movie script, appearing as ourselves, and using a stunt double, over and over and....

Using a stunt double, is that not a nice picture of how at the ordinary level of attention, we both have a dream scene in our heads and also -- are the audience for ourselves -- for some part of a story?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The limitations of words

Contemplate the limitations of words if you can. This is a quote from the Daily Beast today, May 12, 2013.


Nancy Ruiz, the mother of kidnapping victim Gina DeJesus, called her reunion with her daughter "the best Mother's Day gift I could ever have" 

end quote.

and for the mothers

If we can glimpse that words are just the foam on the tide, then the following might make sense:

The Ten Commandments--- in an era when man was sparse, speaking speciesously ----- and his linguistic talents fresh --- it made sense to carve rules in stone and expect their --- gravity to be adored---, pondered and used as rules for living.

The specifics, are still guidelines. My point is not that we stop honoring our mother and father, or any other shalts, ballots,or shalt nots.

But that, keeping in mind the fallacious either/or nature of language---
we glimpse some new guidelines that are only superficially contradictory. 

Perhaps evil was once unambiguous,for good reasons, and say, abortion for instance, might even threaten the whole of mankind, if it became fashionable. 

But I wonder if the focus of what is evil, now, might not be shifting. And now, the unambiguous evil, might be more what threatens the whole planet. Like some pesticides. 

If I am correct, such unambiguity -- is there a better word --- will always be in a shifting state, but a shift which is imperceptible within one lifetime. And so there will come a time when planet threatening issues will change again. 

Jan Cox would have pointed out that Life is not going to let anything too drastic happen anyway. Probably. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What if

"Memorial" is always
the same thing as -- marmoreal --

One implication of this, if it is the case, is that to remember is the same as to forget.

Useful for the mechanical purposes of the larger machinery.
And what must be seen through, at an extraordinary level. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Headlines of Yesterday

This sounds like one of the saddest situations to come out of the whole too small to succeed, indeed too small to even get your name in a story which ends with 'the gunman dead.' This guy did not take some child hostage, he took 5 young -- tough -- trained -- firemen, hostage. 

Nor did the negotiations with a swat team last long, but I don't know, maybe they had to move in.  The thing is -- he wanted his electric power turned back on, in his home which was being foreclosed on. We are wired to everything in this world. And I can imagine the panic, the aggravation, the rage, the sense of undeserved injury, that man felt. And our being able to put ourselves in his place is an aspect of how we are all wired into the larger world.

But  what is the logic of hostage taking? This sense of being in a corner and trapped, okay. But adding a mind to a physical animal, how do you get to the point where it makes any sense to hold another person prisoner to exchange for your demands being met? Why would you think they would carry through on any promises some negotiator made? Apart from anything else, promises made under duress are not binding. And then there is the statistically significant outcome wherein you are gunned down like a dog.

All this points to the fact  hostage taking shows a great faith in the logic of the mind. A faith in words, a belief in the things you learned in school. That is one conclusion to draw from the actions of hostage takers: I have this, if you want it, you must give me such and such. That this is fantastically out of touch merely means that the logic of the hostage taker is ordinary. 

No doubt many will say he was irrational. Well sure, but what does that really explain? There is something else to be gleaned. It may be that we see a subterranean logic at work here, a hormonal wisdom, which is just, out of step with the times. Because for millenia fleeing was a sensible, and often used, tactic. Jan Cox, mystico-philosopher of the last century, pointed out that for the first time in history, there is now, no place to flee to.  When there were woods to hide you, and far valleys where the only sure thing was, that your enemies could not find you, there was a horizon of some kind of freedom for the sturdy. The logic of the man pushed to desperate measures may rely on this ancient knowledge,a forlorn but not irrational, knowledge. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Illustrating a pedagogic technique which is rarely used, for good reasons

As I  walked by an evergreen bush a cardinal bolted up away from his hidden spot. Perhaps by the end of this post the relevance of this event to the topic will be clearer to me.

Everybody has mystical experiences. Mostly they do not recognize what happened. But this kind of event is a major component of the known and unknown energies defining the planet and beyond. This came to mind after I remembered the fact some Christian sects are based on the fact they do NOT observe certain holidays. And you can see their point -- how could getting presents for Christmas, spending money, be commemorating the life of an unwitting founder of a faith which is so widespread? You see their point and you imagine, probably accurately, that some founder of some similar sect had a bolt of awareness on this subject, and taking that experience, felt authenticated to found a whole faith on this 'revelation.' What I am calling a mystical experience. 

Yet, that recent founder did not have a big enough picture. This splinter realization is not the engorging reality it seems at the time. He is defining a faith on a moment which was not as encompassing as it could have been. The confusion in the wake of this authenticating type of experience is typical of human knowledge. That it works, and that it is right, does not mean it is the ONLY thing that defines reality and yet so wonderful is the experience that people charge ahead without keeping in mind the proportion of known and unknown. For most the experience means they know the important things. The unknown is irrelevant. This is an ordinary assumption.

The topic in this post  is not religion. Religion was just an example of the way the mind works. Those studying and writing about the natural sciences do the same thing. Take the pork chop for a pig. Those 'flashes of insight' scientists report are just low level mystical experiences. Typically the popularizers of science think they can measure what science has remaining to discover. This belief  hints at the ordinariness of the rational mind. For a brief consideration suggests that only from a perspective of the whole can you accurately define the parts. And this whole is beyond the grasp of modern science. I will be kind and say, it is beyond them at the moment. 

 That you have to focus, and by doing so, leave out relevant details is part of the binary mind. This narrow focus is a necessary part of human progress and intelligent community. Yet to take a detail,and assume it gets the whole picture, can be very misleading, misleading to those seeking to figure it all out. Fortunately for all, such folks, bound to figure it all out, are few. 

About that cardinal, a flush of red on a flash of green: no I don't know its relevance to this topic I could come up with a cheap metaphor, but I won't. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

The headline is all you need part 2

Montana lawmakers vote to

 allow salvage of roadkill

The picture of eating roadkill is a good illustration of how humans think. Any verbalized thought is already roadkill. The nutrition is vanishing. By the time you can phrase a thought the thought is in, and about--- the past. The vision of the new is for those who can attend to the edge of the future and the present. This is a discipline which must be rephrased  but is actually an ancient practise. Gurdjieff called it self-observation, Jan Cox called it neuralizing. You call it yucky. It is all there is. Hey, I didn't make the planet, so don't sqawk at me. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

All you need is the headline

Below is a direct copy of a headline in the IrishCentral site. I delinked it because my interest is NOT in the subject, but in the way the binary mind works. Binary means rational, in this context. Everything is either this or that, if you are limited to the rational mind. Jan Cox said once, that scientists can only count to two. He referred here to the binary operations of the mind. But here is just such a good example, that I am using it and assuming people can appreciate we are looking at 'how', not 'what' (she said binarilyly).

Anyway how obvious can it be---- that you can be sick and criminal. And yet, the clear force of this speaker's words, are that by labeling something criminal, it is not an illness.
Church people are some of the most articulate in the population, so this is a particularly good example of the operations of the ordinary mind. There are alternatives.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin states sexual abuse of children 'clearly a crime, not an illness
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has responded to Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban's comments on sexual abuse. The Dublin Archbishop has stated that the abuse of a child is "very clearly a crime."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A history of self reflection

A history of self reflection would be a good subject for a book. Speaking of western Europe it is fair to wonder if there was any self-reflection before the Renaissance.Tribes on the verge of starvation have no use for self-reflection. There was no time to wonder. Nobody expects a Christianity but there it is. The stratified medieval world solved so many problems -- you were born into a niche, and mutually dependent on others in the same or different niches. No space to wonder. The church bracketed all and actually had pretty good answers for those rare troublemakers. But Humanity would keep growing. 

Notice I mentioned self-reflection, not self-knowledge. A history of the latter would be brief, and possibly culminating in the 16th century with Michel de Montaigne. Plus a few dark stars. 

The rest is pretty much a headlong rush, from treatises, to novels, to Nobel Prizes for physics. And self-reflection has shrunk to checking the likes on your facebook posts.  The progress is real and wonderful, but it does not include widespread intelligence. 

So far. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Bark of Time

The Nature of Binary Thought is a question that never fails to help me, especially recalling the fragmentary nature of my grasp. Binary thought is what we think when we use words--- that is-- pretty much all the time. And it is mechanical, it is a symptom of what preserves us within the greater machinery -- (the Magnus Machina as Jan Cox titled one of his books) and in preserving, traps us. Our potential is like an insect in amber, as the present solidifies on the bark of time. 

Not that binary thought is the ONLY thing that traps us. Such an assumption---- that---oh, the problem is binary thought -- is an example of binary thought. The Everything is this or that logic is the logic of the ordinary. Ordinary Nobel winners, ordinary gardeners. They all subsist intellectually on binary thought.

We see it in the dialogue--- The rich say the poor suffer from class envy. The poor say the rich cheat at the power game and are heartless. Who considers both sides are correct. Who in the global chatter says, 'well I would be heartless too, if I were rich.'

We see it among the young--- (GMO foods are poison), and the well-retired (GMO foods will help us feed the masses.) They seem to be polar opposites. But polar opposites are the way the world thinks, not the way of someone struggling to always, in Jan's words, Willfully Consider. In fact the GMO situation is a 'both / and situation', calling for the Real Thinker to sort out, at least abstractly: some foods are poison, some will help. But where is there anyone discussing the issues in this manner. 

The essential and precious usefulness of binary thought is a subject for an later blog. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fishing for words

It is not impossible to imagine, what our forbears faced. It is just impossible to prove. But where good questions go unrecognized, it is worth an essay, for if just the question is outlined, there is gain. That is the methodological premise for a question really about how is it the idea of a god came to our species.

The pack behavior still extant today in people and in many other mammals can only have been stronger when our parents were more centered in the physical, and that centering really prevents a lot of lingering in illusion. This meant, and this is not the speculative part, there was a vigorous nonverbal link between the people. My guess is that this included a stronger psychic component than is extant today among men who are ruled by the verbal.

Regardless, the origin of the idea of a god may have come from an individual, part of something larger, the rest of the pack, his family and farther relations-- the origin of god may have lain in the awareness of this extensiveness beyond oneself, a larger something than oneself which was perceived, and which was recognized as being a protection and aid that was more than one, by oneself, could have supplied or guaranteed.  

Perhaps this awareness came about like this: These early folk hunted in packs too, but surely, there were times, times of hardship of a variety of sources, or, perhaps when one was some kind of outlier, some times, when a person had to hunt by himself. Then it may have come to this individual that he needed and depended upon, something greater than he himself was. 

That he gave, and many times, across the planet, men did this again, a name of what we call a deity to this, is not surprising. Whenever a verbal ability grew, what Jan Cox said, was a "falling upstairs," it would be convenient to mention something stronger than oneself, something which worked for one's benefit. Whether or not this calling of a tribe, by a word which we call some deity, is the whole story of the origin of god, this story is not meant to preclude the later reality of what people said about their deities. My account of a individual in a larger tribe, appreciating this sense of being part of something larger, need not be the whole story, to be of interest. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

the old maps we clutch

The ordinary consciousness, that of scientific popularizers and on down the demographic rungs-- see the unknown, like on an old map, as a separate area, separate from the continents of knowledge. But is it? Can it be, so delimited, if we do not know it, and why else call it the unknown, -- so how can we say, how can we point on the map, under the dragon? 

In fact there is evidence to suggest the unknown surrounds and interpenetrates us constantly. Rather than terra incognita, should we be saying, usus incognitus? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

How howling

The eye of the hurricane is calm, it is a quiet space while the hurricane winds encircle. Words and meaning might show a similar pattern. The meaning is the quiet space, with minimun verbal volume, the sense is just-- appreciated. The verbal thread that leads to this (ideally leads to it) is where the winds blow, blowing everything offcourse according to a pattern controlled by geographies unconcerned with one's -- sentence; one's breath is grabbed and winds into an unmeasurably small component of that which is blown. Beyond any consideration of authorship or cogency. Small shock then that so little of use is ever encountered. The possibility remains, of, communication. Slim, possibility. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Are we merfolk? Are we helplessly so?

People make assumptions. Without this they would be unable to accomplish anything at all. The rational mind does not operate without these unthinking presumptions. The presumptions are like a sense that you are on firm ground. So you go on, without looking down.

Still, what if that were not the case: what if your situation were actually that of someone in an ocean-- some creature with some fishy talents and some strange ambitions. This picture of the human situation assumes such a thing as dry land, just that people are mistaken in assuming they know what dry land is. That islands even exist is derided by some in the ocean as an archaic fancy. 

A few may by dint of mainly, luck, perceive the idea of a boat. This boat as a conveyance to an island whose existence is challenged, becomes -- easy to forget. Yet the difference between  the boat and the island, is that though no one can reach the island through their own agency, -- no one-,  the boat is something they can by themselves construct and utilize. 

The boat in my story has been called by real teachers various names-- all the same thing. Gurdjieff's self-observation, the willful consideration of Jan Cox. I call it the method, because it is under human control, as opposed to life on dry land, terra of no chatter. The latter is never something one can take credit for. Nor can one assume it will last. There is no real estate contracts there, no property lines. According to Jan Cox, if you even say so this is "Istanbul," you are gone, back to Paris.

The boat -- the method --you have always accessible. 

That is,
if you,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Example of binary thought ripped from the back pages of academic journals

In an article on evolution, we find this riff about 'cultural evolution, ' which seeks to in fact suggest the genetic component of our species has stopped evolving, and man's cultural world counts as evolution. Demonstrating, by his words, the fact man's culture is imagination, and in the imaginary realm is exactly where we might find, this unwritten, Origin of Species. For there is only biology when we deal with man. Man's culture changes because it is imaginary. Only binary thought would put this knife between biology and culture. 
One reason this argument passes as logical is that man cannot actually deal with the continuing evolution of his brain. A topic to which we will certainly return.

quoting from

Cultural Evolution

....People, including this science journalist, tend to emphasize biology when thinking about human evolution, but that focus contains an element of looking-for--my-keys-under-the-streetlight reasoning. Genetic evolution can be rigorously measured and quantified. Cultural evolution is messy and difficult to study in journal-appropriate ways, yet in many ways culture -- our social practices and institutions, including the all-important vehicle of language -- is more powerful than biology.

After all, if we could travel back in time a few hundred thousand years, Homo sapiens would be quite recognizable. It's culture that truly distinguishes us.

In the last decade, researchers have developed tools for studying cultural evolution, from patterns of linguistic change to folktale relatedness (above) to interpretations of Polynesian canoe design. As with biological evolution, cultural evolution is clearly continuing: The advent of digital communications technologies, for example, makes new types of cultures possible.

For now, though, an Origin of Species for cultural evolution hasn't yet been written.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Example of Binary Thought Ripped from the Headlines

as well of course as every word in every ad anywhere, but let's look at an example which is a news story most people will have noticed. 
I suggest that it is obvious, if you look at it, that a person can have his dismissal adjudicated as tainted with racial prejudice AND at the same time have that dismissal upheld as valid. 
Why could not people, be racially prejudiced, and yet occasionally be correct about -- oh, an employee with impulse control issues. Proof of prejudice, and I am guessing not much proof was really needed, in a southern police force (So. Cal of course), though that prejudice may well have been hidden, in reams of bland blather, but--- that does not mean the fellow was not wisely let go. 
While if you are following me, the newspapers are acting like proof of prejudicial dealings is proof he should not have been fired. That makes no sense, except in the land of binary language which we all, must, inhabit. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It was not death people feared

It was not death people feared. That anyway is my hypothesis for the moment. The fear of death is widely regarded as a motivating factor in human history, leading to all kinds of cultural phenomena -- religion for instance, and even physiological change, such as the birth of the human intellect. What is the sign language, for -- your mother has been still for an awfully long time, and is beginning to smell. What say we put some dirt over her? Language developed because life was getting more complicated, rather than fear of the unknown leading to some survival value for people who came up with rituals signifying human beings did not really die. 

I am suggesting people took calmly and confidently the idea of life after death. Nothing in that description contradicts the idea that we all have instincts for self-preservation, of course.

What sense does it make sense that early man was afraid of dying? It is modern man that fears death, and this has been projected backwards into explanations for some  human behavior.  I think rather than religion being a subterfuge from reality, our first parents took it's statements confidently. There were no hesitation making doubts issuing from mixed motivations in their adherence to the tribal dicta. 

After all, flowers return every spring. Birds fly far away, and then come back. Constellatins rotate in the sky. And if ancient men feared their own mortality, then why did they put the best jewels into caskets? There are many reasons to assume ancient men confidently assumed they would survive their own  demises. And considering the options available to these men, this was a sensible confidence.

What if though, what people feared, deeply, unavoidably, was -- change? Such motivations would have useful functions in the larger machinery of humanity. And also, modern man's fear of death, may be even more, a concern for his own ego psychological constructs. Those illusions are fungible. But they figure more largely in modern intellectual man. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Provenance is the trick

Provenance is the trick. Provenance, the history of where a work of art has been, leading to a pronouncement as to its authenticity, determines whether a particular work of art is inside or outside an artist's canon. Provenance thus determines the value of a work of art. 

Provenance only ever really talks about -- not art,-- but other provenance. Though it always is apparently pointing to this art, provenance is just about provenance. Provenance is not about the thing, really, it is about what you can call, the thing. 

Words and reality.Thoughts and -- everything, are exemplified here. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Taking a step back

As long as people assume themselves a single and singular unit, then their thinking will propose a cellular divinity, as part of a cosmological diagram. The point is not their belief, but how they picture the game. This applies to atheist and believer alike. To the extent their ego coincides with their self, then their model of god will include omnipotence. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I had a dream

What if the emphasis on rationalism is a necessary corrective to religiousity (thus explaining  modernity, ahem) and the third leg of the stool is not extant or apparent yet. I am tempted to say this third aspect, the always dependable but never obvious, third flow, is what you hear in Gurdjieff and Jan Cox, but I don't know that.